Thoughts on Fledging Age

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avesrun
Posts: 1111
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:10 pm
Location: Iowa/West Des Moines
Martin Colony History: Home Site: 2017- 0
2016 - 1st pair, fledged 5
Satellite Site: 2017 (3rd season)
34 pair
Fledged- 102

For some reason I had in my mind that fledge age for Purple martins was 26-32 days of age. I have a late nest here in Iowa that consisted of 4 nestlings. Adult martins for the nest are both sy/ second yr .
One nestling was lost early I believe due to sy male removal. The three remaining nestlings have survived well . I've watched thenest rather diligently since oldest of the young reached 26 days of age (incl weekly nest checks). I observed the first of the three young fledged yesterday at 31 days. The other two have yet to fledge. They're still getting fed nice big dragonflies by parents but at reduced frequency. I was double checking Project Martinwatch info and read that fledge age can range from 26-35 days rather than 26-32 days which was stuck in my head for some reason.
Have any landlords experienced much fledging beyond 31 days of age? First time for me; most seem to go 28-30 days. Thanks for any thoughts!
TimG-Iowa
PMCA Member
Home Site: 2012-15 visitors
2016 - 1st pair, fledged 5
2017-18 Zero
2019- 3 Successful Prs.!
Satellite Site: 2014 - visitors
2015 - 2 pair, fledged 9
2016 - 13 pair, fledged 44
2017 - 31 pair, fledged 118
2018 - 44 pair, 163 fledged
2019- 49 or. 219 fledged
Dave Duit
Posts: 1732
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.

Hi Tim,
Most all my babies fledge at about 30 days. Maybe it is a second brood, but that wouldn't make sense with an SY pair. I'm as confused as you on this one. I still have two nests that need the babies to fledge and it also seems like they have been around longer than 30 days. I do know that the parents will start to hold back on the feeding schedule in order to get the youngsters to fledge and maybe your observation of this at the satelaite Purple Martin Lake are spot on. Keep us updated.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
bwenger
Posts: 1046
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:24 pm
Location: Pennsylvania/Espyville/Pymatuning Reservoir Area
Martin Colony History: Taking care of 11 active public colonies and trying to start two more in northwestern PA. Also attempting to restart another one in southwestern PA, in Collier Township's Hilltop Park. In 2017, not sure what happened but the ASY male returned and then a couple of weeks later he was gone. It could have been weather related. No other birds showed up. I had a starling nesting at the Public site that I had trouble getting rid of.
In 2018, we fledged 629 martins at all of the sites.

Hi Dave,

I have noticed some long periods for fledging as well, and most seem to be at the end. I am thinking that some of this occurs since the nestlings don't have the encouragement to leave the nest as they do when the birds have a lot of activity going on around them. From what I have heard from the Forum and other reading, that the earlier the birds can fledge the higher percentages of success the young have and thus a longer life.
Bill Wenger

Building the Purple Martin population one bird at a time!
Dave Duit
Posts: 1732
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.

That sounds very logical. Good insight.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
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