Houston Roosting should be happening...

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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.

I've done all kinds of searching through lots of data and either I don't know what I'm doing or nobody is talking about roosts this season.

There should be a roost here in Houston somewhere. I've searched for the roosting Purple Martins in years past and know that finding them is like looking for a needle in a haystack. But, the time is here! There should be a roost in Houston. So, if you live close to Sharpstown or the Galleria or the KBR offices near I-10 at Waco - go take a peak one evening as the sun approaches the horizon and let us know what you see.

Over 3/4 of our colony has fledged and moved on to some roost site - and I know they are not alone. I can't find the indication of a roost on the radar, but that doesn't mean it's not there... somewhere... :roll:

Maybe somebody with better computer skills (than I) can find out something to report. All efforts and any help is appreciated.

Best wishes to all,
Sincerely,
Laverne
Sincerely,
Laverne
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6210
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Yup, it's roost time...

One reported here: http://www.purplemartin.org/forum/viewt ... ight=roost

Our birds are starting to head somewhere in the evening and we need to follow up on it. Only a handful of nests left with young, and one with new eggs.

I hope folks will post about roosts AND report them on the project martinroost page too. That helps us track them from year to year.
Matt@atx
Posts: 728
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:13 am
Location: Buda, TX, south of Austin

Im glad you said this Louise because for the first time last night, it seems most of our birds did not return to roost and I was afraid I had done something wrong.
Plus, we have a clutch of 4 about 6 days old, and a clutch of 2 about 13 days old and 1 egg in another gourd.
I have a feeling these guys may end up abandoned. If not, who will be there for these guys to be taught how to hunt and do Martin things? I concerned about this since we have had many very late nests this season.
2008~(1st yr) 4 pairs, 11 to 12 fledged
2009~(2nd yr) 9 pairs, 41 fledged
2010~(3rd year) 11 pairs. 50 fledged
2011~(4th year) 20 pairs, 23 out of 23 gourds Martin occupied, 3 fledged, the rest died in the drought. (1 new Blue Bird, 3 BB fledged.)
2012~ 26 pairs, approx. 100-110 fledged
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6210
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Matt,

There seems to be a worry that parents will abandon nestlings that are late compared to the rest of the birds. I don't agree, they will care for them rather than waste all the time and effort they have already invested in their nestlings. We have had nests fledge here all through July and even into early August, although the majority fledge by the end of June.

Subadult parents are not skilled, compared with adult parents, and their nests could have a higher failure rate. But often, our late nests have ASY parents - either they are raising their second brood, or lost their first brood. I believe your late nesters will be okay, you got some rain yesterday, and that will help.
Matt@atx
Posts: 728
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:13 am
Location: Buda, TX, south of Austin

Thanks for the information Louise. I sure hope so since I am tired of losing babies. We did get hit hard during the night with rain.
I was looking at the storm pattern going into Corpus and it looks like you may have been hit good with rain at two different intervals from the same storm because of the way the storm was shaped. (?)
If so, thats even better.
2008~(1st yr) 4 pairs, 11 to 12 fledged
2009~(2nd yr) 9 pairs, 41 fledged
2010~(3rd year) 11 pairs. 50 fledged
2011~(4th year) 20 pairs, 23 out of 23 gourds Martin occupied, 3 fledged, the rest died in the drought. (1 new Blue Bird, 3 BB fledged.)
2012~ 26 pairs, approx. 100-110 fledged
BumBee
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:47 am
Location: Sugar Land, Texas

Laverne,
I had 14 pairs and there are 3 babies left. There were 10 that did not make it.
Here is last years (2010) PM roost at Willowbrook mall on 249 and 1960 in Houston.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II0L3sCavfM

This was posted on 09AUG2010.
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.

Yes, everyone, please report the roosts you find - wherever you find them. And, if you've never seen a Purple Martin premigratory roost up close and personal, you owe it to yourself to experience the awesome spectacle your favorite birds put on at the end of every season. Go to PMCA Home, then Research, then find Project MartinRoost. Click on the map for Texas and follow the instructions to report your roost site.

Finding a local roost can be tricky. That's why I asked for help. The main roost in Houston has moved around a lot in the last decade. As humans all we can do it hunt until we find them. Only the Purple Martins know where they will hold their premigratory roost each year.

If you go to the following link you should find the reports from previous years for the Sharpstown Roost which moved to the Galleria and then back again and then to KBR and then apparently to Willowbrook. Whew!! Or maybe Houston had two roosts last season - one at KBR and one at Willowbrook.

http://www.purplemartin.org/roost/roost ... ?roost=333

BumBee,
Thanks for that awesome video clip. Maybe the birds will be using Willowbrook Mall again this year. Go see and let us know...

I'm sorry you lost so many young this season. We had many clutches reduced to 2 or 3 young this year. Once the numbers were reduced naturally the birds successfully fledged their families and have moved on. I need to do a nestcheck, but I estimate 10-12 nests still have nestlings.

Matt,
You have done nothing wrong. It's been a rough season for the Purple Martins. But, whether its a good season or a bad season - they still leave at the end of it and they never wave goodbye!! :wink: They leave you standing there looking at the horizon, worrying if they're gonna make it, and you know... they come back the next year and the next year and if you keep doing your job they will keep coming back forever.

I hope you all are blessed with forever Purple Martin colonies. Enjoy...

Sincerely,
Laverne
Sincerely,
Laverne
Guest

I had about 80 birds in the colony including a few subbies,,,,,36 cavities(fullhouse),They dropped down to about 30 adult birds and are now back up to 50 and somedays 75 or so.They act like they are getting ready for the roost,they act like they just arrived with a little less fighting.I have 1 nest to fledge,only 2 little ones.I'm not sure if it was a renest or a late nest.

I'll have my racks down and cleaned out by mid July.

dick
Guest

We went to KBR Friday night. There are martins there lining the power lines as they assemble - not near as many as in 09 ( I never made it out to it last year). They seem to be roosting in the trees lining the bayou behind the KBR facility, not in the trees along the front of the building along Clinton.
Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6743
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)
Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

There seems to be a large roost on radar just North of Houston. Its located between I45N and 249N, a bit SW of the town of Spring. I watched it this morning and its definitely a large martin roost. It starts right before 6AM on radar, and fans out to about 6:30 AM...

http://www.wunderground.com/radar/radbl ... rainsnow=0
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
Guest

Emil: I can confirm that there is a roost in northwest Houston in the location that you describe.

This roost is in the parking lot in front of The Roomstore (at 7690 FM 1960 Rd West). Nearby is Starbucks & Chipotle & Michaels. This shopping area is just north of Willowbrook Mall across FM 1960 and just to the east of Highway 249. The PMs are roosting in the trees in front of The Roomstore.

They are easy to see and get close to, so this is a great location to go & watch. They should be around through August if history repeats itself. It is best to show up about 30 minutes before sunset and wait for them. Enjoy!! :)

-- Claire
Guest

...I forgot to mention... The radar does look like there is another roost in Houston. Looks like it is in the Sharpstown Mall area. If someone lives close to that area, can they check and let us know?? In years past it was in the oak trees on the south side of Sharpstown Mall (near the corner of Bellaire Blvd & Highway 59 southwest of Houston).

Thanks, ClaireM
Guest

I just wanted to follow up on this thread to let everyone know that the Willowbrook roost in NW Houston is gone now. I went by the roost location () to check up it because I didn't see it on the radar when I checked around the 9th of Aug. I was there on Saturday night (8/13/2011) and there were a few PMs flying around, but none came into the trees to roost. All I saw were a couple of stray cats near the trees. So the Willowbrook roost has been abandoned by the PMs.

The Stafford roost is still going strong, though! It is delightful! Check out the "Sharpstown Roost" posting to get info on where it is.
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