Unusual arrival of West Virginia martin

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Sue P
Posts: 395
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:10 pm
Location: Morgantown, WV

Tuesday night I didn't sleep well. I saw where martins were in WV and PA, and even though mine don't arrive until around April 1st, I felt I needed to get the housing up soon. It was raining but warm yesterday (Wednesday) morning, so I put up the 4 gourd rack, since that is the one the first martins normally arrive at. At one point in the afternoon I thought I heard a martin high in the sky, but didn't hear it again. As we pulled out of the garage to go to church last night I glanced at the gourd rack, and there was a martin. I had put duck tape over the holes to the gourds because the sparrows have been pests this spring. I knew he couldn't get in, and by the time we returned home, it was too dark to see.

When I got up this morning, I looked out, and all three of my T-14 Starling traps were sprung. When I checked them shortly thereafter, I found one trap empty, one trap with a sparrow in it and the third trap with a pair of martins in it. I released the martins --- I don't think they were too happy with my welcome, but they are flying around eating now. And the sparrow is no more.

This is the earliest our martins have ever arrived. Cold weather forecast for this weekend. I guess I'll be hauling out the frozen crickets!

Sue P
Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1919
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:35 pm
Location: Little Hocking, Oh.
Martin Colony History: 2018 Success at my Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”.
2019 Success at my home Site "Little Hocking, Ohio".

Sue P --- Great to here. I was kind of expecting your report any day now. Have a great year..

Dave
Home Site “Little Hocking, Ohio”
2010 / 2018 -- Lots of Visitors
2019 — 1 Pair, 5 Eggs, 5 Babies, 5 fledged. :wink:
2020 — 1 Pair, 4 Eggs, 4 Babies, 4 fledged. :wink:
2021 — Waiting on March 2021

Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”
2018 -- 15 Pair, 58 Eggs, 38 Hatched and 36 Fledged :wink:
2019 — 26 Pair, 128 Eggs, 99 Babies and 97 Fledged. :wink:
2020 — 30 Pair, 156 Eggs, 137 Babies and 137 Fledged. :wink:
2021 — Waiting on March 2021

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Don~VA
Posts: 391
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:01 am
Location: Virginia/King George
Martin Colony History: Had a colony many years ago which dwindled over a couple of years and then did not return. Kept trying each year for almost 20 years and finally had a small success in 2011 with two pairs nesting. Colony has grown slowly each year with 22 pairs in 2015. In 2016 my gourd rack of 18 gourds filled up so I added 4 more gourds and then put up a small rack of 6 gourds. All of those were claimed within a few days so I believe I have at least 25 pairs this year.

Glad to hear your good news Sue :) Hopefully that cold weather will only last one or two days which should not affect your martins if they feed well today. My first PM arrived this morning in east central VA. All of my gourds were stopped up so I went out and opened two of them. Hopefully he/she will be back today and have a nice dry bed for the night. Have a great season!
Don~Northern Neck of Virginia-PMCA Member
Sue P
Posts: 395
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:10 pm
Location: Morgantown, WV

Don and Dave, thank you for your good wishes, and I wish the same for you. Soon we will all be busy counting eggs!!!

Sue P
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