30 Days Old?

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iluvbirds
Posts: 407
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 6:38 pm
Location: Kentucky/Murray

I have one gourd that the babies are 30 days old. The two houses and one of the other gourds babies fledged at about 27/28 days old. What is the average age they usually fledge? The parents don't seem to be feeding them quite as often now, so maybe they will be fledging soon. They stay at the entry hole most of the time. I really need to lower the rack, and do a nest change on one more nest of babies that are about 10/12 days old, but I guess I should wait for this one group to fledge, so I won't risk them leaving before their ready? Please advise.

Oh, I have another question. So far, the other fledglings/parents are coming back to sleep at night. Is it all right to clean out their old nests, and put fresh material in their for them, or leave as is, till they are gone?..Thanks, Pat
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.

Hi, again, Pat.

The following is a quote from the "Martin FAQ" page. Notice they say "on average from 26 to 32 days". To me, this means there could be the exceptional nest full fledging earlier or later. If you have nestlings who should have fledged, but have not - investigate. I had a bunch of nestlings stuck in a nest because the entrance had become blocked with mud and poop mixed with scattered nesting material from the activity of the young. Their parents could and did continue feeding them - but they couldn't get out. I cleared the pathway and within 30 minutes they were outta there!
36. How long do baby martins stay in the nest before they are ready to fly? Martins stay in the nest on average from 26 to 32 days. The parents will often bring their recently fledged young back to roost in their nests for at least a few days, and sometimes for as long as 2 weeks..
As for cleaning out the old nesting material and freshening it up - go for it. They will all appreciate a clean place to sleep. However, it is not necessary unless mites are present. Frequently, I will just top off the old nest with some new pine needles.
Sincerely,
Laverne
iluvbirds
Posts: 407
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 6:38 pm
Location: Kentucky/Murray

Hi Laverne! Thanks for the response. I don't think anything is wrong with the entry, because they stick their necks out and look around.... :)... If they are not out by tomorrow, I'm going to lower the rack, and check things out. It will probably spook them, but surely they can fly by now... :) ..... I'm going to go ahead and change out the other fledglings nests so they will have a clean place to sleep tonight, and however long they wish to stay.... :) ..... Pat
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.

...such hospitality... :lol:

If you don't want to cause them to fledge prematurely (and I wouldn't) use the old sock with a string tied around it routine. It is better to let them fledge when their parents are prepared for it and instigate it. The nestlings are accustomed to riding up and down on the pole - it would be you getting too close or actually touching them that would cause the freak out. So, lower the housing, stick the sock in the entrance hole and then just move it around so you can do a visual of the entrance hole. Leave the sock in place while you raise the housing back up - then gently pull the sock by the string. I'll bet they don't even squawk...

Let us know how it goes.
Sincerely,
Laverne
John Miller
Posts: 4768
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Iluvbirds

If you do lower to check out late fledglings, do it when the parents are around -- in case one flies out. I've read here that the parent birds need to see the birds fly out so they can ID them and continue to look after them for awhile. So - maybe walk over to the pole when you see an adult at the entrace. It'll cause a commotion -- but that could be best way.

John Miller,
St. Louis, Mo
iluvbirds
Posts: 407
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 6:38 pm
Location: Kentucky/Murray

Hi Laverne and John! Welp, the little rascals fledged this morning, and I didn't even get to see them. I had gone to town, and when I got back they had flown the coop...LOL.... I lowered the gourd rack and did a nest change on the last nest of my babies. Here's a picture of them. Thanks for your replies.... :grin: ..... Pat
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Matt F.
Posts: 3894
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

Great photo Pat!
They don't get much more perfect than that!
iluvbirds
Posts: 407
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 6:38 pm
Location: Kentucky/Murray

Thanks Matt! :grin: ....Pat
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.

Yep... beautiful, healthy, well fed, Purple Martin nestlings.

Priceless...
Sincerely,
Laverne
Guest

Wow, Pat, they look like they don't miss a meal! :wink: That's very nice to see that they are so healthy. Sorry you missed seeing the other brood fledge, but I'm sure they're just fine.
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