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I saw one baby on the ground yesterday morning. Then about an hour later there were 2 more. They stayed on the grass all day. (I put up my cat). Late in the afternoon we let the pole down and discovered which gourd they had jumped from...and why. Mites.

I put the young in another gourd with new nesting material and placed that gourd in the same location on the rack and door in the right direction. Parents did not come back all evening (or other adults for that matter).

This morning about 9 a.m. the parents returned and seem to be feeding their young. Hope these young survive and return next year when I plan on using sevin like others have suggested. Bill Sowter
Posts: 2216
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:58 pm
Location: TX/Alvin
Martin Colony History: Erected 1st house in 1997. Birds were checking it out before Mike got down from the ladder. Six cavities had a little colony 1st year. Grown to 88 cavities all gourds with near 100% occupancy. Most important factor for success is rain = bugs.

Great save, Bill!

They should be fine, now that their parents are feeding them again. If anybody else is reading this - please don't leave little jumpers on the ground. They will not survive on the ground - they cannot fly and their parents will not land on the ground to feed them. The parents of these nestlings were not staying the night in this gourds because of the mites!

Bill, you did exactly the same thing I did this season when I discovered a nest full of mites and three of the five young from this nest on the ground. It is a fast, efficient method for changing a nest.

Enjoy the rest of your season. Let us know when they truly fledge... :grin:
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2005 1:25 pm
Martin Colony History: Established colony in 1990

Please use Sevin dust now before more babies jump. It will not hurt them, just gets rid of the mites that will. Get a teaspoon and sprinkle some around the edges of the nest and at the entrance where the parents can get a little on their feet and feathers to "dust" the nest. That should stop the jumpers.

Thanks I will use the sevin ASAP. Do sparrows bring in mites? I have not had a problem with them before so I was unprepared. Bill
Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6743
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)
Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

fatboy, I do think that sparrows bring in mites. One year I had a sparrow in one gourd. When I took the gourds down, the gourds beside the sparrow gourd all had mites. No other gourds had mites.

I think what happens is the mites are quickly spread to all the compartments because the crawl on the outside of the gourds, on the gourd rack, on the hanging wires. Any time that a martin lands, they help spread the mites.

Previously I waited for mites before I use sevin because I basically do not like chemicals, but I changed my mind after this year, I will definitely use sevin as a preventive measure from now on. I feel so sorry for those poor little babies, I will not let them suffer any more.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
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