COLD in Mn

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MarkinMn
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:35 pm
Location: MN/Foley

Hi all...hope everyone is well....have between 12 and 16 pm's show up here but, forecast doesn't look good for central Minnesota....high's low 50's and lows in low 30's for the next 7 days.....I haven't had much luck feeding as they all fly off when i try to get close enough to fling crickets and grasshoppers. I'm afraid they might starve as there are no bugs to speak of....I have put crushed egg shells and some crickets, grasshoppers and scrambled eggs in the platform feeder, but no takers....anyone have any thoughts/advice?.....any insights would be helpful......thanks .....mrk
Ed Svetich-WI
Posts: 809
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:05 pm
Location: Brooks, Wi (McGinnis Lake)
Martin Colony History: 24 Super and Excluder Gourds on two gourd racks, all SREH. Full occupancy. My philosophy is to maximize fledge % with existing cavities rather than adding gourds to grow colony, thus providing opportunities for new colony expansion. Fledge over 100 nestlings yearly from 24 gourds. Band nestlings in cooperation with state university. 2019 Adendum: Reduced colony size to 12 gourds to focus on more intensive management regimen.

Mark,

I have been in similar situations here in Wisconsin. If the martins are gone during the day and returning at night, they have been out feeding.I had them survive three days with a high of 42° this spring. They were gone all day and back at dusk every day. 50° is not freezing and insects are out and about. The martins will find them. Assuming you are near lakes, there are always insects near the water. Insect hatches occur frequently. Livestock in feedlots or dairy farms have insects. 50° and sun is sufficient for martins to survive and the temperatures will warm soon and they can feed heavily.

Ed
MarkinMn
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:35 pm
Location: MN/Foley

....Thanks for the reassuring words Ed....we do have water close by ,not lakes, but beaver ponds...and there is a feedlot (not very big) about 3/4 mile away...getting down to low 30's at night so they seem to stay in their nests later in the morning...what do you have for temps over there in Wisconsin? ....will try again to fling some more crickets today as i have some thawed and soaking in water from yesterday....hope you have a great season this year....stay safe.....Mrk
MarkinMn
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:35 pm
Location: MN/Foley

....Thanks for the reassuring words Ed....we do have water close by ,not lakes, but beaver ponds...and there is a feedlot (not very big) about 3/4 mile away...getting down to low 30's at night so they seem to stay in their nests later in the morning...what do you have for temps over there in Wisconsin? ....will try again to fling some more crickets today as i have some thawed and soaking in water from yesterday....hope you have a great season this year....stay safe.....Mrk
xprtbrdr
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed May 15, 2019 8:31 am
Location: Oconto County, Wisconsin

Hi Mark,
Your weather is very similar to what we are experiencing here in NE Wisconsin. I'm about 45 miles North of Green Bay. At the present time I too have about 18 Martins at my colony and had tried the exact same things you have, putting crickets and mealworms on a platform feeder, flicking crickets, and nothing worked, I even went so far as to put butterfly wings on the crickets because I read a post that Martins will tend to go after insects which have wings. But this too was a failure. What did finally work was putting live crickets in the fridge until they stopped moving and then "hobbling" them by cutting off their legs (all of them) which I'll admit is Misery. Then lowering the houses and putting these hobbled crickets on their porches. Success!!! The crickets wiggle enough that the Martins will eat them. I'm still hoping they will come to take something off the feeding platform. I too have scrambled eggs out, live mealworms, egg shells, and hobbled crickets. The Bluebirds are very happy with the situation and I hope they will set an example for the Martins. In regards to the cold temperatures we will be experiencing over the next week or so, I invested in 96 hr. heat packs and plan to put these in the compartments which the birds are using. While the houses are lowered we will also add some hobbled crickets to the porches. I completely understand your frustration and wish you success with your colony.
Ed Svetich-WI
Posts: 809
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:05 pm
Location: Brooks, Wi (McGinnis Lake)
Martin Colony History: 24 Super and Excluder Gourds on two gourd racks, all SREH. Full occupancy. My philosophy is to maximize fledge % with existing cavities rather than adding gourds to grow colony, thus providing opportunities for new colony expansion. Fledge over 100 nestlings yearly from 24 gourds. Band nestlings in cooperation with state university. 2019 Adendum: Reduced colony size to 12 gourds to focus on more intensive management regimen.

Mark,

Good suggestions regarding crippling crickets and heat packs. Our temps are up and down. 90 degrees Saturday and FROST tonight. Lows in the upper 30s and low 40s. Sun came out today with temp about 55. Swarms of small insects. Highs for the rest of the week in the 50s and lows near freezing to mid 30s. Spring in the Upper Midwest!

At least no mosquitos yet although the ticks are out.

Good luck this year.

Ed
Dave Duit
Posts: 1932
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. MarkinMN,
Please place your frozen and then thawed cricket right on the purple martin housing porches or just inside the tunnel, but don't block their ability to enter and exit their cavity. In doing this method, the martins do not expend energy and their food source is lierally right in front of their face. A majority of the martins will eat the crickets with this method. Also, watch closely for martins that will pack the same compartment / cavity and when too many try to conserve heat this way, they run the risk of getting themselves stuck in the entrances. Duct tpae on any vents will reduce air flow and keep the martins slightly warmer in the cavity. best of luck my friend.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3134
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

I know each area of the country is different when it comes to good sources etc. Where I am from if the highs get into the mid to high 40's they will feed and low overnight temps in the 30's are not enough by itself to harm them. If your highs are in the 50's and it's raining all day for two or three days that will be a problem. But I wouldn't worry two much if it's getting close to 50 (or above).
202160 nests with 187 eggs (6-3-20) HOSP count-9
2020 Currently 42 nest, Fledged approx 164 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 lone SY's
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.
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