Dead Fledglings?

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Ele
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:52 am
Location: Kansas

Dead Fledglings?

Postby Ele » Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:50 pm

Second year landlord here and we had what appeared to be a very successful year. All nest boxes had nests, all hatched. We had lots and lots of babies. Watching them all learn to fly was so amazing. Then it seemed that they’d all gone, so we thought they were done for the season. We pulled down the house and found at least one dead fledgling in 4 of the 6 boxes. What on earth happened??? Anyone have any ideas? Will this keep the birds from nesting in our house next year? I am devastated.

ToyinPA
Posts: 2042
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: Dead Fledglings?

Postby ToyinPA » Sat Jul 13, 2019 2:11 pm

Second year landlord here and we had what appeared to be a very successful year. All nest boxes had nests, all hatched. We had lots and lots of babies. Watching them all learn to fly was so amazing. Then it seemed that they’d all gone, so we thought they were done for the season. We pulled down the house and found at least one dead fledgling in 4 of the 6 boxes. What on earth happened??? Anyone have any ideas? Will this keep the birds from nesting in our house next year? I am devastated.
Did they have "pasty butt"? Look at the vent. Is there a clump of dried poop? If so that is what killed them. They can't poop & go septic in a day or two. I've lost several to it so far. Weather can cause it. Possible disease, not sure.

Blowfly larva can also suck a chick down in 2 days to the point of no return. They become too weak to eat.

Lack of enough food weakens the chick, so he stops eating & basically starves to death.

If you had successful fledging you should get your colony back next year.

Toy in PA
PMCA Member

C.C.Martins
Posts: 629
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: Dead Fledglings?

Postby C.C.Martins » Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:41 pm

Could have been young that never caught up to its nestmates. Could very well be as Toy suggests. One or two stronger chicks get to the front and thus the food. Parents know sometimes and push through to feed those lacking but not all survive.
One way to monitor and keep these unpleasant surprises down are regular nest checks. Its easy to do, martins forgive the intrusion quickly, and helps to monitor the health of the birds. There are ways to assist them. Consider supplemental feed trays as well. They catch on quickly that there is food in the area and it will assist greatly.
There are some very good topics here to help you through it.
Sorry for the loss, its unpleasant but as Toy says you should be good next year...point is to have sucessful fledges and you should have returns.
Respectfully,
Tom
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.


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