Dead martins in gourds

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Stingray
Posts: 338
Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:45 pm
Location: Plantation/Florida

Dead martins in gourds

Postby Stingray » Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:19 am

Hello all,
I hope every one is well and your season is progressing nicely.
I'm looking forward to another great season and am near 100% occupancy in my 18 gourds.

I have a question.
Last week I dropped both racks to check on nesting.
I found three started nests, and two gourds had a dead martin in them. Both birds had the feathers missing from the top of their heads. I could see no other injury.

Was this from in fighting amongst each other?

Starlings? I have seen a few starlings but have never seen one breach the SRE gourds in all the years I've had the gourds.

Hawk? A cooper hawk has shown up a few times and did ambush a martin a few weeks ago. I jumped up, startled him and he dropped the martin which flew away.

What say you??

Thank you for your input. 😊
Have a great season!

jhcox
Posts: 421
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 9:23 am
Location: tennesse
Martin Colony History: Started colony in 2014. First pair to stay and raise young in 2018.

Re: Dead martins in gourds

Postby jhcox » Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:35 am

Sounds like a house sparrow.

Brad Biddle
Posts: 367
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: Dead martins in gourds

Postby Brad Biddle » Tue Mar 24, 2020 9:05 am

House sparrow or Starling
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 102 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.

Stingray
Posts: 338
Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:45 pm
Location: Plantation/Florida

Re: Dead martins in gourds

Postby Stingray » Tue Mar 24, 2020 11:05 am

House sparrow or Starling
Sounds like a house sparrow.

Thank you both. I appreciate your feedback.
I've only seen the starlings a couple of times and they were not paying attention to the gourds.
They are sneaky though.
Will have to keep a closer eye on my colony.
No house sparrows around.

Thanks again. 😊
Have a great season!

Stingray
Posts: 338
Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:45 pm
Location: Plantation/Florida

Re: Dead martins in gourds

Postby Stingray » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:54 pm

Okay, another one today.
this is the first time I've seen this in my 16 years as a pm landlord.
I just dropped the gourds again doing a nest check and applying Sevin dust under new
nests.
In one of the gourds, was a female martin with all the feathers picked from her head!
She was alive. I picked her up and released her. She flew away.
Apparently, aside from her missing head feathers she is alright.
Whatever did that to her must have traumatized her and she may be in pain.
If I see her in there again like that, I will take her to our local wildlife rescue.

I have not seen any starlings around my gourds. We have no house sparrows around
We are staying home and I'm outside several times a day. In the evenings I sit out and watch them
feed and come in.

I am at a loss as to how to help my little friends.
Thanks.

EDIT: I just found this old thread.
Apparently martin vs martin can cause this.
Live and learn.

https://www.purplemartin.org/forum/view ... hp?t=24605
Have a great season!

Brad Biddle
Posts: 367
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: Dead martins in gourds

Postby Brad Biddle » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:16 pm

I've been a landlord for a pretty long time and I have never seen an alive or dead Martin with the feathers pecked off it's head. I have seen a dead bluebird with the feathers pecked off it's head and a HOSP caused it. I'd keep watching....
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 102 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.


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