There are still a few snow piles in the woods and not all of the frost is out of the ground on April, 29th. 24° this morning, a hard freeze. Finally can see the light at the end of the tunnel. 65°, sunny with a strong south wind all day brought in another 10 ASY with about half being females. 21 birds here now, the same as last year on this date. I was getting concerned that the frigid weather with wind driven snow just last week took out many migrating martins.
I still have 4 of my 24 gourds plugged, as I do every year to reserve some space for SY birds. I am beginning to see a possible advantage in allowing SY birds access to breed at full colonies. With ASY martins being the first to arrive every spring and the oldest of the ASY being the very first, it is the ASY that succumb to adverse weather. With a colony consisting of all ASY martins, mortality would take out the most experienced breeders first. By allowing SY to find available cavities, there are always younger ASY returning last and possibly late enough to miss the worst weather here in Wisconsin and other northern states.
It is still early but I have hope that we will be at 100% occupancy again in 2018.
Have a good year.
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- Posts: 700
- Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:05 pm
- Location: Brooks, Wi (McGinnis Lake)
- Martin Colony History: 24 Super and Excluder Gourds on two gourd racks, all SREH. Full occupancy. My philosophy is to maximize fledge % with existing cavities rather than adding gourds to grow colony, thus providing opportunities for new colony expansion. Fledge over 100 nestlings yearly from 24 gourds. Band nestlings in cooperation with state university.
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