Late babies!!

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Posts: 328
Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:45 pm
Location: Plantation/Florida

Late babies!!

Postby Stingray » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:05 am

Good morning,
I have been a PM landlord since 2005. This past season was my very best ever.
81 baby martins fledged.
My martins left a few days ago, but I noticed two going in and out of one of my gourds.
I lowered the gourds yesterday and there are four babies in there...may three weeks old!!
They have some feathers, but it will be weeks before they're ready to fledge.
I have not experienced this before.
There are new leaves over the previous nest from this year which leads me to believe it is not
the same inhabitants.
What has been your experience with this??
Any feedback is welcome.
Thank you!!
Have a great season!

Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:43 pm
Location: OH/Athens
Martin Colony History: I have had my martin colony on the dam of one of my ponds for nine years. The colony has grown each year, but I am now concentrating on helping friends and acquaintances who have shown interests in martins. My colony consists of three T-14's with 8 Troyer gourds attatched to each T-14, a Troyer gourd rack with 12 gourds, and another gourd rack with 18 Troyer gourds for a total of 96 nest cavities. I am having serious predation issues with hawks and owls and am experimenting with various hawk guards and "screens". Established successful supplemental feeding last season during late march and had a blast flipping mostly meal worms and some crickets. Faculty from Ohio University are using my colony as a research site to study parasites that target cavity nesting birds. In exchange for access to my bird trail nest boxes and martin housing, they are banding all birds involved in their study.

Re: Late babies!!

Postby mwren » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:27 am

It is not uncommon to have these "late nesters". I have 4 nests that are way behind in my colony this season. There are different theories or ideas on how or why this happens. The one that seems to make the most sense to me is that you may be seeing a "re-nesting" attempt from a pair that may have lost their first nest to predators, weather issues, parasites etc. Observe the nesting pair closely to determine if they are mature, after second year adults, or if they are less mature birds. These younger birds often are not able to get into the swing of things like finding a mate, building a nest on the same schedule as your mature birds and can result in these late nests. Enjoy the process, make them late reservations on the flights to Brazil!!
Mike "Bird" Wren

Posts: 1942
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.

Re: Late babies!!

Postby ToyinPA » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:43 am

Sounds like a re-nest. I just had a re-nest (both are ASY) hatch out 5 chicks July 9th & 10th. I have another nest with chicks ready to fledge any day. I've had late nests that ended up being here into late August.

The downside is they are on their own. No support from the colony against predators. Late nests usually will fledge their chicks as soon as they can & not hang around. They want to get them to a roost ASAP.

Toy in PA
PMCA Member

Posts: 328
Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:45 pm
Location: Plantation/Florida

Re: Late babies!!

Postby Stingray » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:22 pm

Thank you mwren and ToyinPa!!
Will let 'em know about the flights!! :lol:
I appreciate the feedback.
Have a great season!

Posts: 288
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 11:03 am
Location: SW Ohio
Martin Colony History: Colony established May 20, 2017 after three unsuccessful years. Persistent and aggressive Tree Swallows plagued the site, but beyond learning - and practicing - to control them, was the return in 2017 of a 2016-SY-M previously unable to find a mate. As a handsome ASY-M, he brought along two females and a swagger that soon put the Tree Swallow issue to rest. As the anchor pair, he and his mate hatched all six of their eggs into fat and healthy babies into what settled in to be a three-pair, flourishing new colony with up to 11 birds total, including 3 SY-M trouble makers.

Re: Late babies!!

Postby handyman315 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:10 am

Have the same thing going on at my second-year colony. Very helpful answers, mwren & ToyinPa. Thanks.
2018-ASY-M Arrived April 6, Despite Snow & Cold, Joined Soon by Mate & Two Adult Pairs, All Hunkered in the Cold
2017-FIRST-YEAR LANDLORD! :grin: Resident SY-M from 2016 Returned (as ASY-M) on May 20. At Least 11 Resident PMs, with 13 Fledged from Three Nests . . . (And Operated a Daily Flying Circus) :grin:
2016-Several Visits, Late-Arriving SYs, Resident Lone SY-M, Unable to Find Mate, Entered ALL Cavities
2015 & 2014-Many Visits

Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:02 pm
Location: Saskatchewan Canada

Re: Late babies!!

Postby Fuzzmeister » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:15 pm

Hi there iam a first year landlord and iam learning more and more about these birds as time goes on. I’m not really sure about how the migration works with purple martins but reading about you guys in Florida that are worried about late nesting I am from Canada and I have a house with 12 pair that all have babies and there are none that have fledged yet the closest for any to fledge is probably 4 or 5 days away. How many days does it take for them to learn to fly? And leave the house to go south?

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