May white out!

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Brad Biddle
Posts: 522
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Sue in the absence of Gatorade or Pedialyte, coat the crickets in sugar. Carbs will help perk the birds up faster than anything else.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
Sue P
Posts: 395
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:10 pm
Location: Morgantown, WV

I still have the female martin. She has a hard time maintaining her body temperature, and she is in a very warm part of the house. I sat on the deck this evening until nine watching what was left of my colony come back. I wanted to see what condition they were in. They were able to feed some, but kept feeding until dark. There are two females that don't look too good: I hope I don't find them dead tomorrow. The weather is going to be cold, windy, and rainy. Another poor day for feeding. Appreciate the prayers --- they will help.

Is anything ever fed beside crickets, meal worms and egg? It seems like when I was younger and rescued an orphaned (I guess) Robin that I fed it canned dog food. It grew up, and I released it. Martins are basically meat eating, so I wondered if that had ever been used.

Again, thank you all for the encouragement. I thought for a while that I would have a lot of martin equipment for sale, but I was pleased to see that some of the birds came back tonight. I don't think the subbies are here yet, and don't want them to arrive very soon, either.
Sue P
Posts: 395
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:10 pm
Location: Morgantown, WV

Sugar. I didn't know you could do that, Brad. Very interesting and will try it.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 522
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Sue P wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 9:11 pm
Sugar. I didn't know you could do that, Brad. Very interesting and will try it.
That's Brad's semi-educated suggestion. Not backed by the PMCA. When we have a weak calf born, or any bottle fed calf. We add sugar to the first milk. All animals need carbs for proper cellular function. I see no reason why Martins would be any different, plus it's quickly taken into the blood stream.

If it helps any, if mine were in the same situation and I didn't have gatorade or pedialyte, I'd put some sugar on their crickets.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
Sue P
Posts: 395
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:10 pm
Location: Morgantown, WV

Unfortunately the female martin died, too. I think they give up living when they are away from any other martins. She was doing well while the male was alive.

Disgusting weather again today. Cold, in the 30's, very windy and rain from time to time. I guess I will have to check the martin housing again for live martins. Fortunately they did feed well yesterday, and some returned last night.
Doug Martin - PA
Posts: 1920
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:47 am
Location: Pennsylvania/Fombell
Martin Colony History: First pair in 2009 after 28 years of trying. 3 pairs 2010, 17 pairs 2011 and 35-45 pairs since. Many additional colonies are now springing up around mine in an area once completely void of Martins. I offer 50 compartments at my site consisting of primarily Excluder II gourds on Gemini racks. Also a wooden T-14. I utilize electric fence type predator guards on the base of the poles. Supplemental feeding is crucial in maintaining my colony. I platform feed throughout the season as needed. My site tends to be a stop over point for additional birds as they migrate further north.

Sue,

I have posted this information prior. I use Nekton tonic I for my birds when feeding. I mix it into the freeze dried mealworms when I feed them.

It is used to help insect eating birds recover from stress and starvation.

I believe many of the birds that communal roosted here were migrating through. That may be the case for you there but you never know for sure.

Perhaps I only lost 2 birds here versus news of many elsewhere because I use this supplement.

It hit 62 here yesterday and sunny and windy but my birds were still starving when they came back in. So I continued to provide food. After 2 days of record low temperatures there are not a lot of insects around. Mine were also combing the tree tops well after dark.

Doug
Supplemental feeding plays a major role in western Pennsylvania. Finally got my 1st pair in 2009 after 28 years of effort. 3 pairs in 2010. 17 pairs in 2011. 35 pairs and 150 young in 2012 & 2013. Plus a new 22 pair colony right down the road from me.
Sue P
Posts: 395
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:10 pm
Location: Morgantown, WV

I lost three more Martins last night, probably due to starvation and overcrowding. I had quite a few fly this morning when I untangled the pile in one gourd, but there is still one that is hanging on. I used the sugar suggestion, and it did perk her up, but no guarantee that she will live. Where do you get your mealworms and your crickets? I still have frozen crickets, but have never tried mealworms. Also, that product you have been referring to sounds good to have around, but it doesn't keep for a year, does it? Anyway, this situation won't go away until the weather changes. It is in the 50's now, but a pretty good wind blowing. If you could give me the name of the supplier you use, I would appreciate it. I lost the name of the one I used to use, and there are places on line, but they don't seem to have anything but small crickets.
Jones4381
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:54 pm
Location: Rocky Mount VA
Martin Colony History: Newbie 51 years old and stumbled onto this by accident. Amazing bird. Just wanna help and give/receive happiness and be one with nature. Don't mind shooting an intruder of any kind though. Have a blessed day.

Sue P wrote:
Tue May 12, 2020 12:17 pm
I lost three more Martins last night, probably due to starvation and overcrowding. I had quite a few fly this morning when I untangled the pile in one gourd, but there is still one that is hanging on. I used the sugar suggestion, and it did perk her up, but no guarantee that she will live. Where do you get your mealworms and your crickets? I still have frozen crickets, but have never tried mealworms. Also, that product you have been referring to sounds good to have around, but it doesn't keep for a year, does it? Anyway, this situation won't go away until the weather changes. It is in the 50's now, but a pretty good wind blowing. If you could give me the name of the supplier you use, I would appreciate it. I lost the name of the one I used to use, and there are places on line, but they don't seem to have anything but small crickets.
If you have a pet store near by I'd suggest that. I have a leopard Geico and I buy live large crickets 72 at a pop form The Pet Store (national chain) for the lizard. Most of the larger pet stores sell crickets by the thousands. Good luck. Rod
51 year old HY beginner. Year 1 for me!
Doug Martin - PA
Posts: 1920
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:47 am
Location: Pennsylvania/Fombell
Martin Colony History: First pair in 2009 after 28 years of trying. 3 pairs 2010, 17 pairs 2011 and 35-45 pairs since. Many additional colonies are now springing up around mine in an area once completely void of Martins. I offer 50 compartments at my site consisting of primarily Excluder II gourds on Gemini racks. Also a wooden T-14. I utilize electric fence type predator guards on the base of the poles. Supplemental feeding is crucial in maintaining my colony. I platform feed throughout the season as needed. My site tends to be a stop over point for additional birds as they migrate further north.

Rural King and Tractor Supply carry 5lb bags of mealworms. I get 11lb bags from Amazon and Ebay. This is likely all a mute point this year, as temperatures will climb into the 80s by next week. This cold spring weather is finally about history at this point.

You just need to be ready each spring and keep an eye on long term forecasts. Nekton has a good shelve life if you keep it closed and in a cool dark basement or garage. Says not to refrigerate.

Hopefully we still have a bumper crop of youngsters coming up yet. They should start showing up very soon. I have seen several subbie females already. I even saw them at the feeder.

Doug
Supplemental feeding plays a major role in western Pennsylvania. Finally got my 1st pair in 2009 after 28 years of effort. 3 pairs in 2010. 17 pairs in 2011. 35 pairs and 150 young in 2012 & 2013. Plus a new 22 pair colony right down the road from me.
Sue P
Posts: 395
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:10 pm
Location: Morgantown, WV

Yes, I am definitely looking forward to warmer weather. The little sick one I found today is still alive, and bites me when I try to feed her, so that makes me happy. The Bed and Breakfast is loaded, but the martins aren't coming in yet, so maybe they will finally decide to eat from it.

This has been a real learning experience. I guess we are never too old for that. Thanks for all of your help. Are your mealworms live or dried at Tractor Supply?
Doug Martin - PA
Posts: 1920
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:47 am
Location: Pennsylvania/Fombell
Martin Colony History: First pair in 2009 after 28 years of trying. 3 pairs 2010, 17 pairs 2011 and 35-45 pairs since. Many additional colonies are now springing up around mine in an area once completely void of Martins. I offer 50 compartments at my site consisting of primarily Excluder II gourds on Gemini racks. Also a wooden T-14. I utilize electric fence type predator guards on the base of the poles. Supplemental feeding is crucial in maintaining my colony. I platform feed throughout the season as needed. My site tends to be a stop over point for additional birds as they migrate further north.

Freeze dried. But would recommend a supplement for any extended period of feeding.
Supplemental feeding plays a major role in western Pennsylvania. Finally got my 1st pair in 2009 after 28 years of effort. 3 pairs in 2010. 17 pairs in 2011. 35 pairs and 150 young in 2012 & 2013. Plus a new 22 pair colony right down the road from me.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 522
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

I was at Lowe’s this morning getting some flower seed for my wife and noticed that they had large bags of freeze dried mealworms.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
sugarcreek
Posts: 215
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:43 am
Location: Sugarcreek, Ohio
Martin Colony History: 2016 First Yr.

It was a tough couple days in Ohio as well...Lost multiple birds out of my 60 , I know of 13 that died at my site and from watching them this morning i would guess we lost half of the 60 we had ....They are recouping nicely today with this nice weather but please check your boxes again because yesterday despite the beautiful weather we still had 2 more dead in a T14 cavity and we had checked all cavities the previous day when it was fairly nice...Not sure how many crickets, and dozens of eggs we went through but it wasn't enough they must have been so dehydrated from all the cold and stress.

Makes it so sad to even go out and watch but this morning they were chirping and started the pairing up again....I am sure nest building will resume again real soon.
2016 - 1st Yr. 14 Compartments 4 Active Nests 9 fledged, 2.25 Fledged per Active Nest
2017 - 2nd Yr. 36 Compartments 18 Active Nests 65 Fledged, 3.61 Fledged per Active Nest
2018 - 3rd Yr. 54 Compartments 43 Active Nests 169 Fledged, 3.93 Fledged per Active Nest
2019 - 4th Yr. 108 Compartments 67 Active Nests 209 Fledged, 3.12 Fledged per Active Nest
2020 - 5th Yr. 108 Compartments ?
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Sorry to hear of the struggles up North. Like has been said before this is a learning experience for all of us. All you can do is what you know. Try your best and move on and help the survivors. I am wishing you Good Luck!
Post Reply