Dead martins in my gourds

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Posts: 1
Joined: Thu May 28, 2020 6:33 am
Location: Valley, nebraska

I did a nest check and found a male and female dead in one gourd and in another one I found a male and a female dead and a male dead and he was stuck in the entrance. We had high winds the other night I assume this is the cause of death of the 5 martins. We have had martins for years and have not ever seen this. Any suggestions?
Posts: 2890
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Have you had any stretches of 3 days or more with constant rain or temps that would not allow feeding? Without more detail it's hard to say but I am not sure high winds overnight would cause deaths unless there is more to it than that. A wing entrapped martin obviously could die and cause it's mate to starve to death but that doesn't explain martins dead in other cavities. Were there any signs of injuries at all? With no visible injuries and just dead martins in multiple cavities it would look like starvation, but that would take at least three days of weather bad enough that no bugs are flying. I can't imagine this time of year temps are getting cold enough overnight to kill them but I have no idea what your weather is currently like. Have you done anything else like treating for mites etc?
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.
Chris B
Posts: 375
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:10 pm
Location: AL/Toney

That's sad. I hate seeing dead birds.

I was messing with my gourds this afternoon and found one with a pair inside - dead. No mites, no injuries. My guess is there was hardly any nesting inside, and they couldn't get out the SREH porch entrance. On this gourd the porch was a little higher and angled upward maybe 10*. I took that gourd, which was new this season, down. Why the lack of much nesting, maybe that was the one that had the cleanout hatch popoff in a storm, and the stuff inside got thin. I dunno. There are leaves, and in about half I looked in, eggs.
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. Birds did very well.
2020 56 SREH gourds.
Posts: 47
Joined: Mon May 04, 2020 5:13 pm
Location: Texas

I found one dead Martin in a gourd entrance last year, I don't remember if he was facing in or out. Hated to find a dead Martin :-(
JJ Ranch
Texas Hill Country
Posts: 446
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2004 3:01 pm
Location: Oklahoma/Norman

I just had a dead mature Male looked completely comfortable. No marks, no trauma just laying next to six eggs that I had just checked a few days before
Also had a dead Male a few weeks ago just laying on the ground dead about 60 feet from racks. Strangely went out 6 hours later and about 10 feet from where the martin was found was a dead starling laying within 10 feet of where I found martin. I have a 2 1/2 acre lot and thought that was very strange.
Posts: 446
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2004 3:01 pm
Location: Oklahoma/Norman

I used to have a couple of wing entrapments a year in the 90s. I think it much more rare with the new designs
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:35 pm
Location: Marlboro County, SC
Martin Colony History: Capacity: 72 Troyers on 3 X Super-24 racks

The avian species are generally very vulnerable to a lot of different diseases, which they can easily die from, in addition to getting injured, starve or freeze to death. Pneumonia is very common, as well as a few other respiratory issues. Ask me how I know. We have about 45 pet chickens, which are also avians. We have a chicken die every know and then for no apparent reason, sometimes we save it if we figure out what it is, and give antibiotics. Egg-bound. A female martin can easily die if egg-bound for too long, and we wouldn't have a clue what happened.

Very sad, but nature can be a cruel place. All of us just try to take care of our martins the best we can.
Location: Marlboro County, SC

2020: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/11 - 71 pair - 298 hatched as of last nest check.
2019: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/22 - 70 pair - 315 fledged
2018: Capacity: 70 - First Scouts: 2/18 - 60 pair - 270 fledged
2017: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 2/25 - 39 pair
2016: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 3/10 - 32 pair
2015: Capacity: 24 - First Scouts: 3/23 - 4 pair

Purple Martins Of South Carolina
2020 Season
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:43 am
Location: Corpus Christi

Possibly lightning or static electricity maybe ?
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