Hand Warmers

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
edgar w. rice
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:42 pm
Location: grandview texas

removed 3 dead martins yesterday. have about a dozen or so this morning. do hope winter is over
rrmartins
Posts: 1435
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

So sorry to hear that, big wave will be coming soon.
2020
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 648
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: So. Central TX
Martin Colony History: All Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

I know you’re relieved they returned. We found a female on the ground alive but starving yesterday morning. We fed her and she readily took the food but couldn’t fly. She is with a rehabber now.
rrmartins
Posts: 1435
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

We lost four one year, was hard to handle. Glad you saved one. Lots of birds coming soon. We can only do so much. Hope you have a banner year!!
2020
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
Doug Martin - PA
Posts: 1936
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:47 am
Location: Pennsylvania/Fombell
Martin Colony History: First pair in 2009 after 28 years of trying. 3 pairs 2010, 17 pairs 2011 and 35-45 pairs since. Many additional colonies are now springing up around mine in an area once completely void of Martins. I offer 50 compartments at my site consisting of primarily Excluder II gourds on Gemini racks. Also a wooden T-14. I utilize electric fence type predator guards on the base of the poles. Supplemental feeding is crucial in maintaining my colony. I platform feed throughout the season as needed. My site tends to be a stop over point for additional birds as they migrate further north.

Purple Martins don’t freeze when it gets cold. They simply starve to death from no food.

I have brought birds through weeks of temperatures in the teens for highs and zero and single digits for lows.

Your efforts are appreciated by the birds however. You are best off gearing your efforts towards feeding them not trying to heat them. Many times trained birds from the north are in with those birds and they know how to eat tossed crickets and eat from platforms. The others will quickly follow.

I have also used hand warmers as well. But I have seen them change gourds once I placed one in at times.

These birds are adaptive and intelligent with a strong will to survive bad weather. Try making an underhand throwing motion with your arm or a tossing motion and see if any come to you. Us folks in the north use that regularly to ask if they want fed. My birds come right to me right away when I do that and they are hungry.

Warmer weather is here now but cold patterns are tough to break.

Doug
Supplemental feeding plays a major role in western Pennsylvania. Finally got my 1st pair in 2009 after 28 years of effort. 3 pairs in 2010. 17 pairs in 2011. 35 pairs and 150 young in 2012 & 2013. Plus a new 22 pair colony right down the road from me.
Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 648
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: So. Central TX
Martin Colony History: All Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

Doug, I understand about flipping crickets or whatever food you use as we have done that in the past. But what about when they are staying in their gourds or housing because of below freezing temps Will they come out on their own or do you flush them out first?
rrmartins
Posts: 1435
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

Went to bed with three, woke up and got six now!!!
2020
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 648
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: So. Central TX
Martin Colony History: All Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

Rrmartins, we have some new ones as well. I watched them out feeding then they all came in. Right now it’s raining 😟.
rrmartins
Posts: 1435
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

Rains great for bugs hatching, lots of food will be available. I think we’ll both have a GREAT year!!!
Last edited by rrmartins on Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2020
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
rrmartins
Posts: 1435
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

Great day, now we have ten!!!
2020
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
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