Concern in Western Pa. ????

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Hanover Bill
Posts: 608
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

I am entering my fifth year as a successful Martin Landlord, after four years of unsuccessful trying. My colony has grown from 2 pair and 9 fledged in 2013 to 15 pair and 72 fledged last season. I was expecting big numbers this year considering the steady growth, but as of now I have just 2 ASY males at the site, they have been here since Apr. 1st, but I have had no new arrivals since then. I see some others expressing concerns about the slow migration this year, but it seems to me we may be dealing with something more ominous than just a slow migration.

I would be interested to hear from others that are in a similar situation to myself, and get some opinions on what may be the cause.

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
Ed Pace
Posts: 668
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:31 pm
Location: NY/Jamestown

Hi Bill, here we go again ,my birds are down also but then again they were last year at this time. It seems as though every time I stick my neck out and say I'm having a bad year I wind up with a very good year at the end . The thing that is different for me this year is my lack of barn swallows. Barn swallows fly as high as the Martin's too sometimes but many of the times they are down near ground level feeding low across the swamps and wet marshy areas. These are the places were mosquitoes are most frequent, and last year we had the problem with the Zika virus .We all know that they sprayed many areas last year and killed many birds because of it. Could that sprying have anything to do with the lack of our Martin's and barn swallows, who knows. I have never heard on what they did down in south America this last winter to control the virus where it first became prevalent. Well that's my two cents, now watch all the Martin's flock in and make a fool of me, if that's what it takes ,that's OK. Ed.
ToyinPA
Posts: 2126
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.

Bill:
Looking at my records from the last 3 years...I got first arrivals the 31st of March to April 10th. Then pretty much no new arrivals until the last week of April. The bulk of them arriving from April 25th on.

I would expect to see a lot arriving over the next 2-3 weeks. If not, then I'd be worried something happened to them, over winter.

Toy in PA
PMCA Member
JoeD
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:49 pm
Location: MD/Westminster

Hi Bill: Same thing here in northern Maryland. I have an established colony of
35-40 pair each year for the past 30 years. Last year was great, no issues. So far this year I have about
five pair back, way below normal. I usually have at least 20 to 25 pair back by now.
The few birds that are back are not acting normally either. Over the years almost all my ASY birds are
here by May 1st. So I have a lot of catching up to do in the next 11 days. Hopefully all are concerns
will evaporate over the next several weeks and the flood gates will open. It appears that the reports
from the southern states indicate normal migration pattern and numbers which bodes well for us
eventually.
catoscar
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2016 6:53 pm
Location: Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada
Martin Colony History: 10 Year landlord. Currently have 4 Trio houses and 12 Troyer gourds.

I have been a successful landlord in Southern Ontario Canada for the past 10 years. Last year my scouts came the earliest ever on April 3rd. This year however they have come the latest ever and that was on April 15th and only 3 ASY to date have shown up (2 male and 1 female). Normally in the years past I have had many more by now. Reading the boards I don't know if its just a slow migration year or something has changed for the bad. Hopefully its weather related and just a slower migration year. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Dave W
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:31 pm
Location: Oregon/WI

Same thing here Bill. My first bird this year, an ASY female hung out alone for a week, then was joined by an ASY pair. Now the 2 females are nest building with 1 ASY male around, but I normally would have a dozen or more birds building the colony at this point. The normal flock of 15 to 20 barn swallows now numbers 4 or 5 birds. I haven't seen a martin scout at my public colony 10 miles away- this colony has had a steady 10-12 breeding pairs for the past 5 plus years. Also conspicuously absent are Kestrels which nest on my land. I saw a few males claiming nest boxes 3 weeks ago but nothing since- they seem to have disappeared. Very strange.
2016- 10 pair
2015-9 pair
2014-4 pair and a bluebird brood
2013- 9 pair
2012- 7 pairs - fledged 39 plus a bluebird brood in a gourd;
2011- 3 pairs - fledged 13 young:
sugarcreek
Posts: 215
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:43 am
Location: Sugarcreek, Ohio
Martin Colony History: 2016 First Yr.

So have any more come in for you ?

Thanks
2016 - 1st Yr. 14 Compartments 4 Active Nests 9 fledged, 2.25 Fledged per Active Nest
2017 - 2nd Yr. 36 Compartments 18 Active Nests 65 Fledged, 3.61 Fledged per Active Nest
2018 - 3rd Yr. 54 Compartments 43 Active Nests 169 Fledged, 3.93 Fledged per Active Nest
2019 - 4th Yr. 108 Compartments 67 Active Nests 209 Fledged, 3.12 Fledged per Active Nest
2020 - 5th Yr. 108 Compartments ?
ToyinPA
Posts: 2126
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.

I'm central PA. I got a new ASY Female yesterday. Count is now 6. 3 ASY Males, 3 ASY Females. I am down 4 as of this date last year.

Toy in PA
PMCA Member
Insectivore Villa
Posts: 131
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:55 pm
Location: Blenheim, Ontario

Kind of slow as far as arrivals go here in extreme southern Ontario as well. Last year at this time, 30 plus individuals flying everywhere, lots of activity. As of last night when the heavy rain finally stopped, I had 4 ASY females with 4 very protective ASY male friends, and two lone ASY males. They ate some eggs and a few crickets and all looked quite well. Weather should be taking a turn for the better going into next week, so I do expect (translated into "hope") for an onslaught of the other 30 plus pairs I seem to be missing. On a brighter note, it seems that "10" is the magic number to keep my starlings and sparrows thinking twice before moving in on the many empty (but plugged) rooms. Good thing too, the shoulder can use a break from the guard duty/patrolling with the 20 gauge.
Here to all the best to all the others that are waiting patiently out there.
Henry W.
2015, 28 pair, 102 fledged
2016, 39 pair, 154 fledged
2017, 44 pair, 164 fledged
2018, 68 pair, 218 fledged
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