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DuckCamp
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 27, 2020 10:03 pm
Location: Indiana
Martin Colony History: 2020 - 1 ASY pair, 3 fledged

Two of three young from our single nesting pair fledged 2 days ago. I observed both birds flying with the parent birds each of the past two evenings. The remaining nestling was seen looking out of the gourd as well, and remains there today. This evening, I watched both parents flying above our property occasionally visiting the nestling in the gourd. I did not see the two birds that fledged 2 days ago. I am wondering if this is a normal observation. Would those fledglings be expected to be seen with the parents today, only 2 days after fledging? The adults did leave the property for significant periods of time. Could the young be staying elsewhere? This evening the adult female returned and entered the gourd with the nestling at dark, presumably to roost. I do not believe the male returned to any of our gourds tonight.
2020 - 1 pair (ASY), 3 fledged
Dave Duit
Posts: 1854
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: Iowa / Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2020, 60 pair with 285 fledged youngsters. 83 total cavities available, 58 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified deep trio metal house units, 1 fallout shelter, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President and founder of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit www.iamartin.org and join.

Hi DuckCamp,
All of what you have observed is normal martin parenting and fledgling activities. No reason to worry about the youngsters or parents.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
ToyinPA
Posts: 2137
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.

DuckCamp wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:55 pm
Two of three young from our single nesting pair fledged 2 days ago. I observed both birds flying with the parent birds each of the past two evenings. The remaining nestling was seen looking out of the gourd as well, and remains there today. This evening, I watched both parents flying above our property occasionally visiting the nestling in the gourd. I did not see the two birds that fledged 2 days ago. I am wondering if this is a normal observation. Would those fledglings be expected to be seen with the parents today, only 2 days after fledging? The adults did leave the property for significant periods of time. Could the young be staying elsewhere? This evening the adult female returned and entered the gourd with the nestling at dark, presumably to roost. I do not believe the male returned to any of our gourds tonight.
Usually the parents will take them to a near by lake, river, creek where they can park them in trees. Over about a 2 week period they will teach them to fly, land, catch insects & drink by skimming the water. They will learn what is safe & what is not. Usually they will come back to the houses for a few days before they leave for roost.

Keep an eye on the third chick that hasn't fledged yet. Parents may not feed him, because they want him to fledge. Often they aren't ready & need a few plus days. However in high heat they can end up dehydrated. A wrinkled abdomen is a sign of dehydration. In cases like this I often hand feed crickets (14-15 crickets each feeding) twice a day to keep them hydrated until they are ready to fledge. I just had one that was 1 of 5 in the nest. 4 fledged, but he needed 3 extra days to fledge. His growth got delayed due to ruptured air sacs. Some just fall behind a little, which can make all the difference in fledging time. His parents did not feed him, so I did. He tried to fledge 3 times & each time ended up on the ground in the hot sun with temps in the upper 90's/heat index low 100's. Not good in this high heat. We found him each time & put him back in the nest. I've done this for many years - rescue chicks off the ground that just aren't ready. He finally fledged, ending up on a house roof for a few hours before he flew off with his parents.

I had one last year that got abandoned by his parents. His only clutch mate had fledged at day 26. They did not come back to check on him at all. After 2 days I moved him to another nest, but when their chicks reached fledge age they stopped feeding him & tried to knock him off the balcony, pushed him aside, etc. as well. His parents finally came back when he was 38 days old, took him back & we helped to fledge him 2 days later. He tried to fledge, but ended up on the ground many times. We tossed him 3 times before he made it to a porch roof, where Dad sat with him for a few hours, then to a 2nd story house roof where he sat for a few hours, then finally in the air. A few days later they left for roost.

Leave your housing up. You could get migrating martins stop over or others looking for housing for next year. I usually take mine down late September early October.

Toy in PA
PMCA Member
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