We’re did they go

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steve r
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 8:16 am
Location: Antioch/Plant City Fla

We’re did they go

Postby steve r » Sun Feb 16, 2020 6:47 pm

I had a lone female in January. Last Saturday there were 4 flying around but never landed. Now nothing seems like they have left. I’ve been hosting for many years and never have this happen before. Not sure what is going on gourds have been cleaned pine stray in them some freshly painted maybe that’s the problem.

Looks like I’m starting all over with the Dawn song.

flyin-lowe
Posts: 2746
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Re: We’re did they go

Postby flyin-lowe » Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:08 pm

How many pair did you have last year? There could be many explanations for your situation.
2020 (HOSP Count 2)
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 r
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 8:16 am
Location: Antioch/Plant City Fla

Re: We’re did they go

Postby steve r » Mon Feb 17, 2020 12:46 am

Last year 24 pair the year before 32 pair. That’s what’s so puzzling. Last year I did have a Cooper’s hawk that was hitting them pretty hard.

deancamp
Posts: 255
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Re: We’re did they go

Postby deancamp » Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:50 am

That is a big drop in numbers from the year before to last year. What changed between those 2 years? I have noticed when the first ones come back they often don't spend much time at the housing, is it possible they are slipping in and out without you noticing. That does seem like a long time for that to be happening though.

flyin-lowe
Posts: 2746
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Re: We’re did they go

Postby flyin-lowe » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:36 am

I would think that it would be unlikely that a single coopers hawk could get a colony of that size to completely abandon your site. It's possible the ones you saw last weekend were just passing through and not from your colony.
A lot of times I have my first returning martins stop in for a day or so and then I don't see them for several days then they all come back and stay from there on out. I know several other people on this forum who experience the same thing, they show up then disappear and then show back up. Keep us posted, I myself don't remember of hearing of a colony that size abandoning their site without some major catastrophe. I am curious to see if you end up getting more arrivals in the next week or so.
2020 (HOSP Count 2)
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 r
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 8:16 am
Location: Antioch/Plant City Fla

Re: We’re did they go

Postby steve r » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:51 pm

Well gosh darn it I post on here, dig out the dawn song CD and a male shows up tonight. He circled for 30 mins then was joined by a female. Then went in separate gourds to spend the night. All I had to do was threaten them :grin:

deancamp
Posts: 255
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Re: We’re did they go

Postby deancamp » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:48 pm

Good news Steve! Whatever it takes, you should've done it 2 weeks ago and saved yourself a lot of agony. :)

steve r
Posts: 349
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 8:16 am
Location: Antioch/Plant City Fla

Re: We’re did they go

Postby steve r » Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:34 pm

Well that pair seems to have moved on. Not sure what is going on. I did pull a blue bird nest out of one of my gourds today. It’s very troubling to go from so many pairs to nothing. I’ve even had years when I’m the first to report birds returning.

Brad Biddle
Posts: 404
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: We’re did they go

Postby Brad Biddle » Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:54 pm

Well that pair seems to have moved on. Not sure what is going on. I did pull a blue bird nest out of one of my gourds today. It’s very troubling to go from so many pairs to nothing. I’ve even had years when I’m the first to report birds returning.
I'm usually one of the first in NE AL to report returning Martins too, but none yet so far. I know my colony had declined some in 17 and 18. Starlings had figured out how to enter the Conley II entrances. In my attempt to become a good crappie fisherman over the past couple of springs, I had stopped managing my Martins much at all. I installed Wing entrapment guards on the exterior and it stopped the Starlings. My colony rebounded nicely up to 90 pair. I then lost 3 nests to a snake because the dog gone electric fence behind my house to broken and I didn't know it. I had some hawk predation, but not more than normal and less than lots of years. I think my birds probably migrate up through the FL peninsula like yours do, so maybe that route is running late. This is the latest mine have been since 2015. I just looked back at my scout reports online. It does look like every 4-5 years they return later than the other years. I have reports on here that go back to 2004. That was the first year I had a colony at the farm, where I now live. The latest I've had one return is 2/28. Another year 2/23, and another 2/24, so I'm flirting with at least the 2nd latest I've had any return. There's a front coming in tomorrow night, into Monday. I really expect my first ones to come in with that front, but if they don't, looking at the weather, my first bird won't be back until after the first of the month.

I rambled on with all that to say, I'm not worried about mine yet, but in another week, I'm gonna be worried too.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.


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