Supplemental Feeding!!!

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

Supplemental Feeding!!!

Postby The Olsons » Thu May 05, 2011 8:00 pm

It seems that this year is a particularly difficult year for the martins and us landlords. Either there is too much rain, no rain, or too cold temperatures which all affect the martins and their babies.

I have seen many posts on here tonight from people not knowing what to do or simply be scared about the weather and their martins.

This is just my personal opinion. Please do not feel sorry for yourself, please do not feel helpless because there is help. Go and buy some crickets or order them on line. Mealworms will help or some srambled eggs without Oil. There are so many educational post on this forum about supplemental feeding...please go and read up on them and then see which suits you best. But do not just hope that the martins will be fine...they need your help and theuy need it now.

I live in South Texas, temperatures for the past 3 weeks were in the 70s but winds were around 40 mph every day, also we have a drought going on. I have been feeding my martins every day, and every day more showed up at our feeder. They are now taking the cricks and worms to their babies. Am I going to be able to save them all???? I certainly hope so but I do not know. I am actually afraid of the nest check, but by providing supplemental food I know I am doing everything I can and the rest is not up to me. It takes patience, love and dedication to teach your martins how to take supplemental food but they are very appreciative and fast learners.

Please give them a chance for survival and for raising their babies buy doing the best you can. Where there is a will there is a cricket....
Love it or leave it~~~Astrid :-)

Gobbler T
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Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:13 am
Location: Mississippi / Columbus

Postby Gobbler T » Thu May 05, 2011 8:39 pm

Nicely put Astrid,
I'd like to see you around here more often, Like we did a year ago. I for one miss your post and advice.

I've even tried to feed my visitor, and he don't need it! :lol: PLENTY of rain down south, But more than enough sunshine and warmth for them to feed themselves.

It just sounds like fun to me. I enjoy spending time with him in the yard.

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

Postby The Olsons » Thu May 05, 2011 8:47 pm

Gobbler, you are always so know I do anything and everything for my martins and I know you would do the same. I am happy for you and your martin to spend time with each other... I love these birds :-)
Love it or leave it~~~Astrid :-)

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Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:06 pm
Location: Bismarck, ND

Postby DakotaLady » Thu May 05, 2011 9:07 pm

Greetings Astrid,

I would love to feed martins...just don't have any right now to feed. :oops: I am ready for them as I've got my mealworms and my crickets in the freezer. I'm glad you posted this as with the drought in some areas and all the rain others are getting I'm sure the martins are struggling.

I need as many to survive as possible so that I have a chance to get some.

2013 - 16 pair, 79 eggs, 71 fledged
2012 - 4 pair, 18 eggs, 18 fledged

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

Postby The Olsons » Thu May 05, 2011 9:20 pm


I am so proud of you being all prepared for supplemental feeding even though you do not have any martins yet. You are a future landlord of my heart and I am sending good thoughts to you that you will be blessed with many martins...if not this year then next season. You are a great landlord already...bless your heart :-)
Love it or leave it~~~Astrid :-)

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Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:31 am
Location: Texas, Hutto

Postby Chriscreole » Thu May 05, 2011 9:29 pm

I tried to flip thos little baby crickets 1/2 inchers but the martins didn't seem interested. Einsten and Ouwie-GAter sure liked them though. I spread a bunch of crickets on the porches of the house and gourds and inside as well. The Martins freaked on the ones on the porches and wouldn't land till i removed them, so I swooshed them into the nest areas and it took about 2/3 hours before they would land or enter the nests again.

I think maybe the sudden invasion of crickets may have sppoked them. Some of my martins are now roosting on my fenceline and over in the park on top the baseball back stop about 25 yards out, shouldnt they be in the housing or do you think they are just giving the females some space to be moms?
I have about 40 martins trying to live in a 18 room setup. or are they scared of the crickets? Did I mess up with too many crickets to fast?
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The Olsons
Posts: 3200
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:57 pm
Location: North Padre Island, TX

Postby The Olsons » Fri May 06, 2011 7:21 am


When I tried to put crickets into the cavities or on the porch my martins also freaked out. Other landlords are very successful with this method. If your martins are not readily taking to the crickets you fling they not be that hungry yet. I personally would keep trying and maybe get some bird feeder that you fling the crickets above to. Some will fall in the feeder and often that is a way that many landlords get their martins to eat from a feeder. They eventually will sit there when they are hungry which makes it real easy to accommodate them with supplemental food. You certainly did not do anything wrong and I am happy that you are prepared to help your martins and you keep trying!!!

It can be very trying wanting to help your martins with supplemental food and they do not seem interested or do not know how to take it. Please do not give your martins for signs that might tell you how they would like to have their food "served" :wink:

Please keep us updated and hopefully your weather situation will get better soon!
Love it or leave it~~~Astrid :-)

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Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:10 pm

Postby rehab » Fri May 06, 2011 9:06 am

Last edited by rehab on Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby The Olsons » Fri May 06, 2011 9:36 am


Great post!!!
We had a lot of difficulty trying to feed the martins a few years back because of the seagulls. I felt so helpless having a freezer full of crickets just for the gull to snatch them. Then one day an exhausted female was sitting on our sailboat and she gobbled up the crickets that fell down....martin see, martin do....over a period of 30 minutes there were 15 martins eating off the boat. With time we figured out how to keep the gulls of the boat and put a little wicker table with a shelf on the boat and a feeding tray on that shelf. The martins are safe from predators and the top of the table prevents the crickets getting wet from rain.
We have been feeding for 3 weeks now, the past two days there was less demand though. The birds will sit on the lines when they are hungry so this makes it real easy to know when they need supplemental feeding.
I saw a subby male sitting next to an ASY male watching what he was doing, and it was so cute to see how the subby learned from the ASY to eat. They are also taking crickets and meal worms to their babies.
Wishing everyone better days in the 2011 martin season and healthy happy martins.
Love it or leave it~~~Astrid :-)

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