Baby on the ground

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Post Reply
PMDavid
Posts: 415
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.Here late in season seemed to have as many as 18 Pr of nesting birds. Huge upscale in birds from 2019. Will also have a 20 gourd satellite rack prepared for the 2021 season.

There’s been a lot of activity with all the fledglings gettin around . They are busy investigating all the gourds that they don’t belong in. Peeking in on the little ones still left to fledge. Yesterday I found a baby on the ground ,looks to be about a week from fledging age. Couldn’t begin to tell what gourd he came out of,I’m sure he got pulled out by a sy or newly fledged bird . I don’t think he jumped because it’s been nice and cloudy and I have no mites,bull nats,or any other pests that would have caused that. I gently let the rack down and found a gourd with similar sized babies and stuck him in there,I guess he’ll be ok. Do the adults usually adjust to this and feed em ,what’s y’all s take on this,that’s all I knew to do.
Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 643
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: So. Central TX
Martin Colony History: All Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

I think you did the right thing. We also had a baby on the ground not even close to fledgling age. We’re certain an SY pulled him out. We put him in the gourd we were pretty sure he came out of and he has been OK since. We also had a brood of seven with a small runt. He was at the bottom of the pile with no way to fight past his larger siblings to eat. We removed him and put into a different gourd with young his size. He has flourished. It seems like the parents accept a new addition and take care of it as if their own.
PMDavid
Posts: 415
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.Here late in season seemed to have as many as 18 Pr of nesting birds. Huge upscale in birds from 2019. Will also have a 20 gourd satellite rack prepared for the 2021 season.

Thanks Sharon,that was the best I could do. I let the rack down enough so i could rotate it slow and gentle and look inside different gourds. I put him in one with similar size chicks. I also got a look in about 6-8 others real quick and they all had 4-5 babies each and those all looked close to fledge age,maybe just a few days out. I didn’t mess with it any further so as not to spook any birds out,just snuck it back up and let it go at that. All I can do is look when I get home. I leave in the dark in the morning and get home at 4pm. I looked with a light this morning in the yard ,all clear ,so we’ll see. Thanks. David.
brent
Posts: 178
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Hi PMDavid,

I have a similar problem. I had a chick on the ground two days ago and because of the storm and concerned that it was injured I kept it and have been feeding it June Beetles, meal worms and dragon flies. From my nest checks I believe he is about 26 days old. I want to put it back in but I don't think the parent (an SY female) has been actively feeding her chicks and I think he was very hungry. He's strong and alert. He may have been the runt of 4 chicks. I'm hesitant to put him back in the same nest. I have 2 others with chicks. One has 5 chicks who are one day older and another with 6 chicks that are 3 days younger. I don't think he's ready to fledge. The nest with 6 seems to have the most responsible parents who are actively feeding. The other with 5 are actively feed, too but not as aggressive. My concern is where should I put him. Since we are still getting squally weather with heavy rain and gusty wind I thought about putting him (or her) back in the morning. Any one with advice?

Brent
Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 643
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: So. Central TX
Martin Colony History: All Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

Brent,
Is there any chance you can continue hand feeding him? It sounds like he is doing well under your care. 26 days is the earliest they supposedly can fledge but in my experience the parents wait until they are about 30 days depending on how late it is in the season. The only time I’ve ever seen them fledge at 26 days was when we had a second nest. They were the only ones left in the colony and it was August 1. Time to fly and off they went never to return.
I know it’s a lot of work but if you can hang on for a few more days you can try releasing him and see how that goes.
Another alternative would be if you have a bird rehabber nearby that you could take him to.
Good luck in whatever you decide to do. Being a martin landlord can be stressful at times :roll:.
brent
Posts: 178
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Sharon, I would love to do just that but I don't have the food source I need. I can order crickets and have them by the 10th but for tomorrow I just don't have the food for him. I was lucky to get the beetles because they washed out of the gutters with the rain. Most were alive and there were many. I was able to catch a few dragon flies. I have some meal worms but they will run out soon, too. Toy of PA suggested dog or cat kibble soaked in warm water. Have you heard of that? I may place him in the nest of 5 and see how that goes. Otherwise I just don't know what to do.
Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 643
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: So. Central TX
Martin Colony History: All Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

Brent,
I did a search and found this topic. Hope it helps. It does mention cat food.

viewtopic.php?t=34751
brent
Posts: 178
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Thank you Sharon. I appreciate your support, your compassion and understanding.
brent
Posts: 178
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Sharon, I left my porch light on and, like a miracle, over 30 (maybemore) June Beetles were there. I collected all of them. Those with the meal worms will be a lot to feed the chick with tomorrow. I ordered more meal worms and crickets for over night delivery. I'll give it a try. When will I know it's time to let him fly?
Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 643
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: So. Central TX
Martin Colony History: All Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

If you have other chicks his size I would watch to see when they fledge.
Good thinking to leave the light on overnight. Yes, I’d call that a miracle too :grin:
Post Reply