Are my colony starter eggs abandoned and why?

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John Kendall
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2005 3:36 pm
Location: IN/Valparaiso

This is my fourth year of trying, and until a day or two ago, everything was going well. I had one pair of first year birds with 5 eggs in a natural gourd, and some additional subbie males that had hung around throughout all of June,still trying to bring a female back to my house and 4 natural gourds.
The last two or three mornings were very quiet. Thought I saw both parents yesterday, and there was nest activity, but, today, nothing all morning. Beginning to think nest is abandoned or female is dead.
A nest check yesterday noon (no parents around) showed we still had 5 eggs and the entire clutch was observed first on June 18, 20 days ago, making the oldest egg as old as perhaps 24-25 days! If we assume that the youngest egg was laid June 18, it is at least 20 days old.

The other subbie males still were coming around after the fourth of July fireworks on our lake, also, a couple of times per day. Both parents seemed to have survived the firweorks, too and were still on the nest monday. ANY THOUGHTS OR IDEAS?
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.

Hello JK. I am truly sorry for the disappointing loss.

Most likely - this pair of young SY birds were not fertile - or perhaps immature female hormones didn't force her to incubate as she should have and so the nest failed. This happens all the time to SYs.

Here's the UP side! Just because their eggs didn't hatch - doesn't mean they won't be back. I believe they will come back next season to this site where nothing destroyed their little nest and try again. Next season they will succeed!! :wink:

They have probably moved on to the local Premigratory Roost and have Brazil in their sites...
Posts: 2174
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2003 3:06 am
Location: Grand Prairie,Tx

Like Laverne, I also am sorry for your loss, it's one of the heartaches of being a PM Landlord ,but don't give up please be ready, cause Next year will be better than ever and you will have Martins so it's up to you to help them......Hang in there!!!!!!!! and as always................
Pictures Taken with Canon Rebel XT Digital using a Sigma 50-500 Long Lens.

Wishing everyone a Great Martin Year
Happy Martining for 2020 to everyone,

John Kendall
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2005 3:36 pm
Location: IN/Valparaiso

In desparation, I got out the cd player and put it back into service, this time, playing the daytime chatter.

Within 3 minutes, my trio of ASY pair plus their "buddie" male ASY showed , who had built a nest himself in another gourd a month ago, but, no female alas.

So, they are still in the area, and she was not taken by the GH owl we heard, which is unusual in this lake area. Any way, she is still alive, and somehow, the birds must be able to figure out that the eggs are infertile. HOW DO THEY KNOW?
WE had good progress this year, and, with the care they get here, I think that they will be back. w e had as many as 5 ASY males hanging around, so the dearth of females will hopefully balance out next year.
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