Purple Martin Update…July 1, 2019

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Steve Kroenke
Posts: 4342
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:49 pm
Location: Louisiana/Logansport

Purple Martin Update…July 1, 2019

Our purple martin season in northwest Louisiana is coming to an end and it has been a good one for us. I had reported in an earlier post I had attracted about 340 pairs of martins this season. Well it looks like a few more martin pairs have established themselves since that report. At least five more pairs are on eggs or have recent hatchlings: two ASY pairs and three SY pairs. So around 345 martin pairs in my colony this year. Whether those late pairs with eggs will actually complete the nesting cycle remains to be seen. Their eggs probably would not hatch until near mid-July and that would extremely rare for our colonies this late in the season.

Most of the martins have fledged their young and there are still pairs getting ready to do so. Well over a thousand martin fledglings have flown from my colony and when Bob’s, my next door neighbor, colony is factored in we probably have between 1500 and 2000 fledglings this season.

Our resident Cooper’s hawks have taken some martin fledglings and I have so far recorded at least 26 observed kills by a large mature female hawk. I am sure I will observe more kills before the season ends. All these kills have been several hundred yards AWAY from our colonies. The hawk grabs the fledglings from tree tops, off power lines and when they are flying around the area. There is NO escape when the hawk is after one! We probably lose over a 100 martin fledglings each season to Cooper’s hawks.

I hope everyone has had or is having a successful martin season in 2019!
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300+ pairs of martins each season
Spiderman
Posts: 796
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

I'm glad you had a Good Year, Steve. You have produce an amazing number of Fledglings that will return to nest all over Texas and Louisiana.

I know it is a tremendous amount of work. Preparing the nests for the Martins arrival and cleaning everything back up after they have gone. I can't imagine where you store all of those gourds for the off season.
2008 - 33 PAIR - FLEDGED 96 YOUNG
2009 - 51 PAIR - FLEDGED 166 YOUNG
2010 - 45 PAIR - FLEDGED 146 YOUNG
2011 - 33 PAIR - 128 HATCHED, 97 FLEDGED
2012 - 37 PAIR - 119 HATCHED, 101 FLEDGED
Steve Kroenke
Posts: 4342
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:49 pm
Location: Louisiana/Logansport

It is a lot of work to manage such a large purple martin colony. But the results are worth it and I will try to continue as long as I can.

Bob and I also have several satellite martin colonies in northwest Louisiana and these have had a good season so far, too. Lots of fledglings produced!

I'm already thinking about next season and some of the changes. Will be going "all gourds" in 2020!
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300+ pairs of martins each season
Donnie Hurdt MN
Posts: 1717
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 11:14 pm
Location: North Prairie, MN

Hi Steve, it is good to hear from you again! Glad all is well with all your martin colonies.
As for me and my neighbors colonies not so good this year. Numbers are down at both sites due to a late cold spring I haven't seen many martins at all at my site this year either. Two other houses that I have up are completely empty this year too. I am thinking that this years migration was hard on them too. We will see what happens next spring.
PMCA member and Martin fanatic....
2011 A pair of subbies fledged three young but none returned in 2012 :-(
2015 One Pair of subbies came and stayed a few nits but got chased away by Bluebirds and Tree swallows. :-(
2017 0ne pair of subbies nested and fledged 4 young
2018 Tree Swallows AGAIN chased away any martins that wanted to nest :evil:
2019 Same old story................ :-(
Steve Kroenke
Posts: 4342
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:49 pm
Location: Louisiana/Logansport

Donnie,
Good to hear from you, too! So sorry your martin colony and your neighbor's site are down this year. Our weather in April and May was rather cool, wet and stormy at times but the martins pulled through. I didn't notice any weather related losses. When martins migrate farther north during adverse weather conditions, no doubt the losses can be significant. We southern landlords usually don't have the weather related issues that folks farther north have. Hopefully next spring your colonies will rebound!
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300+ pairs of martins each season
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3010
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Steve
I can't remember if you've shown before or not, but do you have any pictures of your storage for all your gourds. I am assuming it is quite a site keeping all those gourds stored in the off season..... It takes me an afternoon to get my small colony down and cleaned up each winter, can't imagine what you and Bob go through.
2020 Currently 42 nest, 110 babies, 64 eggs left to hatch(6-22-20) HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair last count 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.
Steve Kroenke
Posts: 4342
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:49 pm
Location: Louisiana/Logansport

I have included two photos of how I stored my gourds one year. I actually bought a special metal building for that purpose. But as usual, when the gourds are out, other "things" start to appear in my building and now it has mainly "other things" in it! I will probably need to buy another building just for my gourds. In 2018, I put all my gourds under my carport and covered them with a tarp. Worked OK. Bob doesn't take his gourds down and store them. I lower my Trendsetters but don't store them.

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300+ pairs of martins each season
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