My Last Three August Late Purple Martin Broods Have Finally Fledged

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Steve Kroenke
Posts: 4221
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:49 pm
Location: Louisiana/Logansport

My Last Three August Late Purple Martin Broods Have Finally Fledged

Postby Steve Kroenke » Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:37 pm

My Last Three August Late Purple Martin Broods Have Finally Fledged

This has been an unusual purple martin season relative to late nesting pairs in my northwest Louisiana colony. I had a number of martins that fledged their young in late July and even three broods leave during the first week of August. I have never before had three broods of August babies before!

In all three of the late August broods, the males abandoned their families about week or more before the young fledged. There were two ASY males and one SY male. The females of the three broods were responsible mothers and continued to feed and care for their young after their mates first slowed down their feedings and then finally quit for good. I have seen this behavior by the males a number of times in late nesting martins.

The urge for martins to migrate becomes strong as the season progresses and late nesting martins can be impacted by this instinct. Since the females lay and incubate the eggs and brood the small babies, the mothers may be more bonded to their young than the fathers. I have never seen a late nesting female abandon her babies though she may reduce her feedings. Most late nesting males I have observed have never been as reliable in feeding their babies as their mates and have on a number of occasions deserted their families and the females went solo.

These late nesting mothers have been bringing their babies back to roost in the evenings for the last few nights. One female that fledged her young during the last week in July has brought her young back to roost in their gourd for over a week.

The last brood fledged today August 5, 2019 and it will be interesting to see if this mother brings her young home to roost this evening.

Several years ago Bob, my next door neighbor, had a late nesting female martin continue to bring her babies back to their gourd until around August 13 I believe! That was the latest we have ever had martins in either of our two personal colonies.
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300+ pairs of martins each season

brent
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Re: My Last Three August Late Purple Martin Broods Have Finally Fledged

Postby brent » Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:04 pm

That is interesting since I, too, experienced a late brood. All the other birds had left and I still had one family up until mid July. It was nice, though, to have them around. I sure miss them now.

Hanover Bill
Posts: 583
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 3:10 pm
Location: Pennsylvania/Hanover Township
Martin Colony History: 2009 & 10 - 0
2011 & 12 - Visitors
2013 - 2 pr. fledged 9
2014 - 3 pr. fledged 13
2015 - 7 pr. fledged 27
2016 - 15 pr. fledged 72

Re: My Last Three August Late Purple Martin Broods Have Finally Fledged

Postby Hanover Bill » Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:22 am

I'm a long way from Louisiana here in Western Pa. but I also have had a couple of later than normal nests and fledges. I got confused on my nest checks but I assume they are re-nests. I still have two to go. All of my others fledged weeks ago. Whatever the reason for these late nests it seems to be industry wide so to speak.

Hanover Bill.
2009 & 10 - 0
2011 & 12 - Visitors
2013 - 2 pr. fledged 9
2014 - 3 pr. fledged 13
2015 - 7 pr. fledged 27
2016 - 15 pr. fledged 72

Steve Kroenke
Posts: 4221
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:49 pm
Location: Louisiana/Logansport

Re: My Last Three August Late Purple Martin Broods Have Finally Fledged

Postby Steve Kroenke » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:39 am

I've talked with other landlords about "late nesting martins", too! I don't know if this is a widespread phenomenon but other colonies have experienced it.

Unusual season for us regarding late nesting martins. Some of these may have been re-nests and others a few very rare cases of double broods. I had at least 4 ASY pairs that had fledged young in mid June. Within a week or so the possibly same ASY pairs were going into the nesting mode again and all had late broods, including two that fledged another possible brood the first week in August.

Last evening, August 6 my last late nesting mother mother martin brought her 3 fledglings back to roost in their Troyer Vertical gourd. This morning she got them all out! I wonder if she will bring them back again this evening!
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300+ pairs of martins each season

Chris B
Posts: 358
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:10 pm
Location: AL/Toney

Re: My Last Three August Late Purple Martin Broods Have Finally Fledged

Postby Chris B » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:57 am

I have 4 racks up in pairs. The rack closer to my front porch still has little noses sticking out of one of the gourds! That pair attracts birds during the day so I suspect a roost in the area. The biggest problem is the bugs are gone except for large dragonflys. I do see a few hollowed out dragonfly carcasses on the ground and there are adults servicing these late bloomers.

I hope these late arrivals make it. Strange year but at the peak there were a whole lot of birds flying around so it worked out.
2014 8 gourds, 3 pairs nested. Ended w/ 24 total
2015 24 gourds, 22 nests. Lotsa birds!
2016 24 gourds and good activity.
2017 32 SREH gourds. Great activity.
2018 40 SREH gourds. Good finish despite big storm damage. No more dangling gourds.
2019 56+ SREH gourds, all on 3/8 rods.

Steve Kroenke
Posts: 4221
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:49 pm
Location: Louisiana/Logansport

Re: My Last Three August Late Purple Martin Broods Have Finally Fledged

Postby Steve Kroenke » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:06 pm

Chris,

As long as the parents are still there and feeding the babies, they should make it. In my last cases, all the males deserted their families, but the females did not and fledged the young by themselves.

Last evening, August 7, the last late mother again brought her three fledglings back to roost but she did not stay around at all. She just landed on the gourd rack for a minute or so and then left her three youngsters. At least two of them got back in their gourd while the other one I believe roosted alone in another gourd. All three of youngsters left early this morning.

I wonder if they will return this evening and will mother be with them!
PMCA Member
300+ pairs of martins each season

Chris B
Posts: 358
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:10 pm
Location: AL/Toney

Re: My Last Three August Late Purple Martin Broods Have Finally Fledged

Postby Chris B » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:16 pm

My "anchor babies" fledged a couple days after I posted. All I get now are visitors passing thru.

Overall a good season and NO MORE death dangling porch gourds!
2014 8 gourds, 3 pairs nested. Ended w/ 24 total
2015 24 gourds, 22 nests. Lotsa birds!
2016 24 gourds and good activity.
2017 32 SREH gourds. Great activity.
2018 40 SREH gourds. Good finish despite big storm damage. No more dangling gourds.
2019 56+ SREH gourds, all on 3/8 rods.


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