"Flycatching" Purple Martins

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-=DKC=-
Posts: 211
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:26 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

"Flycatching" Purple Martins

Postby -=DKC=- » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:50 pm

This year my birds have been doing something I have not seen before. They have been "flycatching" bugs off of the gourd rack, like a Flycatcher, jumping off the perch, catching a bug and returning to the same perch. I didn't see this all last year. They've also been hunting below the treeline on occasion, primarily in my yard. They do this more often closer to sunset when they're hanging around the colony.

I did train them to eat flipped crickets this year so I was wondering, did flipping crickets teach them to look for food around the rack and below the treeline or is this something that Martins do normally?

Whatever the case, it's really cool to see.

PMDavid
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 8:50 pm
Location: Boyce,Louisiana
Martin Colony History: First year trying to attract martins
Offering 8 compartment homemade wooden house w/4 natural gourds and C.Abare gourd rack w/16 natural gourds. Lots of lookers,a few overnighters and daily activity cruising and looking. All gourds have a rain canopy and wire perch.

Re: "Flycatching" Purple Martins

Postby PMDavid » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:36 pm

So what exactly is the technique used for flipping crickets? And what about a little cheap ol timey slingshot?

-=DKC=-
Posts: 211
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:26 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Re: "Flycatching" Purple Martins

Postby -=DKC=- » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:44 pm

PMDavid wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:36 pm
So what exactly is the technique used for flipping crickets? And what about a little cheap ol timey slingshot?
A slingshot would work. I've tried a slingshot before but found it a bit cumbersome when flipping a hundred crickets. My favorite is using a plastic spoon to flip them. Learned that here and it works great. I even have favorite spoons. :grin:

I stand fairly close the the housing and flip the crickets a bit above and in front of the housing so the birds can see it. Last year they wanted no part of it. This year I caught them on a day when they were sulking on the housing looking hungry. They started eating after about 10 flips this time and they're always game for a few now.

There's lots of info here on the forums and on the main site...

https://www.purplemartin.org/purple-mar ... l-feeding/

https://www.purplemartin.org/uploads/me ... de-416.pdf (PDF)

http://purplemartin.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12898

PMDavid
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 8:50 pm
Location: Boyce,Louisiana
Martin Colony History: First year trying to attract martins
Offering 8 compartment homemade wooden house w/4 natural gourds and C.Abare gourd rack w/16 natural gourds. Lots of lookers,a few overnighters and daily activity cruising and looking. All gourds have a rain canopy and wire perch.

Re: "Flycatching" Purple Martins

Postby PMDavid » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:47 pm

DK that has got to be cool and hilarious at the same time ! Whenever I get a colony started I’m gonna make a point to try and train mine. I thought about a blowgun,but I can see where a spoon would do well. Ok man thanks for the response,I’m gonna keep it in mind.

-=DKC=-
Posts: 211
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:26 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Re: "Flycatching" Purple Martins

Postby -=DKC=- » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:05 pm

PMDavid wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:47 pm
DK that has got to be cool and hilarious at the same time ! Whenever I get a colony started I’m gonna make a point to try and train mine. I thought about a blowgun,but I can see where a spoon would do well. Ok man thanks for the response,I’m gonna keep it in mind.
It's actually pretty fun. But you'd be surprised - it also can tire you out. The spoon seems to take the least effort for me.

I have 3 birds that are especially adept at catching crickets. They will wait and catch 3 or 4 before taking them to their babies. One actually "kites" over me begging when it wants me to give it crickets. It's hard to say no when he does that.

SJohnson
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:54 am
Location: NC/Kinston

Re: "Flycatching" Purple Martins

Postby SJohnson » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:35 pm

Are you using live crickets or dead ones.
Yes ! Yes! Yes! Finally!!!! Two pair have finally make it. Just as pretty as ever.

-=DKC=-
Posts: 211
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:26 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Re: "Flycatching" Purple Martins

Postby -=DKC=- » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:57 pm

SJohnson wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:35 pm
Are you using live crickets or dead ones.
I buy live crickets and then freeze them. I thaw them out to room temperature before feeding. At first I tried flipping live crickets but it's not as easy as it sounds. :shock:


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