Distressed ASY Purple Martin on ground

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-=DKC=-
Posts: 359
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:26 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
Martin Colony History: ................
2019: 11 pairs
2018: 11 pairs - 43 fledged
2017: 4 pairs - 17 fledged

Distressed ASY Purple Martin on ground

Postby -=DKC=- » Fri May 17, 2019 6:24 pm

Hello everyone.

I went outside this evening to do a nest check and found an ASY male Martin on the ground under the gourd rack. He was aware of my presence, eyes open, and flopped around a bit eventually turning upside down. I picked him up and checked to see if he was injured or tied up in some way. No obvious sign of injury. Wings did not appear to be broken.

I set him down and went inside to grab a bucket to put him in and when I returned in 2 or 3 minutes he was dead on his back.

I checked his throat for obstruction but didn't see anything. I spread his feathers everywhere and looked for any sign of blood or trauma but there was none. His head was very limp and "floppy" for lack of a better word but since I've never held a dead adult I don't know if that is normal.

For future reference, does anyone have any advise on what do do when you find a distressed adult on the ground? Is there some way to check for choking etc?

I'm perplexed by this sudden death and a bit heartbroken because the nests are full of eggs and hatchlings right now. Any insight is much appreciated.

-=DKC=-
"If at first you don't succeed, keep on suckin' till you do succeed." - Curly Howard

deancamp
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: MO

Re: Distressed ASY Purple Martin on ground

Postby deancamp » Fri May 17, 2019 6:47 pm

No way to know for sure, but it sounds like it was his time to go.

C.C.Martins
Posts: 657
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 sucessful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged.
2018-18 pair. 85 fledged.
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
Home colony: 12 natural gourds, one modified house. 18 cavities in total.
PMCA member

Re: Distressed ASY Purple Martin on ground

Postby C.C.Martins » Fri May 17, 2019 7:00 pm

That stinks sorry for the loss, how many eggs and chicks would be in the nest? With the amount of rain we have had lately the female will find food. Perhaps another male will move in? Im thinking watch that gourd close and check the chicks, if they arent doing well, perhaps move one or two to a smaller brood. Timing stinks they just hatched.
There was a lady here who would care for wild birds and rehab them however i think shes retired.
Tom

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 sucessful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 Fledged
2018-18 pairs. 85 Fledged.
2019-17 pair. 81 fledged.
Offering: 12 natural gourds, w/crescents and WDC openings. 6 modified compartment house, crescents with tunnels.

-=DKC=-
Posts: 359
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:26 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
Martin Colony History: ................
2019: 11 pairs
2018: 11 pairs - 43 fledged
2017: 4 pairs - 17 fledged

Re: Distressed ASY Purple Martin on ground

Postby -=DKC=- » Fri May 17, 2019 7:42 pm

I appreciate the replies.
No way to know for sure, but it sounds like it was his time to go.
That was my thought as well, but of course I'm always trying to be sure there isn't something I should look for. I have a small colony so I'm pretty invested in all my individuals, It's hard to lose birds even though I know that's just part of doing what we do.
That stinks sorry for the loss, how many eggs and chicks would be in the nest? With the amount of rain we have had lately the female will find food. Perhaps another male will move in? Im thinking watch that gourd close and check the chicks, if they arent doing well, perhaps move one or two to a smaller brood. Timing stinks they just hatched.
There was a lady here who would care for wild birds and rehab them however i think shes retired.
I haven't determined yet which male it was. I've narrowed it down to 4 possible nests. One of the males I haven't ruled out yet has 6 hatchlings (hatched today) and one egg. I'm really hoping it's not him. I do have a few options this year of smaller broods into which to move chicks if absolutely necessary.
"If at first you don't succeed, keep on suckin' till you do succeed." - Curly Howard

Spiderman
Posts: 690
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

Re: Distressed ASY Purple Martin on ground

Postby Spiderman » Fri May 17, 2019 8:26 pm

Sorry that your male didn't make it.

Sometime a Cooper's Hawk will fly head on towards a Martin. Male Martins are programmed to try and defend the nest when there are young & babies.

If the Hawk touches the Martin when they pass the damage is done. Puncture wounds will not bleed much. Perhaps you startled the Hawk before he could circle and claim his prize.

I had a Cooper's do this to a female one afternoon near sunset. I picked her up but she only lasted s minute before she was gone. When they met they were only a few feet away from me.
2008 - 33 PAIR - FLEDGED 96 YOUNG
2009 - 51 PAIR - FLEDGED 166 YOUNG
2010 - 45 PAIR - FLEDGED 146 YOUNG
2011 - 33 PAIR - 128 HATCHED, 97 FLEDGED
2012 - 37 PAIR - 119 HATCHED, 101 FLEDGED

-=DKC=-
Posts: 359
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:26 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
Martin Colony History: ................
2019: 11 pairs
2018: 11 pairs - 43 fledged
2017: 4 pairs - 17 fledged

Re: Distressed ASY Purple Martin on ground

Postby -=DKC=- » Sat May 18, 2019 9:10 am

Sorry that your male didn't make it.

Sometime a Cooper's Hawk will fly head on towards a Martin. Male Martins are programmed to try and defend the nest when there are young & babies.

If the Hawk touches the Martin when they pass the damage is done. Puncture wounds will not bleed much. Perhaps you startled the Hawk before he could circle and claim his prize.

I had a Cooper's do this to a female one afternoon near sunset. I picked her up but she only lasted s minute before she was gone. When they met they were only a few feet away from me.
Hello Spiderman-

A hawk is definitely a possibility. However I have not seen any hawks in my area for nearly 4 weeks. That's not to say they aren't here.

I did check for punctures just to make sure someone didn't shoot him. I didn't see any.

I was wondering if 2 PUMA males fighting to the ground could break one of their necks?

Watching the colony very closely today.
"If at first you don't succeed, keep on suckin' till you do succeed." - Curly Howard

C.C.Martins
Posts: 657
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 sucessful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged.
2018-18 pair. 85 fledged.
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
Home colony: 12 natural gourds, one modified house. 18 cavities in total.
PMCA member

Re: Distressed ASY Purple Martin on ground

Postby C.C.Martins » Sat May 18, 2019 1:16 pm

Second the hawks gone now from corpus thank God, lost a few early on to a sharpie...one of which was an ASY that returned from last year he was a SY that raised 3 chicks by himself; did some supplemental feeding of his chicks as they were starving at the end of our dry hot summer...he had a strange croaky rough voice was not the rich sound, broke.my heart to find him in the neighbors yard. Pile of feathers.
Just your birds time, No telling what did it. Could be fighting, got injured offsite and just got home. Be interested to hear how his mate and those chicks do DKC. This life style of caring for the martins is not for the feignht of heart.
Tom

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 sucessful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 Fledged
2018-18 pairs. 85 Fledged.
2019-17 pair. 81 fledged.
Offering: 12 natural gourds, w/crescents and WDC openings. 6 modified compartment house, crescents with tunnels.

-=DKC=-
Posts: 359
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:26 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
Martin Colony History: ................
2019: 11 pairs
2018: 11 pairs - 43 fledged
2017: 4 pairs - 17 fledged

Re: Distressed ASY Purple Martin on ground

Postby -=DKC=- » Sun May 19, 2019 10:14 am

Second the hawks gone now from corpus thank God, lost a few early on to a sharpie...one of which was an ASY that returned from last year he was a SY that raised 3 chicks by himself; did some supplemental feeding of his chicks as they were starving at the end of our dry hot summer...he had a strange croaky rough voice was not the rich sound, broke.my heart to find him in the neighbors yard. Pile of feathers.
Just your birds time, No telling what did it. Could be fighting, got injured offsite and just got home. Be interested to hear how his mate and those chicks do DKC. This life style of caring for the martins is not for the feignht of heart.
Sorry about your lost bird. I hate that. I lost at least one to a hawk attack this year. Very sad.


Update:

The day after I found the dying ASY male (yesterday) there were 6 hatchlings missing from 2 nests. I found one dead hatchling on the ground about 15' from the colony.

A SY male is trying to claim the gourd that the dead ASY male came from. Multiple ASY males have been attacking him trying to chase him away but he is extremely persistent. He's definitely decided that the gourd is now his. The female in that gourd has been trying to keep him out but she is gone most of the time trying to get food for her hatchlings. There are other floater males around but this one is the only one being this aggressive so I suspect he is the culprit in the death of the adult and the disappearance of nestlings.

I'm afraid that this SY male is going to kill all of her hatchlings and maybe others but I don't know of anything I can do to prevent it.

This SY male has already caused more damage to my colony than House Sparrows and Starlings ever have. :-(
"If at first you don't succeed, keep on suckin' till you do succeed." - Curly Howard

-=DKC=-
Posts: 359
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:26 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
Martin Colony History: ................
2019: 11 pairs
2018: 11 pairs - 43 fledged
2017: 4 pairs - 17 fledged

Re: Distressed ASY Purple Martin on ground

Postby -=DKC=- » Mon May 20, 2019 10:21 am

Two more missing hatchlings yesterday. So only 2 out of 7 young are left in that one nest. I don't hold out much hope for the remaining two since the lone female can't protect the nest all day.

In 3 days I've lost 8 hatchlings and an adult to what must be SY males. Have to admit, my admiration for Purple Martins has diminished somewhat.
"If at first you don't succeed, keep on suckin' till you do succeed." - Curly Howard

Spiderman
Posts: 690
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

Re: Distressed ASY Purple Martin on ground

Postby Spiderman » Mon May 20, 2019 11:50 am

Sorry, I can't help with that.
2008 - 33 PAIR - FLEDGED 96 YOUNG
2009 - 51 PAIR - FLEDGED 166 YOUNG
2010 - 45 PAIR - FLEDGED 146 YOUNG
2011 - 33 PAIR - 128 HATCHED, 97 FLEDGED
2012 - 37 PAIR - 119 HATCHED, 101 FLEDGED


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