Last one fledged today in central Wisconsin

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Ed Svetich-WI
Posts: 806
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.

Last of 106 eggs that hatched fledged today at 29 days of age. I was concerned since these 5 nestlings were being raised solely by an ASY female for the last week or so. No male to be seen.

23 pair laid 124 eggs. Two nests were abandoned, each with 3 sterile eggs. Total of sterile eggs this year was 18, which was high for my colony. All eggs that hatched fledged for 100%, although it was only 85% of total eggs laid. This was my best year with no lost nestlings. I keep my colony at what I consider a manageable number of gourds and conduct frequent inspections, nest changes and prudent use of insecticides at hatching and at day 10 and day 20 nest replacements. Predator guards on both poles and each gourd.

This was our second year of banding nestlings. We banded 78 nestlings and one ASY female. The remaining young were too young at the time of banding and there were too many at 20 plus days of age to risk banding the remaining nestlings later.

Good luck to all for the remaining of the season and into next year.

Ed
Carlton
Posts: 1931
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 6:42 pm
Location: Florida/Pompano Beach
Martin Colony History: I moved to South Florida, from Delaware, in August of 2015.

I will have 2 MSS-8 houses, with Excluder entrances, here on my condo grounds. This season I will also have two Deluxe Gourd Racks with 24 Excluder Gourds with Modified Excluder entrances. In our condo development, along the lake in a different section, I have 8 Excluder Gourds hanging from 84 inch Shepherd's Hooks with predator guards.

At Quiet Waters Park, nearby in Deerfield Beach, I care for a Deluxe Gourd Rack with 12 TVG's. I also care for a Deluxe Gourd rack with 12 Excluder gourds with Modified Excluder entrances.

At another local park, Tradewinds Park at Coconut Creek, care for a Trendsetter 12, 5 gourds rack with 60 Excluder gourds with Modified Excluder Entrances and 1 Deluxe Gourd Rack with 12 Troyer Vertical Gourds with wing guards over the Conley II to keep out smaller starlings.

Sounds like it was a very successful season. Great job!
Rick B
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 3:33 pm
Location: Wisconsin/Rubicon

WOW ! that is a great fledged rate. Did you supplement feed that cold and rainy week? Was it the last week in June ?

Rick
Ed Svetich-WI
Posts: 806
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.

No, I have not ever used supplemental feeding when the martins are feeding young. The temperatures may drop into the 40s at night but usually warm up over 65 during the day and there are insects flying. I live on a small lake in farm country. I have seen martins feeding around the dairy barns as well as over the lake on cooler mornings and then return to the colony to feed their young.

I limit my colony to 24 gourds. All have owl guards and predator guards on the poles. I conduct nest checks every 4 days and use Sevin sparingly to avoid hurting the nestlings. Nest replacements are done every 10 days post hatch, if not sooner. Supplemental feeding would not benefit the nestlings if they are being drained by blow flies. Keeping the colony at a manageable size allows me to focus on raising a good number of martins with less work.Last year the fledge rate was 99%.

I am in awe of those landlords with huge colonies. I could not do it and I advise my mentees to grow into the size colony that they can easily manage rather than starting with 50 cavities and finding out that it is more work and expense than they anticipated.

Some may disagree but if I can produce 100 nestlings per year, new landlords will have a better chance of starting colonies in this area.

Ed
Annie G
Posts: 341
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:09 pm
Location: Wisconsin/Portage

Great job Ed and thank you for your time and hard work with your martins. Maybe one you fledged will stop by my place next spring. Again thanks for all you do. Annie
Keep trying and keep your chin up, its easier to see the martins coming!!
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