Migrating Martins....

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The Olsons
Posts: 3200
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:57 pm
Location: North Padre Island, TX

We had a large influx of migrating martins in our yard yesterday; at least about 100.....In the afternoon while looking out the window I saw some sitting on the lines of the sailboat. I thought why are they sitting there and then it dawned on me they remember the boat feeder from last year, which I find absolutely amazing, and realized they are hungry. So dinner was served immediately.....crickets with a side dish of meal worms.

This morning when I woke up my first thing was to look out the window....all crickets were gone and martins were waiting for breakfast on the boat. So voila here is breakfast. There are always 6-8 martins taking turns eating.

This afternoon when I cam home I saw that the roof on the other side of our house is covered with martins. With them we should have at least 150 migrating guys here. They all look worn out and hungry. Then I checked the feeder and found 35 martins that I could count (there were more around the corner) on the boat.

I am very glad that I always have supplemental food available and the way these guys are eating I just ordered more crickets and worms.

Take a close look....some of those are your babies :grin:

Astrid
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Love it or leave it~~~Astrid :-)
Hanover Bill
Posts: 617
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 3:10 pm
Location: Pennsylvania/Hanover Township
Martin Colony History: 2009 & 10 - 0
2011 & 12 - Visitors
2013 - 2 pr. fledged 9
2014 - 3 pr. fledged 13
2015 - 7 pr. fledged 27
2016 - 15 pr. fledged 72

I am jealous of all of you Martin enthusiasts in Texas and other southern locations, it seems you have a real advantage over we poor northerners. I think I live in the most Martin barren county in the country, Beaver County in southwestern Pennsylvania. Seems we are in a sliver of geography where for some reason or another Purple Martins just aren't very plentiful, but I'm still trying. Even though I'm jealous I still enjoy reading your posts, though it is with more than a little envy. Enjoy your Martins and send some on up here.

Hanover Bill.
2009 & 10 - 0
2011 & 12 - Visitors
2013 - 2 pr. fledged 9
2014 - 3 pr. fledged 13
2015 - 7 pr. fledged 27
2016 - 15 pr. fledged 72
DakotaLady
Posts: 654
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:06 pm
Location: Bismarck, ND

Astrid that sure is amazing that they remembered your fantastic feeding tray from last season. I remember the photographs you placed online when it was so cold and you fed them from your boat. Nice job.

I'm sure hoping that I get martins this year. Thanks for sharing the photo.
~Tangula~

2013 - 16 pair, 79 eggs, 71 fledged
2012 - 4 pair, 18 eggs, 18 fledged
geezer
Posts: 311
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2004 2:21 pm
Location: Texas/Anna (north of dallas)

I have 54 gourds and they all appear to be full.

The only remaining vacancies are in the old aluminum house (8 units) which is always the last resort (parents trying to fledge babies in 100 degree heat in July). Usually 2-3 pair will succeed.

Subbies will be here soon, and fill up the rest, and the fighting will start.

Send them our way....

Thanks for the info.

geezer (north of Dallas)
#PMCA #birding #birders
Guest

Send them to MO ASAP! Got a Bachlor who is three weeks early fom last two yrs. He keeps bringing in visitors, but no one wants to stay!
Far out photo.
Veronica G
Posts: 338
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:36 am
Location: Texas/Edinburg

They have you well trained Astrid :lol: That's so awesome how they remember! Hmm, maybe I should buy a boat to use as a supplemental feeding station :lol: Seems to work great! I've had several waves of migrating martins myself. This is the first year it's happened. It's almost like seeing a roost (minus about 10,000 martins), but fantastic just the same!

Veronica
I participate in Project Martin Watch!
Matt F.
Posts: 3914
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

God bless you Astrid.
You, John Barrow, Louise, and the others that are down on the leading edge of the of the breeding range, take such good care of our returning Martins!

To have a friendly, safe, feeding and rest station for the migrant Martins to stop at, is definitely appreciated by all of us landlords north of you.

I would not be surprised, if you have provided a rest stop, and food for, some of Bob Buskas's Martins, heading up to Alberta, Canada.... 8)
april57
Posts: 232
Joined: Fri May 29, 2009 1:58 pm
Location: Wizard Lake Alberta

Yes thank you so much for caring and feeding the martins for their long journey up to Wizard Lake, Alberta, Canada. It is amazing how far north they do go and I am so excited to see my returning martins as they were banded last year by the Martin Conservatory...I HOPE!!!
2007 none
2008 few landed
2009 - 2 pair - 9 eggs- 9 fledged
2010 - 1ASY pair and 4SY pair total 10 bird
2011 first ASY pair May 06
2012 first pair arrived May 01, May 21 total 10 pairs 49 babies
2013 May 04 martins 2 pair May 19 total 12 pair
2014 May 08 2 pair May 12 almost full 10 pair
The Olsons
Posts: 3200
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:57 pm
Location: North Padre Island, TX

Thank you all for your kind words.....I love to help the migrating martins. The ones this year were in really bad shape....it took three days to get half of them up and running. They were eating all day long...coming and going. I still have some that are not ready yet.....maybe tomorrow. We had one girl this morning, she must have just come in and she looked awful. She could not even walk. She tried to get to the food dish and then crashed and laid there for two hours. I kept an eye on her so no predator would get her. I wanted to get her in the house but was afraid that if I scare her she might try to fly and end up in the water. After couple hours she perked up and joined the other martins that were eating, watched them for a while and then ate some crickets too. She started walking around the boat and then finally flew off with some others to sit on the perch.

What we have noticed over the past three years it is always SY females that are mainly worn out. Two actually did not make it....one in 2008 and one in 2009 and they both seemed to have seizures.

Anyway, some of you should have martins coming today and some tomorrow. It is such a great feeling how they trust us and let us come so close. They are smart; they know it is for their best :grin:

Please get the red carpets out and maybe you can have some supplemental feeding for them available 8)

Wishing you all a great 2010 martin season!!!!
Martin Hugs
Astrid :wink:
Love it or leave it~~~Astrid :-)
The Olsons
Posts: 3200
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:57 pm
Location: North Padre Island, TX

Today comes the sad part....after half of the migrating martins leaving and the other half looking better there was some brief happiness, until a few more new migrants came in. One of the SY females looked awful and we tried to get her all day, but she was on the boat close to the water and we were afraid she would try to fly and end up in the water.

Finally tonight my son caught her....she did not struggle...she is more dead than alive. We still fed her three crickets and gave her some wild bird vitamins....I am sure she will be gone in the morning, but at least she did not die alone and out in the rain or being caught by a predator.

Every year it is at least one SY female that is too exhausted to make it....my vet said there are some wild birds with a birth defect that affects their bone narrow because they do not have enough vitamins in them.....never had a SY or ASY male being in trouble.

I pray she makes it, but it looks pretty grim.... :-(

Astrid
Love it or leave it~~~Astrid :-)
The Olsons
Posts: 3200
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:57 pm
Location: North Padre Island, TX

Oh Gosh..it is almost dark and more migrating martins are coming, which is fine....we have enough food for them. I just hope not to see another one or more worn out ones that will not make it.....it is so sad. This is a weird season!!!!!!!!

Astrid :roll:
Love it or leave it~~~Astrid :-)
Veronica G
Posts: 338
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:36 am
Location: Texas/Edinburg

I'm so sorry to hear about your SY female. She landed in the best possible place. I know you're doing your best to help her.

I read your post earlier & got to wondering - we've had several waves of migrants come through & they all seem healthy & robust. I wonder if the ones that come through here take the land route & thus aren't so exausted like yours are. Or maybe since I'm about 1 1/2 hrs inland the ones that are exausted just don't make it this far.

Let us know how your female fares. Good luck.

Veronica
I participate in Project Martin Watch!
Guest

Astrid, I want to add to what the others have said and thank you SO much for taking care of these tired and hungry migrating Martins. When they land at your place they must think they have found heaven! To have food, a safe place to rest, and a caring landlord, it doesn't get any better than that!

I only have 18 housing cavities and they seem to almost all be taken. I had a few available ones but I think they were taken today by some migrants that just arrived today. As the other person said, my new migrants appear to be very strong and healthy with lots of spunk.

Some of the pairs are now starting to bring in nesting material. I have a B&B pole set fairly close to my Martin pole and have the trays filled with pine needles and Live Oak leaves. So it's just a hop, skip and a jump for them to get nesting material.

I've had several days now with no Hawk attacks and I have never seen my Martins so active and apparently happy. They spend almost the whole day at my housing complex just socializing, vocalizing and sitting around. I can walk right under the pole and they don't pay any attention to me. Did I mention I LOVE my Purple Martins?

Gus, in Richardson, just north of Dallas
Jeff Robinson
Posts: 907
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 3:32 pm
Location: Rogersville, Missouri
Martin Colony History: 2008 thru Current
72 Cavities - 68 Pairs in 2020
PM Mentor

Astrid, you are simply...SPECIAL PEOPLE!! Thanks for taking care of our birds, and I'm sure our neighboring friends in Canada appreciate you too!

Jeff & Carol
PMCA Member - Bedrock Colony
The Olsons
Posts: 3200
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:57 pm
Location: North Padre Island, TX

Thank you all again for your kind words; the martins are very special to us and we are so happy that they learned how to take supplemental food.

Unfortunately, the little girl did not make it....she perked up last night but was gone this morning. Lynn just buried her. RIP little one :cry:

Astrid
Love it or leave it~~~Astrid :-)
trisha
Posts: 428
Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 1:12 pm
Location: Texas/Burleson, south of Fort Worth

Astrid, I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family do such an outstanding job of feeding and caring for all the migrating martins, as well as your own returning birds. Thank you for all your wonderful efforts.
Trisha


PMCA member
2019, 36 pair
Guest

Ok, what kind of sailboat is it? You just hit on my other hobby, sailing. I have two sailboats, a Flying Scot that was damaged by hurricane Ike and a 22 ft South Coast. I did raise the mast up in the front yard last year and it was immediately used as a perch by the PMs. Maybe they like sailboats.
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