My season

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~Ray~Gingerich
Posts: 2122
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Delaware/Dover

My purple martin season started out great, martins were everywhere

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Then the weather problems started cold nights, several periods of multiple rainy days, and cold days with very windy weather. I did a lot of feeding, here's my son helping out
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There should have been a lot of hanky panky goiing on but here is what the males were doing....hatch rate was down
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Still, with all the bad conditions some martins did persevere
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I had visitors to my site, some young
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and some older
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Now my season is about over, martins don't fill the sky like they once did but it's nice to have a few linger
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~Ray~ Gingerich
1999 1pair, 2006 2 pair, 2008 2 pair,
2009 23 pair, 2010 39 pair, 2011 67 pair,
2012 115 pair, 2013 160 pair,
2014 152 pair, 2015 174 pair, 2016 178 pair
2017 187 pair, 2018 200 pair, 2019 171pair
2020 233 pair
taxidermy lady
Posts: 2989
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:21 am
Location: IL/Ellis Grove
Martin Colony History: Started trying to attract purple martins in 2012! It's finally happened in 2017! 5 years!!! ASY male and SY female came May 1st, fledged 5 babies!

Very nice Ray! Glad your season ended well! Thanks for sharing your pictures! :grin: :grin:
Sharon from southern Illinois
Hanover Bill
Posts: 616
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 3:10 pm
Location: Pennsylvania/Hanover Township
Martin Colony History: 2009 & 10 - 0
2011 & 12 - Visitors
2013 - 2 pr. fledged 9
2014 - 3 pr. fledged 13
2015 - 7 pr. fledged 27
2016 - 15 pr. fledged 72

Great photos Ray. I also am cherishing those last few evenings while a few Martins are still returning to the housing. Like you, and every Martin Landlord, I am sure going to miss them when they are gone for the season.

Lots of maintenance and upkeep to get busy on for next year, so that will keep us busy.

Thanks for posting the photos.

Hanover Bill.
2009 & 10 - 0
2011 & 12 - Visitors
2013 - 2 pr. fledged 9
2014 - 3 pr. fledged 13
2015 - 7 pr. fledged 27
2016 - 15 pr. fledged 72
Cheryl S
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:26 pm
Location: OK/Sperry/Skiatook area
Martin Colony History: 2013 - 1 ASY pair
2014 - 18 pair
2015 - 45 pair
2016 - 82 pair

Great story telling with pictures. Thanks for sharing.
PMCA member
98 cavities offered for 2016 -- 70 are gourds and 28 are in houses.
ToyinPA
Posts: 2131
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:07 pm
Location: PA/Avis
Martin Colony History: The 1972 St. Agnes flood wiped out all the Martins in my area. One day, in 1997-98, 5 or 6 Martins landed on the power wires crossing my back yard. I had no house for them. They kept coming back day after day. We got a martin house a few weeks later & they have been coming back every year since. I average 12-15 pair per year.

Great photos Ray. Thanks.

I still have 1 nest of 4 chicks to fledge yet. They hatched July 18th, so they'll be here a few weeks yet.

I still have another nest/family of 4 chicks/2 parents that are still coming in that fledged a couple weeks ago. One chick has 1 eye is is doing well. There's also a few SY's coming in & a few other chicks coming in off & on. Those chicks seem to be hanging out with a SY Male, no sign of their parents. I counted 25 Martins 3 days ago. The amount that come in varies day to day, night to night. Some days it's 8-10 other days 25.

After a bad season, that caused a lot of dehydration/death in chicks, this last nest of chicks are very fat, I mean VERY FAT. Since the rains have let up a bit this pair has been able to find plenty of dragonflies to feed their chicks, unlike the rest of my colony. So they should do well.

I flipped over 6000 crickets to my small colony this season so far. Even then it wasn't enough to keep them going & chicks well fed. 65 eggs laid- 28 bad due to the cold weather. 37 eggs hatched - I lost 21 out of 37 chicks.

My season got extened due to a late nest, so I'm also enjoying the last few weeks.

The Martins got slammed this year, especially in the Northern states. I'm hoping next season is better, especially weather wise.

Toy in PA
PMCA Member
~Ray~Gingerich
Posts: 2122
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Delaware/Dover

Thanks for the comments, I'm glad everyone likes the photos

Toy, my last nest was hatched in the same time frame, either the 17th or 18th of July they are doing good so far.

This is the first year I have had a major weather impact at my colony so that was a new experience for me.
~Ray~ Gingerich
1999 1pair, 2006 2 pair, 2008 2 pair,
2009 23 pair, 2010 39 pair, 2011 67 pair,
2012 115 pair, 2013 160 pair,
2014 152 pair, 2015 174 pair, 2016 178 pair
2017 187 pair, 2018 200 pair, 2019 171pair
2020 233 pair
Matt F.
Posts: 3903
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

Great photos Ray!
That is so awesome that you get other folks, young and old, involved with nest checking.
You sometimes hear military forces talk about a huge part of a successful mission, is winning the "hearts and minds" of the folks in the areas they're deployed to.
I use that as an analogy to our situation as Martin landlords, and being successful at spreading the word, and getting folks interested in Martins - essentially getting the Martins they're exposed to, to win their hearts and minds, making them Martin fans, and hopefully wonderful future landlords.
Great work Ray!
You are a wonderful ambassador for the Martins!
Last edited by Matt F. on Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
ToyinPA
Posts: 2131
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:07 pm
Location: PA/Avis
Martin Colony History: The 1972 St. Agnes flood wiped out all the Martins in my area. One day, in 1997-98, 5 or 6 Martins landed on the power wires crossing my back yard. I had no house for them. They kept coming back day after day. We got a martin house a few weeks later & they have been coming back every year since. I average 12-15 pair per year.

Ray:

We had a cold/wet summer last year here in central PA too. I flipped a lot of crickets & hand fed many last year as well. It's not easy keeping the chicks alive when the parents can not find insects.

I do not remember a year as bad as this one has been tho. Almost no insects other than flies. We had no June bugs, no Mayflies, no flying ants, gnats, hardly any bees or wasps & not even a worms on the roads or sidewalks after rain. No insects under street lights after dark. And no insect sounds after dark. I had Robins begging for crickets right along with the Martins every night. It's only been in the last 2 weeks that we finally got some insects & those that make the night sounds have come to life. It's been strange.

In past summers we were overrun with insects. I wonder if it's Global Warming, pollution, pesitcides or a combo of all 3 causing this lack of insects. Without the birds & bees our plant is doomed. I sure hope this turns around & is better next year.

The hardest part is counting your losses, but I have to try to stay positive & say if these last 4 chicks all fledge I'll have 1(one) more than last years counts :).

Toy in PA
PMCA Member
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.

Beautiful photos Ray, as always! I especially love that last one at sunset. I have been enjoying 50 to 60 birds each morning until the last week. Most have left now but still have about 10 or so each day as I still have one gourd nest to fledge. It has been a wonderful martin season for us. :grin:
Don~Northern Neck of Virginia-PMCA Member
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