Curious Behavior

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Curious Behavior

Postby MorganW_AL » Thu May 09, 2019 1:09 pm

Along the eastern side of my property there is a power line going across a small field that I rarely see the martins use. I do see the occasional martin perching on it, but it has never been their favorite.
This morning, I noticed quite a few perched on the wire. I left for a few hours and when I got back home, there were even more on the line. Many have started flying from the line to sail just inches above the ground, brushing the tops of just sprouted soy beans. They fly back and forth and rest on the line. I have even seen several of them sitting on the ground for extended periods as well. I looked through binoculars and did not see them gathering mud.
It started raining while I was gone, and this behavior has been going for an hour or more now with tree swallows joining in. I figure it is some type of bug that has hatched, and the martins were expecting it early this morning. What they are doing appears to be feeding behavior, and I saw the same thing a few years back with it lasting nearly a full day with martins and tree swallows being extremely active.

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Re: Curious Behavior

Postby deancamp » Thu May 09, 2019 8:02 pm

That's the only thing that makes sense to me as well. I have seen them do some low feeding over the tops of the pasture grass here from time to time. I does seem they adapt to what's available.

Emil Pampell-Tx
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Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

Re: Curious Behavior

Postby Emil Pampell-Tx » Fri May 10, 2019 9:13 am

I see the same thing a couple times a year. I too think that they are feeding on groups of gnats
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Dave Duit
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Martin Colony History: In 2018, 54 pair with 202 fledged youngsters. 73 total compartments available, 48 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified trio metal house units, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit and join.

Re: Curious Behavior

Postby Dave Duit » Fri May 10, 2019 1:59 pm

Typically martins are higher in the air foragers; but they are also opportunists and will go where there are easy pickings.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.

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