Possible colony destroyed

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rrmartins
Posts: 1400
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

Possible colony destroyed

Postby rrmartins » Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:06 pm

Last year a giant rat was climbing my cable and over the bird netting and eating adults at night. I fixed the problem with a big round vent pipe three feet off the ground. I still had seven pair fledge twenty five. Now the birds are two weeks late counting four years back. Will they return? It was a thriving ten year old colony.
2019
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
Rat breached bird netting and nearly wiped out entire colony over a four day period. Problem was fixed!!

Fuzzmeister
Posts: 172
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:02 pm
Location: Saskatchewan Canada

Re: Possible colony destroyed

Postby Fuzzmeister » Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:12 pm

Hope and prayer are a wonderful thing! It’s early yet and a lot of things can happen, you could get some SY come floating in looking for a place, just be patient you have some of your colony left and when they come back they will attract others. I’m hoping for you.

KathyF
Posts: 3516
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

Re: Possible colony destroyed

Postby KathyF » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:28 pm

RR - dang, I remember that story! So, it did end up being a rat and not a flying squirrel?

The 7 pair that fledged the 25...were they older adults or sub-adults? I know you remember all my owl problems...yet, I still had martins return. If I recall correctly, the estimated loss each year due to migration challenges is about 50%...maybe 60%. So, if half of your 7 pair were lost, you would likely still have 5-6 birds returning.
This is also a good reason too, to build a colony to at least 24 pair...I know you're working on it.
Don't fret yet...they may be just taking their time.
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com

rrmartins
Posts: 1400
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

Re: Possible colony destroyed

Postby rrmartins » Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:18 am

Thank you for the encouragement guys, getting nervous over here. Kathy, I’m not sure if they were subs or not. I’m hoping they were since they had the last clutches hatch. Bad rainy weather for the rest of the week, maybe I’ll see one over the weekend.
Also, yes I did kill a very large rat, I think they come from a cattle field across the street from my house. Since then and the addition of the large vent pipe, the problem stopped the next day and everything was fine.
2019
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
Rat breached bird netting and nearly wiped out entire colony over a four day period. Problem was fixed!!

Whippy
Posts: 425
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: 2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - ?

Re: Possible colony destroyed

Postby Whippy » Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:08 am

RRM,

I get nervous this time every year as well. I haven't experienced an ordeal like you have but, when I see Martins popping up on the scout report all around me, I begin to get more and more anxious. I'd be an absolute head case if I knew I lost several like you have described. But I'm not sure your pairs in one cavity are aware of what happened next door. I tend to think not.

Give them time. By the end of March you will probably be pretty full.

I'm in Plano, BTW.

Good luck to you. Hope you get to dust off the "no vacancy" sign.

Coolwhips

Brad Biddle
Posts: 395
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: Possible colony destroyed

Postby Brad Biddle » Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:43 am

IMO the birds who's nests were predated on won't return, but the birds that successfully raised young will return. Those that successfully fledged nestlings were probably younger birds, so they'll return later. Your colony should build back up this season, IMO.

Mine are later in returning too, but I'm glad, because the weather is not Martin friendly here.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.

deancamp
Posts: 248
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Re: Possible colony destroyed

Postby deancamp » Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:34 pm

I am fortunate to not have any experience with this type of situation, but I am very interested to see how it turns out. Keep us posted.

rrmartins
Posts: 1400
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

Re: Possible colony destroyed

Postby rrmartins » Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:46 pm

Hey guys!!!
Just got back in town, still no birds. We’ll see what happens.
2019
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
Rat breached bird netting and nearly wiped out entire colony over a four day period. Problem was fixed!!

rrmartins
Posts: 1400
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

Re: Possible colony destroyed

Postby rrmartins » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:53 pm

Yippie!! Had one lone male circling this afternoon. I think I’m good!!!
2019
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
Rat breached bird netting and nearly wiped out entire colony over a four day period. Problem was fixed!!

PMDavid
Posts: 377
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 8:50 pm
Location: Boyce,Louisiana
Martin Colony History: Second year trying to attract martins. This year I am getting rid of the wooden house and showing something they are used to seeing.
Offering 2 trio grandpaws w/2natural gourds under each and C.Abare gourd rack w/16 natural gourds. And one rehabbed 16 compartment Coates original with two natural gourds.Lots of lookers,a few overnighters and daily activity cruising and looking. All gourds have a rain canopy and wire perch.2019 7 pair moving into 2020 almost double pairs from 2019. Still have most of the month of March to go for new arrivals and April.

Re: Possible colony destroyed

Postby PMDavid » Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:58 pm

Congrats rrm !!!! I’d bet the rest are on the way. I’m gonna go with the ones who weren’t attacked may well be un aware and all those should return. And even some that only lost a baby or some eggs may even come back. All in all,I think you’ll see returning birds. Good luck dude and keep us posted. David
Last edited by PMDavid on Thu Feb 27, 2020 6:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

C.C.Martins
Posts: 796
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA, made adjustments and next year was sucessful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged.
2018-18 pair. 85 fledged.
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020:?
Home colony: 17 natural gourds, one 6 compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony Oso bay preserve: 12 gourds: excluder, troyer horizontal, super gourds with tunnels. 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: ?
PMCA member

Re: Possible colony destroyed

Postby C.C.Martins » Wed Feb 26, 2020 9:03 pm

Gotta be a relief, i remember all that happening to you. Im glad they made it and returned for you! Im betting they will be some very safe Martins!!!
Tom
Tom

2016- two visitors
2017- 5 pair 15 Fledged
2018-18 pairs 85 Fledged
2019-17 pair 81 fledged
2020:

Satellite location: oso bay preserve 12 gourds, modified trio
2019: Visitors
2020: hopeful!!!

rrmartins
Posts: 1400
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

Re: Possible colony destroyed

Postby rrmartins » Wed Feb 26, 2020 10:34 pm

That was very stressful for me. In ten years of following this forum I’ve never had anything breach the bird netting. This giant rat I killed, was climbing the cable and then over netting.
2019
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
Rat breached bird netting and nearly wiped out entire colony over a four day period. Problem was fixed!!

PMDavid
Posts: 377
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 8:50 pm
Location: Boyce,Louisiana
Martin Colony History: Second year trying to attract martins. This year I am getting rid of the wooden house and showing something they are used to seeing.
Offering 2 trio grandpaws w/2natural gourds under each and C.Abare gourd rack w/16 natural gourds. And one rehabbed 16 compartment Coates original with two natural gourds.Lots of lookers,a few overnighters and daily activity cruising and looking. All gourds have a rain canopy and wire perch.2019 7 pair moving into 2020 almost double pairs from 2019. Still have most of the month of March to go for new arrivals and April.

Re: Possible colony destroyed

Postby PMDavid » Thu Feb 27, 2020 6:02 am

Congrats rrm !!!! I’d bet the rest are on the way. I’m gonna go with the ones who weren’t attacked may well be un aware and all those should return. And even some that only lost a baby or some eggs may even come back. All in all,I think you’ll see returning birds. Good luck dude and keep us posted. David

Brad Biddle
Posts: 395
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: Possible colony destroyed

Postby Brad Biddle » Thu Feb 27, 2020 7:52 am

Happy for you. Keep us posted on your returns.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.

Dave Duit
Posts: 1565
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: state:Iowa / town:Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2019, 54 pair with 218 fledged youngsters. 83 total compartments available, 58 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 www.iamartin.org and join.

Re: Possible colony destroyed

Postby Dave Duit » Thu Feb 27, 2020 9:07 am

Good to hear everything turned out in a positive light. Hope and prayer came through for you. Best of luck this season.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.

rrmartins
Posts: 1400
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

Re: Possible colony destroyed

Postby rrmartins » Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:43 am

Thank you guys, very much, I’m so relieved. I’ve got eight new gourds to mount, I better get busy!!!
2019
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
Rat breached bird netting and nearly wiped out entire colony over a four day period. Problem was fixed!!

Fuzzmeister
Posts: 172
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:02 pm
Location: Saskatchewan Canada

Re: Possible colony destroyed

Postby Fuzzmeister » Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:56 am

I’m happy for you I’ve only had martins for 2 years and this will be my third year, I’m starting to get excited already and I am at least a month and a half away from looking up in to the sky to see if there circling, good luck.

rrmartins
Posts: 1400
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

Re: Possible colony destroyed

Postby rrmartins » Thu Feb 27, 2020 11:12 am

I’m happy for you I’ve only had martins for 2 years and this will be my third year, I’m starting to get excited already and I am at least a month and a half away from looking up in to the sky to see if there circling, good luck.
Always fun waiting on their return for sure. I’m hoping my misfortune will help benefit others. All that time, I thought nothing was going to happen to my colony with bird netting, and had never lost any birds too predators or catch anything in the bird netting, well, you can never have too much protection. Good luck to you and your feathered friends, here’s hoping your colony doubles in size!!!
2019
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
Rat breached bird netting and nearly wiped out entire colony over a four day period. Problem was fixed!!

Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 622
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: Georgetown, TX
Martin Colony History: 30 Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

Re: Possible colony destroyed

Postby Sharon - Central TX » Thu Feb 27, 2020 1:53 pm

RR, somehow I missed your tragedy with the rat last year. My excuse is I was sick during most of the martin season and not on here much. I hated reading what happened, was shocked really. Seems like there are many things that can happen that we don’t think about. I was happy this morning to read your birds are returning.
We have had several martins show up the last three days so they’re in the area. So are the starlings :evil:. Three showed up this morning but hopefully we scared them off with our pellet rifle. I pray they can’t breech our crescent openings although one did a few years ago and we had a hard time getting rid of her.
It seems like there are new lessons to be learned every year, right? That’s what we have found and we’re at year 16. You think you’re prepared for it all then something happens you’ve never experienced before.
Best of luck to you in building your colony back up.
Sharon in GT

rrmartins
Posts: 1400
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

Re: Possible colony destroyed

Postby rrmartins » Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:18 pm

RR, somehow I missed your tragedy with the rat last year. My excuse is I was sick during most of the martin season and not on here much. I hated reading what happened, was shocked really. Seems like there are many things that can happen that we don’t think about. I was happy this morning to read your birds are returning.
We have had several martins show up the last three days so they’re in the area. So are the starlings :evil:. Three showed up this morning but hopefully we scared them off with our pellet rifle. I pray they can’t breech our crescent openings although one did a few years ago and we had a hard time getting rid of her.
It seems like there are new lessons to be learned every year, right? That’s what we have found and we’re at year 16. You think you’re prepared for it all then something happens you’ve never experienced before.
Best of luck to you in building your colony back up.
Sharon in GT
I’ve had clinger entrances mounted flush with porches for ten years, so far none were breached, they’ve tried to no avail. Hope I didn’t jinxed myself.
2019
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
Rat breached bird netting and nearly wiped out entire colony over a four day period. Problem was fixed!!


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