Eggs with no green leaves

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Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2016 1:24 pm
Location: St Johns, MI
Martin Colony History: 2015 A few Visitors
2016 1 ASY pair 4 eggs 4 Fledged
2017 ASY male returned chased off by starlings
2018 3 Pair with nestlings and an ASY male bachelor and 2 SY males around all the time

Eggs with no green leaves

Postby detioh11 » Sun May 19, 2019 6:42 pm

Hello everyone

I have 3 pair nesting. Two of them have eggs so far. My original pair that was here last year have 4 eggs so far and the third pair to show up have 1 egg. I believe the third female is a SY female. Spring was late and cool this year so the leaves have really just come out in the last 7-10 days. All three nests have no leaves in them. In previous years the pair I had always brought in a lot of green leaves. Has anyone ever experienced this. I’m 100% positive these are Martin nests and eggs FYI.

Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: MO

Re: Eggs with no green leaves

Postby deancamp » Sun May 19, 2019 9:27 pm

I have always seen green leaves. This year they are bringing them in well before egg laying started.

Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:30 pm
Location: Long Lake SD
Martin Colony History: Had 2 wooden and 1 plastic house up since 2004. Added plastic gourds to housing in June of 2015, had SY male stay for 3 weeks. Had lots of late visitors during late fall migration while playing martin chatter CD. Added more decoys and multiple styles of plastic gourds to my spread in worked - 1 pair (ASYM + SYF) fledged both young that hatched!! S & S control done studiously every year.

2017 - 4 nesting pairs, 16/17 eggs hatched and all 16 young banded and fledged. Also had 5 extra SY males and 1 SY female stay during the nesting season.

2018 - 10 nesting pairs (7 ASYM, 3 SYM & 3 ASYF, 7 SYF), 52 eggs, 46 hatched, 45 fledged, 29 banded. Two banded males from 2017 hatch returned home. One successfully nested, the other stayed a few weeks and left.

2019 - 32 nests, 160 eggs - 25 ASYM & 7 SYM. The two males banded in 2017 again returned home now in ASY plumage, and two SY females and one SY male banded in 2018 returned in 2019. 87 HY banded in 2019.

Re: Eggs with no green leaves

Postby randyM » Sun May 19, 2019 10:13 pm

Once the leaves in your area get bigger, perhaps the martins will bring some leaves to their nests. It has been extraordinarily wet and cold in my area. Over the past 22 days temperatures have only been above 50 degrees 13 times, with rain or snow on 11 of the 22 days. The trees around here have few if any of their leaf buds open. My colony has 7 nests so far, none with eggs yet. I've seen a few martins in the tree tops pulling at the buds, but don't come away with anything. I hope it warms up soon, I checked my tree swallow boxes and had 3 nests with 3 eggs each, but I also found 6 dead swallows in different boxes. No trauma to any of them, just razor breasted. They must have starved during one of the two 4 day cold and rainy spells we had in the past two weeks. I trap and dispose of HS and Starlings, so very unlikely any were killed by these pests. I also found 2 dead barn swallows in one of my out apparent injuries to these birds either. I wonder if this cold and lack of feeding opportunities will result in smaller clutches for martins and swallows in my area this spring?

Dave Duit
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Location: state:Iowa / town:Nevada
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: Eggs with no green leaves

Postby Dave Duit » Mon May 20, 2019 7:43 am

The only time see a sparse nest is when there are SY pairs. SY pairs sometimes have poorly built nests and only an egg or two.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.

Posts: 359
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:26 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
Martin Colony History: ................
2019: 11 pairs
2018: 11 pairs - 43 fledged
2017: 4 pairs - 17 fledged

Re: Eggs with no green leaves

Postby -=DKC=- » Mon May 20, 2019 10:14 am

I've seen a few nests with eggs and no green leaves.

I fairly regularly see nests with eggs in which green leaves are added after egg laying begins.

I haven't been paying attention to the age of the birds using or not using green leaves.
"If at first you don't succeed, keep on suckin' till you do succeed." - Curly Howard

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