Fledglings have raspy call

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John Miller
Posts: 4758
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Fledglings have raspy call

Postby John Miller » Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:15 pm

Hi Folks

This morning on my round through Forest Park, St. Louis, I spotted a group of four to five fledglings high in an elm on dead branches, with an ASY male coming and going. I always enjoy seeing fledglings flying around the park in July-August.

After I spotted them, I hurried on down to our park aluminum house that has one set of five babies, now about 26 days old, but they were still there, peeking out. Other babies in the house are younger, so the fledglings in the tree must have been reared outside the park.

Just wanted to offer a tip to listen for your fledgings in your area after they leave the boxes. I think they often gather a mile or two away. The fledglings have a raspy chirp that I usually hear first and then spot a family flying over head or perched in tree branches.

John Miller,
St. Louis, Mo

Laverne
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.

Postby Laverne » Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:27 pm

...unless it turns out to be a Mockingbird!!!

Hi, John.

I agree, the recently fledged young have a distinctive raspy "chew-chew". I think they begin to sound more like their parents as they age, and their vocabulary grows, too.

We had a hawk move through the area, yesterday, and I saw several fledglings making the alarm call. Have you ever noticed how their wings grow from rounded on the tips to a sharp point like their parents?
Sincerely,
Laverne

John Miller
Posts: 4758
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Postby John Miller » Tue Jul 05, 2005 1:08 pm

Hi Laverne

I'll try to look more closely at their wings. The very large park provides a unqiue opportunity to spot fledglings, as I jog (more slowly every year) through.

I don't know if mockingbirds imitate fledglings -- probably. They love to imitate adult martins and drive me crazy very early in spring. I swear I even heard one imitating a cell phone recently...was bound to happen.

John Miller

Laverne
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.

Postby Laverne » Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:50 pm

yeah, cell phones and house phones ringing, car horns tooting, cats meowing, and most recently I have heard our resident male mocker immitating the sound made by his own young. They and their mother disappeared one night. No feathers, no disturbed nest, nothing... I'm thinking a snake got them. I'd say it might have been a cat, but this nest is in the middle of a wild Texas rose (if you've never seen one - the thorns will rip a hole in your blue jeans - the bush scares me!) It was their second nest. The first one was successful with three big "babies" flying around after Momma and Daddy peeping and flapping for food. They've all moved on to new territories now. Everybody but Daddy. He's about to drive us crazy with his mate attracting serenade. How many broods do Mockingbirds have each season, anyway?
Sincerely,
Laverne

John Atteberry

Hey John Miller!

Postby John Atteberry » Tue Jul 05, 2005 10:04 pm

I probably asked you this before but can't remember! What part of St. Louis do you live? Can't be to far from the park though since your out jogging! Why couldn't you done this a year ago when I lived there, so I could of helped you out! Ha!! Thanks John!

John Miller
Posts: 4758
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Postby John Miller » Wed Jul 06, 2005 9:43 am

John

I live in St. Louis County in Brentwood, about four miles from Forest Park in St. Louis city. I drive over to jog or just check on the martins.

Putting up housing in a large public park has been the most rewarding martin effort I can imagine -- gets me out of my house at least once a day (I'm self employed at home) and you get to share in the colony's progress with many folks.

John Miller,
St. Louis, Mo


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