Weather

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kborder
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:02 pm
Location: Ohio/Dresden

Haven't seen much on here about this horrible spring weather and landlords losing Martins
We lost 10 that we know of last week and were only able to save one of 3 we gathered from the ground who were close to starvation
Today will be day three, consecutively, of little to no feeding and I'm beside myself with worry
May get mealworms today to place in compartments
Has anyone had luck with this?
Thanks
Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1883
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:35 pm
Location: Little Hocking, Oh.
Martin Colony History: 2018 Success at my Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”.
2019 Success at my home Site "Little Hocking, Ohio".

....kborder... Your not along.. From down here in Southeastern Ohio and to the North, we have lost some Martins to the weather.. The landlords around here that I know who are not on this web site all the time, have lost Martins.. I have lost three so far this year at my Satellite site due to the weather. One landlord near me (10 Miles) have lost 6 to 8, another 20 miles away has lost 8 to 10. One landlord has reported 17 dead so far.. It’s been a cold and wet Spring for us here... The Martins at my Satellite site are at least two weeks behind in nest building and egg laying compaired to last year’s schedule. Good luck this year..

Dave
Home Site “Little Hocking, Ohio”
2010 / 2018 -- Lots of Visitors
2019 — 1 Pair, 5 Eggs, 5 Babies, 5 fledged. :wink:
2020 — 1 Pair, 4 Eggs, 4 Babies, 4 fledged. :wink:
2021 — Waiting on March 2021

Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”
2018 -- 15 Pair, 58 Eggs, 38 Hatched and 36 Fledged :wink:
2019 — 26 Pair, 128 Eggs, 99 Babies and 97 Fledged. :wink:
2020 — 30 Pair, 156 Eggs, 137 Babies and 137 Fledged. :wink:
2021 — Waiting on March 2021

PMCA Member
Dave Duit
Posts: 1756
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: Iowa / Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2020, 60 pair with 285 fledged youngsters. 83 total cavities available, 58 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified deep trio metal house units, 1 fallout shelter, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President and founder of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit www.iamartin.org and join.

I lost one this season. The overcast weather has been bad lately. It appears that to the east of Iowa there has been a ton of rain. Here in Iowa it is just day after day of cooler temps and clouds. We need sunshine. So far, I have been through 8 pounds of crickets and many many dozens of scrambled eggs.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2936
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

kbroder

What is your main cause of concern the last three days? Are your temps cold or is it due to rain? I am straight west of you near the IN/OH border. We did have quite a bit of rain the last couple days but there were always several hour breaks for us and with temps in the mid to high 50's, low 60's they are able to find food. Two weekends ago when we had the temps near freezing a few mornings we had issues but since then ours have been able to feed.

Last year I tried flipping crickets for the first time and they took to it very quick. If your martins are out you might try that. If they have never been fed flipped food before they often times won't take it unless they really need it. I have heard it is easier to get them to take food that is flipped over food that is left in trays etc, as feeding on the wing is more natural for them. I would think if your temps are out of the 40's today and it's not raining they should be able to find food on their own. Just not sure what your weather is doing.
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.
PMS in Virginia
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Virginia/ Bassett

Oh how I envy you guys talking about 31 pair with 100 to fledge etc. Its only a dream...So far this year I have 2 pair. Here in south central Virginia we're right in the middle of this rain system for several days and I am concerned about the martins livelihood..Fortunately there are no young yet. I have gourds and no place to put mealworms even if I knew of a quick source. It seems I have read about fixing eggs a certain way they might eat them......Here again, if I knew how to fix the eggs would the martins come to the 6 feet high platform containing bits of egg shells for their calcium?
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2936
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Most likely they won’t take eggs from a platform if they never eaten them before. If I were you I would go to a pet store and buy 100 crickets or so. Shouldn’t cost much at all. I would put the bag of them in the freezer for a coupe hours which will slow them down to no movement if it doesn’t kill them. If the rain slows enough to where the Martins are perched outside their cavities I would try flipping them. When I did it the first time I was flipping them up in front of some males so the went a little higher than the perch. It was on about the 5th cricket that a male toon one. After that none of them hit the ground. Once you get a big colony it’s cheaper to get bulk crickets online but for a few birds just grab some at the pet store.
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.
mwren
Posts: 108
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:43 pm
Location: OH/Athens
Martin Colony History: I have had my martin colony on the dam of one of my ponds for nine years. The colony has grown each year, but I am now concentrating on helping friends and acquaintances who have shown interests in martins. My colony consists of three T-14's with 8 Troyer gourds attatched to each T-14, a Troyer gourd rack with 12 gourds, and another gourd rack with 18 Troyer gourds for a total of 96 nest cavities. I am having serious predation issues with hawks and owls and am experimenting with various hawk guards and "screens". Established successful supplemental feeding last season during late march and had a blast flipping mostly meal worms and some crickets. Faculty from Ohio University are using my colony as a research site to study parasites that target cavity nesting birds. In exchange for access to my bird trail nest boxes and martin housing, they are banding all birds involved in their study.

When weather throws the purple martins a serious curveball like we have been dealing with this spring, supplemental feeding via "flipping" can be a colony saver. Extremely low temperatures and consistent rain confront our martins with two fatal battles...starvation and hypothermia. In my opinion, learning to flip meal worms or crickets to your colony is the best way to save your martins when they are faced with starvation and hypothermia. It can be a somewhat expensive experience and time consuming if you are dealing with a large colony that is distressed. I have tried to train my birds to accept scrambled eggs served from "bed and breakfeast" tray feeders, but have just not been able to get them to figure it out. I have also experimented with flipping my birds scrambled eggs. In the frenzy of flipping meal worms to hungry martins, I have tried to get them to take "flying eggs" by sneaking in some scrambled eggs. Some birds will try them, but most of the time they will either turn up their nose at the eggs, or spit them out when they realize it wasn't meal worms of crickets they caught up with. Because of these experiences I decided a couple of seasons ago to have plenty of meal worms ready to go in mid march. They are easy to care for, easy to handle, and if you buy them in bulk you can get wholesale pricing that makes them affordable.
In Ohio this season we have been consistently battling unseasonably cold and wet weather going back to the arrival of birds at the end of March. The first two or three weeks at my colonies saw most of the birds in very poor condition after their difficult migration. The worst week of weather hit with multiple days and nights that saw below freezing temps along with rain. Many landlords found significant numbers of dead birds in their nesting cavities as the weather had grounded all insects and made survival very difficult. I am sure that if it was not for my supplemental feeding via flipping meal worms and some crickets saved the colony, even though we did have significant losses.
Now we have been wacked again with extreme amounts of rain in the past week of almost constant showers. The temperatures have not been as cold as the earlier terrible conditions, but constant rain drives most all insects down leaving insectivores in dire straits.
It is experiences like this season that have convinced me that in our part of the country, if you want to be a successful martin landlord, you had better get your birds trained to accept your supplemental feeding, and you need to be ready when you are faced with difficult weather conditions. Being able to "flip" to your birds just might save your colony. Mealworms are very easy to store and to handle, and training your birds to understand flipping is really a lot of fun!

"Bird"
Mike "Bird" Wren
mwren
Posts: 108
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:43 pm
Location: OH/Athens
Martin Colony History: I have had my martin colony on the dam of one of my ponds for nine years. The colony has grown each year, but I am now concentrating on helping friends and acquaintances who have shown interests in martins. My colony consists of three T-14's with 8 Troyer gourds attatched to each T-14, a Troyer gourd rack with 12 gourds, and another gourd rack with 18 Troyer gourds for a total of 96 nest cavities. I am having serious predation issues with hawks and owls and am experimenting with various hawk guards and "screens". Established successful supplemental feeding last season during late march and had a blast flipping mostly meal worms and some crickets. Faculty from Ohio University are using my colony as a research site to study parasites that target cavity nesting birds. In exchange for access to my bird trail nest boxes and martin housing, they are banding all birds involved in their study.

When weather throws the purple martins a serious curveball like we have been dealing with this spring, supplemental feeding via "flipping" can be a colony saver. Extremely low temperatures and consistent rain confront our martins with two fatal battles...starvation and hypothermia. In my opinion, learning to flip meal worms or crickets to your colony is the best way to save your martins when they are faced with starvation and hypothermia. It can be a somewhat expensive experience and time consuming if you are dealing with a large colony that is distressed. I have tried to train my birds to accept scrambled eggs served from "bed and breakfeast" tray feeders, but have just not been able to get them to figure it out. I have also experimented with flipping my birds scrambled eggs. In the frenzy of flipping meal worms to hungry martins, I have tried to get them to take "flying eggs" by sneaking in some scrambled eggs. Some birds will try them, but most of the time they will either turn up their nose at the eggs, or spit them out when they realize it wasn't meal worms of crickets they caught up with. Because of these experiences I decided a couple of seasons ago to have plenty of meal worms ready to go in mid march. They are easy to care for, easy to handle, and if you buy them in bulk you can get wholesale pricing that makes them affordable.
In Ohio this season we have been consistently battling unseasonably cold and wet weather going back to the arrival of birds at the end of March. The first two or three weeks at my colonies saw most of the birds in very poor condition after their difficult migration. The worst week of weather hit with multiple days and nights that saw below freezing temps along with rain. Many landlords found significant numbers of dead birds in their nesting cavities as the weather had grounded all insects and made survival very difficult. I am sure that if it was not for my supplemental feeding via flipping meal worms and some crickets saved the colony, even though we did have significant losses.
Now we have been wacked again with extreme amounts of rain in the past week of almost constant showers. The temperatures have not been as cold as the earlier terrible conditions, but constant rain drives most all insects down leaving insectivores in dire straits.
It is experiences like this season that have convinced me that in our part of the country, if you want to be a successful martin landlord, you had better get your birds trained to accept your supplemental feeding, and you need to be ready when you are faced with difficult weather conditions. Being able to "flip" to your birds just might save your colony. Mealworms are very easy to store and to handle, and training your birds to understand flipping is really a lot of fun!

"Bird"
Mike "Bird" Wren
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