Renest's

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Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 648
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: So. Central TX
Martin Colony History: All Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

We've had a very good year with 25 of our 26 gourds filled with pairs who successfully layed eggs and all the babies fledged. Here is where it gets interesting. Five of those pairs have again layed eggs. This is the first time we've had that happen. We did have one renest one year but never this many or so late. Three of the renest's just hatched in the last couple of days.
This means our season in Central TX will not end until the last part of July if they all make it.

This is our 10th year as landlords. Our first ended very badly with our only nest of 6 babies and their mother being eaten by a rat snake. I came very close to giving up but several people on the forum encouraged me not to. We have learned many things over the years, the most important I think has been hot wiring our poles which has completely eliminated the snake problem. Prior to that we caught several in netting attached to the poles.

Never give up. Learn all you can to keep your martins safe. And DO THOSE NEST CHECKS! That is the only way you will really know what is going on with your martins.

Sharon
Nikkidodi - SATX
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:40 pm
Location: TX/San Antonio

I posted an UPDATE today to a post I made 6/20 after my last pair of baby martins had fledged and the site appeared to be abandoned. "They are still returning at night (counted 17 yesterday) and one of the nests is being re-used. I had suspended nest checks after the pair fledged, but found 2 eggs on the 26th, 4 eggs there today. Don't know if it is the same pair of parents or if some newcomers joined in."
DakotaLady
Posts: 654
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:06 pm
Location: Bismarck, ND

That is awesome that you guys have additional eggs being laid. That will prolong your martin season. Enjoy!
~Tangula~

2013 - 16 pair, 79 eggs, 71 fledged
2012 - 4 pair, 18 eggs, 18 fledged
Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 648
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: So. Central TX
Martin Colony History: All Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

Nikkidoddi,
When we were sure some of our birds had fledged the first time, I was thinking we wouldn't even check those gourds because they were already empty. But my conscience wouldn't allow that and the very first gourd we checked that had already fledged had new eggs in it!
Every year we learn something new and this year it has been to check ALL gourds each nest check until we are sure everyone has left.
The heat is my main concern. At the next check, my hubby is going to attach some shades on the top to keep everyone cooler. That was Louise's suggestion when I wrote to her after finding the first 2-3 new nests. So far the temp hasn't hit the 100 deg. mark but it's coming soon as you well know.
Nikkidodi - SATX
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:40 pm
Location: TX/San Antonio

Yes, how well I know! The heat was my main concern as well. Last year we had 100 degree days in early June. I will be hanging shade cloth also as I did last year. Ordered another 2,000 mealworms (used 5,000 so far this year).

Another thing that I have done is to remove the plastic caps from the gourds and placed about an 8” square piece for the shade cloth to cover the hole, rubber banding it in place. I pull the cloth out a little on opposite sides of the hole so air can flow through. When a thunderstorm or heavy rain is forecast, I return the plastic caps to the gourds.

Last summer on the really hot days, I placed a small reusable ice packs (in 2nd plastic bag) in the compartment every couple hrs to help them through the hottest part of the day. Over the winter, I installed a personal misting system on top of the houses, but have not used it yet.
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6208
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

We have four late nests at our weekend site, which is inland and gets very HOT. One with 10 day old nestlings, 3 with eggs. One already has shade added and the others will have shade panels this weekend.

Our home colony has a couple of new nests, about 10 degrees cooler than inland site, so have not shaded them, but can do it easily if we decide they need it. Takes 5 minutes if everything is prepared ahead of time.

Nikki, removing caps and covering with shade cloth will certainly cool things down. What degree of shade are you adding? - shade cloth comes in different 'strengths'
Attachments
Doesn't that look cooler?
Doesn't that look cooler?
shade 2.png (429.21 KiB) Viewed 2877 times
Nest with 10 day old young - like being on a shady, breezy porch - this location is usually breezy.  Gourd has ventilation elbow at back, too.
Nest with 10 day old young - like being on a shady, breezy porch - this location is usually breezy. Gourd has ventilation elbow at back, too.
shade 1.png (530.44 KiB) Viewed 2881 times
Nikkidodi - SATX
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:40 pm
Location: TX/San Antonio

Louise,

I use 90% shade cloth. I want to be sure the babies don't get any sun that could burn them. Here is a link to the site where I purchased a roll. http://www.amazon.com/Keystone-Fabrics- ... roduct_top
Attachments
My shade cover cap and a feeding cup for mealworms
My shade cover cap and a feeding cup for mealworms
009.jpg (80.22 KiB) Viewed 2871 times
Nikkidodi - SATX
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:40 pm
Location: TX/San Antonio

Added a photo to the post above
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