Did the 97-98 degree temps. cause babies death

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PMS in Virginia
Posts: 88
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Virginia/ Bassett

Theories or actual acknowledge here, please. Three babies less than a week old in plastic gourd died . Was it because of the 97-98 degree temps. 3 days in a row here in southern Virginia. Did they die from the heat or did mom just quit feeding them because of the heat? :-(
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.

Your first theory or guess about the cause of death could very well be what happened. What type of gourds? Are the gourds vented in any manner? Was their nesting material in the gourd to keep the young from contact with the walls or floor of the plastic gourds? Did you notice the presence of parasites in the nest? (mites, blow flys) Were the parents of this nest actively feeding the young?

Mike
Mike "Bird" Wren
Black Jack
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon May 06, 2019 4:37 pm
Location: NC

If they are something like the heath gourds that lets in sun thru the gourd then yes it probably was excess heat. I have the same situation with my babies but they are hanging on i think on count of extra thick walls that i have that are home grown. My babies hang there heads out most of the day.
johncanfield
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon May 04, 2020 5:13 pm
Location: Texas

I just checked my weather station records for June which is when the babies were doing most of their growing. Our high was 94 but mostly we were under 90F. We have the usual white gourds and typically we have a nice breeze early summer which must help keep the gourds ventilated. I think for next season I'll add a vent or two. Amazon has small plastic vents that are designed for outdoor equipment boxes that would work quite well. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005T ... UTF8&psc=1
John
JJ Ranch
Texas Hill Country
ToyinPA
Posts: 2126
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:07 pm
Location: PA/Avis
Martin Colony History: The 1972 St. Agnes flood wiped out all the Martins in my area. One day, in 1997-98, 5 or 6 Martins landed on the power wires crossing my back yard. I had no house for them. They kept coming back day after day. We got a martin house a few weeks later & they have been coming back every year since. I average 12-15 pair per year.

PMS in Virginia wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 9:21 am
Theories or actual acknowledge here, please. Three babies less than a week old in plastic gourd died . Was it because of the 97-98 degree temps. 3 days in a row here in southern Virginia. Did they die from the heat or did mom just quit feeding them because of the heat? :-(
I'd say a combo of both. If the temp is 97-98 add in the heat index & it can be over 100. In high temps parents slow down feeding. Chicks can dehydrate quickly in high heat. When temps get into the 90's I supplement fed usually twice a day, to help the parents, which in turn helps the chicks.

Adding ventilation will help.

Toy in PA
PMCA Member
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