Very cold weather for the south next weekend?

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brent
Posts: 387
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Did anyone else hear that we are expected to get very cold weather the end of next week? My sister told me the extended forecast predicts snow/sleet. If that's the case what can we do to help our early arrivals? Hand warmers?
Brent
DBH
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:51 pm
Location: Bossier City Louisiana
Martin Colony History: 2020 first year: 2 pair, 9 eggs, 6 fledged
2021:

I have seen that, I’m in northwest Louisiana and the highs this weekend and next are in the 40’s and lows in the 20’s. Hoping my birds take their time getting here!
Whippy
Posts: 818
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: See Signature

Brent,

I've used had warmers before. I put one in a cavity that I know is being used and remove it the next day after they go out to feed when the weather warms up. If it doesn't get warm enough for them to go feed they'll stay inside for the day. They should have stacked up enough to keep them for a day. If the cold spell is to last for a few days got to Petsmart or Petco and get the largest crickets they have and have them on hand to feed them. You can use a feeding tray or try to flip them to them if they are sitting on the perches.

The landlords up North are the best at this cold weather stuff so I hope they chime in and give better information.

Good luck to you.

Coolwhips
2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged
brent
Posts: 387
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Thanks. I bought hand warmers today for them in the event it's too cold. Right now I have 6 Martin's and I know the compartments they're in. I have crickets that I froze from last season. I've tried to flick them in the air but never had any luck. Will try again though. Thanks for the reply.
Brent
C.C.Martins
Posts: 970
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA made adjustments and next year was successful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021:
Home colony: mix natural gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 gourds: PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021:
PMCA member

hey Brent,
If they get hungry enough they will go for it, worth a try. Its gonna be cold.
Last spring I'd pick the June bugs off the wall near the lights in front and throw them up. Soon as they took flight martins were all over it but it took a while. Seems like one bird leads the charge and rest follow.

If flicking isn't an option, perhaps leave some on their porches.
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
D. Doll MN
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun May 08, 2005 11:05 am
Location: ST CLOUD MN
Martin Colony History: Formally from Willmar MN moved in 2015 and started new colony in 2019 i had 27 pair.

As far as getting the martins to start accepting crickets can be tricky the first time. The good thing about getting your martin colony started to accept flicked up cricket. Once they learn what you are doing there will always be some in the colony that will remember it in following years.
Now this is how I got my martins started to accept flipped up crickets. You may not get them started to eat from you untill they are on the edge of dieing. It was after three days of trying and cold weather before they learned to eat from me. WHEN there WINGS start drooping they are begining to be in trouble. And what the wing drooping is martins don't have spare fat to live off of when things get tuff. There wings drooping is a sign there body is eating there muscle tissue in there wing to survive. So when you see that they are ready to accept supplement food. So when there sitting on the houseing or where ever, walk up to them very slowly. And get under them or back a way and flick the cricket STRAGHT UP PAST. About four feet away from them, NOT at them, but straght past them. The problem I had at first I was chaseing them off the houseing, because they didnt recognize what I was sending up past them. I used a big tupperware spoon and you will get the hang of flipping it in time. I put one cricket at first and later you can put a half dozen and no cricket will hit the ground before a martin swooped down and grabs them. It was said and suggested the biggest cricket you can get work better, yes and no. The biggest ones work best because there is more weight so they can be flicked higher so more time in the air for the martins to see. But some of the bigger cricket some martins have a harder time to accept to swallow. LIke I said my biggest problem was chasing the martins away before they seen the crickets. And seen enough cricket fly buy before the first martin grabs one. After that first martin takes a cricket it will be non stop till your cricks will be all gone.

Hope the bad weather doesn't last long but if it dose depending how big your colony is you can go through a lot of crickets fast. I will tell you it is fun when the martins learn what you are doing and offering. And they will meet you half ways across the yard when you come out the next time to feed them. WARNING, and I say that because remember when you are feeding them they are very VULNERABLE to be attacked by hawks. Because they will be making a lot of noise, and it dose attrack hawks it happened to me. SO be careful.

Now I did get lucky to switch the martins from cricket to scramble eggs made in the microwave. One spring I had maybe 30-60 martins I was feeding. I was buying my crickets at a thousand a time by mail much cheeper then from pet shops. (Depending on where you live can get them shipped live and use them and freeze the remaining) Was getting close to finishing up 2000 crickets. So I made some scramble eggs and started flicking them up into the air. The eggs were so light could not get much height so I started using bigger chunks. Some egg chunks they could swallow but a lot dropped to ground. After I was finshed and went back into the house I looked out the window and the martin were landing on the ground. They could see the big yellow chunks in the grass and were landing and picking them back up. So all I did was take the plat form feeder off the pole and set it on the ground. Next I put eggs on feeder and in grass around it, and went back into the house.The martins flew down to the ground ate the eggs on ground and in the feeder. Next i went back out put more eggs and cricket on to the feeder and put back onto the top of the pole and I was set. And know when I feed them they flocked to the feeder in groups and there was not as much racket to bring in the hawks. But I did stay close just incase.
Long post but that how it worked for me, hope you don't need it but if you do hope this might help.
Dick Doll
C.C.Martins
Posts: 970
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA made adjustments and next year was successful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021:
Home colony: mix natural gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 gourds: PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021:
PMCA member

Well MN is pretty far north, and that experience is great, thank you sir. Pretty darn interesting how they take to it but once figured out they are all over it. Sounds like you take good care of your birds.
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
PMDavid
Posts: 531
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 8:50 pm
Location: Boyce,Louisiana
Martin Colony History: 2018 1 lone nut and lots of visitors
2019 6 pair -21fledged
2020 18 pair -60 fledged
2021......to be seen.
24 natural gourds on a satellite rack,9 other gourds scattered around
2-12 compartment trio houses
Rarely see a sparrow or starling,but when I do they don’t last long!
Will have a second satellite rack for the 2022 season and phase out the houses,the martins here strongly prefer natural gourds.

Thanks Dick,CC ,and whipper. I’m really on pins and needles about this situation. Gonna look into finding some crickets tomorrow. I tried flipping last year in the spring but we had good weather and they weren’t hungry,I did on a gamble just to see what would happen because I thought I would be fun to get em trained like that.
brent
Posts: 387
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Thanks so much for the replies. I froze some meal worms from last year, too. I also have eggs. I think I'm set. So far I have 6 martins. Today the weather was nice enough for them to hunt...low 70's. Lake Fields is just a couple of miles away. I noticed they came in earlier today. I hope the weather does not get too bad for them. Thanks again.
Brent
ToyinPA
Posts: 2149
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.

I end up feeding every spring when they arrive. They normally show up exhausted & hungry. Weather always turns cold, we have freezing rain or snow. I've had to feed for 11 days in a row due to bad weather. I go thru 5000-6000, 3/4-1 inch size crickets a year. You should expect each martin to eat 10-20 crickets, if they are hungry.

My colony will line up on the power line to my house & peek in my window waiting for me to go feed them. If weather is good they go off looking for food.

You want to place the hand warmers in the cavity a good hour before dark. That gives them time to accept it before it gets dark. Place it on the side or back of the cavity or under the nesting material. Remove it when they go off to feed the next day.

Try to flip one cricket at a time towards an adult male. Make sure he is watching you. If he takes it the rest will follow. Females tend to hang back a bit. Flip it high in the air & so they have a good flight area to catch it. They will fly straight up, down, etc if they want that cricket. As soon as he takes it flip another, this time whistle or make a sound, so he relates it with food. Use the same whistle or sound each time. They will only accept food if they are hungry. They can go 3 days before they will attempt to accept supplemental food. Once they do they will always remember it. Expect to lose a lot of crickets trying to gt them to grab the first one. If you keep your eye on the cricket you can retrieve them from the ground & flip it again. During real bad weather I flip 3-4 times a day & always an hour or so before dark. Pretty soon you will recognize each bird & their habits for catching supplemental food. The females often hang back or wait until the males have had their fill.

Meal worms & eggs are also an option. Too many eggs can cause lose bowel, which causes dehydration. Insects are best if possible. If the meal worms are alive, pinch the head to kill them first, as they can latch on with their pincers. Freeze the crickets to kill them. Thaw in hot water, drain well.

Best wishes.
Toy in PA
PMCA Member
D. Doll MN
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun May 08, 2005 11:05 am
Location: ST CLOUD MN
Martin Colony History: Formally from Willmar MN moved in 2015 and started new colony in 2019 i had 27 pair.

Its nice if you can teach your marting to accept supplement food when needed. But one thing you might have down there that we don't always have up here is open water, sometime things are still frozen up here when the birds return. Not knowing if have the same bugs down there as us but you can get hatches of bugs coming out off the water on cold days also. I had seen my martins flying inches off the water eating something one year not far from me. So they might get some natural food also to carrie them through.
Dick Doll
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3077
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

When you say really cold for the next week, what temps are you exactly talking about Some people in the south consider 40 degrees really cold. We further north know that those temps alone won't harm the martins. If they high temps get mid 40's or higher and it is not raining they should be able to find some insects.

The other thing about getting a colony to learn to take flipped food is they usually have to be pretty hungry. One day without feeding is often times not enough time for them to need supplemental feeding. I have housed martins for close to 15 years or so and have only had to feed twice. Overall it's pretty uncommon in my area to go three days in a row or more where they can't feed. Last year was one time and while I did it I don't think it was necessary. I had maybe 10-15 martins back at the time and flipped a couple hundred crickets, not all of them took them, some did though.
2021.................HOSP count-6
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.
C.C.Martins
Posts: 970
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA made adjustments and next year was successful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021:
Home colony: mix natural gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 gourds: PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021:
PMCA member

Thanks Toy and D.Doll,
Some worried LLds in the south, (I'm one-even without martins yet-they are due to arrive right in the middle of this mess).
Shows one of the many keys to success is supplemental feeding.

Flyin-lowe,
Your right, and you remember 30s 40s 50s down here are downright freezing, miserable and everyone builds fires.
Its one thing I lack, a feeding trey. There's a Bay and King Ranch with lots of area near by they seem to enjoy feeding near even in the cold they find food. Therefore I don't offer the trey.
Last edited by C.C.Martins on Fri Feb 05, 2021 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
brent
Posts: 387
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Thanks Toy, D. Doll and flying Lowe. Today's high in low 50's. But to us in the south it is cold. And it's going to get colder and wet this week. With all the information you shared I'll be prepared if these Martin's need help. Crickets, meal worms, eggs and hand warmers. Good to go. It looks like I have another pair making it 8 Martin's so far. Thanks again.
Brent
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3077
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

And remember, just because it's freezing to you guys doesn't mean it's freezing to the martins. As long as they get some feeding time each day they will be fine.
2021.................HOSP count-6
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.
brent
Posts: 387
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Thanks flyin-lowe. That relieves a lot of worry.
Brent
PMDavid
Posts: 531
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 8:50 pm
Location: Boyce,Louisiana
Martin Colony History: 2018 1 lone nut and lots of visitors
2019 6 pair -21fledged
2020 18 pair -60 fledged
2021......to be seen.
24 natural gourds on a satellite rack,9 other gourds scattered around
2-12 compartment trio houses
Rarely see a sparrow or starling,but when I do they don’t last long!
Will have a second satellite rack for the 2022 season and phase out the houses,the martins here strongly prefer natural gourds.

Hey there flyin Lowe, yes it seems cold for us in the lower 40’s and 30’s but are the birds gonna die overnight with the temps in the 20’s? 30’s? I mean I get out and go hunt ,leaving way before daylight when it may be say 25-30 degrees,but I also have on plenty of clothes. Will these birds make it without hand warmers? I do have enough for the three maybe four nights needed ,but would they make it without em at those temps. I have two birds,one is using the same gourd and one seems to like moving around so that one might not receive a warmer.
dsonyay
Posts: 1250
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:10 pm
Location: Louisiana/Broussard
Martin Colony History: 2010-2014 located in Slidell LA. Gourd rack with 16 gourds. Max of 2 pairs during this short period in Slidell. Plenty of fledglings.

2014-present.. moved to Broussard LA. Same Gourd Rack but added a 6 room house (modified from a 12 room)

2020: after a long drought of nothing, 4 pairs and 4 nests, 23 eggs total (May2020)

I’m pretty sure they’ll survive below freezing temps for short periods. These birds have survived hundreds of years of this kinda thing.. the string make it through,, the weak and frail get sifted out. Nature seems cruel.

Long periods of below freezing with rain.. and or snow is probably the thing that'll do serious damage.

Btw.. instead of hand warmers how about putting a propane powered outdoor heater under the rack? That current of warm air goes straight up and a heater on low will last for many many hours.
PMDavid
Posts: 531
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 8:50 pm
Location: Boyce,Louisiana
Martin Colony History: 2018 1 lone nut and lots of visitors
2019 6 pair -21fledged
2020 18 pair -60 fledged
2021......to be seen.
24 natural gourds on a satellite rack,9 other gourds scattered around
2-12 compartment trio houses
Rarely see a sparrow or starling,but when I do they don’t last long!
Will have a second satellite rack for the 2022 season and phase out the houses,the martins here strongly prefer natural gourds.

Lowe,brother I wish I had one,but I don’t. And.....one female left and was replaced by a male and an additional second male. So now it’s two males and one female. One male got in the same gourd as the female yesterday and the other one is a loner so far and choosing different gourds on the rack 25 feet from the pair. I may try to sneak up there real easy like slip a warmer in and hold my hand over the hole a minute and let him calm down and then ease off? The other gourd I can probably put it in before dark if they don’t come in too early,idk,I’m thinking. May be a form a plan at the last minute deal.
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