Is this normal?

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iluvbirds
Posts: 407
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 6:38 pm
Location: Kentucky/Murray

Last year was my first year to have Martins. I had 1 1/2 pairs. The one pair raised one baby. Last year I noticed that it didn't come to the entrance hole to receive food till it was about 23/24 days old. This year I have 5 pair. One of the nests, the nestlings started coming to the entrance at 10 days old! Is this normal for them to come to the entrance hole this soon? They are about 18 days old now, and seem to be old pros at it...LOL....Just wondering if any one else has had them come to the doorway this soon?....Pat
Laverne
Posts: 2216
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:58 pm
Location: TX/Alvin
Martin Colony History: Erected 1st house in 1997. Birds were checking it out before Mike got down from the ladder. Six cavities had a little colony 1st year. Grown to 88 cavities all gourds with near 100% occupancy. Most important factor for success is rain = bugs.

Hi Pat.

Yes, and I don't know why. But, I can speculate...

First of all - last year when there was only one in the nest - he got all the food he could eat - probably more than he wanted. So, he didn't start peeking until he was approaching fledging age. At that time, his parents may have cut back on his rations and he was getting a little hungry.

This year, do you have multiple young in each nest? Each nestling doesn't get as much to eat as that single nestling did. And, I would almost bet that the 10 day old nestlings who are already sticking their heads out have SYs for parents. Some Subbies are not as diligent at parenting as they will become with experience. They may not be bringing enough food in to these nestlings. So, the young are eager to be the first to get the bug. That's why they migrate toward the entrance. They are being fed adequately, but their desire to eat is never satisfied. As they get bigger and more mobile they will squabble over every morsel their parents bring in and these fights often lead to somebody getting knocked out of the nest. Keep an eye out for them. They may need your help one day.

Ain't this fun?!! Enjoy...
Sincerely,
Laverne
iluvbirds
Posts: 407
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 6:38 pm
Location: Kentucky/Murray

Hi Laverne: Yes, this is a nest of 5. There were 6, but one was a runt and I found it on the ground dead this past Saturday morning... :-( ... I believe the pair in this compartment are the one's from last year, so they would be ASY's this year. I will do my last nest check on them this Sunday, as they will be 22 days old... :) ...I've got 18 Nestling's and 4 eggs due to hatch tomorrow... :) ....It has been so hot here! I hope they all make it. I tied my water hose with a spray nozzle on it to a ladder and aimed it straight up in the air for a while today, to see if the PM's would go through it, but they never did. I don't guess it's too hot for them. I guess most of your babies have fledged by now. Good luck to you if you have any left. Thanks for responding to my post..... :) ....Pat
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