Nestling-31/32 days old can't fly - keeps jumping

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KathyF
Posts: 3507
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

Nestling-31/32 days old can't fly - keeps jumping

Postby KathyF » Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:47 pm

for the second day in a row, I've found Mr. 443 on the ground. When I found him yesterday, I did a nest change and put him back in the gourd. His brothers/sisters have all fledged, so he is the lone occupant during the day. I don't see anyone coming to feed him during the day.

So, today, I decided to move him to a nest that is 2 days younger than him, but all have fledged, except for 1 out of that nest. I do see his (ASY) parents coming back to feed him, and that's why I decided to put this guy there.

Has anyone ever seen a nestling this old that can't fly?? I have other nests that are 26/27 days old, but there are 5 to 6 kids in each one.
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com

Louise Chambers
Site Admin
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Postby Louise Chambers » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:28 pm

How's 34 days sound? When PMCA staff were doing the nestling growth photo project, we weighed babies daily and tracked their progress. About 3.8% did not fledge til 31 days old, average age at fledge was 27.75 days, and one bird did not fledge till 34 days old.

They don't all grow and develop at the same rate, of course - and you have an advantage in knowing exactly how old your nestling is at this point. I would hope it will be ready to go in just another day or two. If you find it out again, I'd be curious to know what it weighs.

Linda Reynolds
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Location: Adamsville, TN

Postby Linda Reynolds » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:32 pm

Kathy, I am assuming you inspected the bird when you found him on the ground, and determined (in your opinion), that he has successfully progressed to fledge age.

In my opinion, it is quite unusual that a nestling that age cannot fledge unless there is injury or a mal-nourishement issue. You might want to remove him tomorrow if he has not fledged and assess him further. Perhaps he has an injury of which you where not aware.
Ever-Grateful,
Linda

Linda Reynolds
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:33 pm
Location: Adamsville, TN

Postby Linda Reynolds » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:47 pm

Kathy, if you are in need of a scale that weighs in grams, we use one that is fabulous. It allows for weight in grams or ounces, and we find it to be very helpful when rehabbing any martins found on the ground.

It allows for tare (any excess material) and provides consistent weight changes.

We purchased our scale at Walmart in the household food equipment department. It is called Good Cook and distributed by Bradshaw International.

The tray is large enough to hold a martin and is very easy to use, clean and calibrate.
Ever-Grateful,
Linda

KathyF
Posts: 3507
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

Postby KathyF » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:57 pm

Thanks, Louise & Linda! I should have weighed him when he was out - didn't even think of it, but I do have a scale. I'll watch him this evening and tomorrow morning and will take him out to weigh tomorrow. He seemed awfully light when I fetched him today.

Linda, no injuries that I could detect. When I went to catch him in the yard, he was quite spry and flapped his wings a lot and could run. I even picked him up and tried the 'lift & lower' technique to see if he just needed another try, but no go.

What *should* he weigh?
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com

RC Moser
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Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 3:25 am

Postby RC Moser » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:59 pm

I had one left that was at least 34 days old. I was determined to get him in good enough shape to make it at least out of my yard! I would catch live crickets in my yard and feed him in the evening 6 to 10 supplementing what little food the mother was bringing in. He got use to the routine.

I also dipped my fingers in water and let dropplets trickle in and he drake them. Early Sunday morning I seen him sticking his head out the compartment by early mid morning he was gone!

I think if you can use your water hose spray the grass or shaded areas and watch for the crickets to jump you can do the same. Crickets hate water so the jump out of the grass away from the water. Some of them I was even driving them out of the thick stuff so I could catch them. Crickets are even hard to find in my area due to the heat and dry conditions. Good luck

Louise Chambers
Site Admin
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Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Postby Louise Chambers » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:01 pm

Close to 50 grams, or at least in mid to upper 40s. Penny H has mentioned releasing rehabbed adults on the lighter side of that range, but I am guessing that for a fledge age bird, rather than an adult, the heavier the better.

Linda Reynolds
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Location: Adamsville, TN

Postby Linda Reynolds » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:05 pm

I agree with Louise's information.............
Ever-Grateful,
Linda

KathyF
Posts: 3507
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

Postby KathyF » Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:28 pm

Well, that didn't take long. He really wants to fly.

I weighed him - he's only at 37 grams. :-(

Good thing I've got lots of crickets in stock.
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com

ChrisM
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Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:01 pm
Location: Hiawatha, Kansas

Great Information

Postby ChrisM » Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:37 pm

Thanks for the information. It would have helped me try to save a mourning dove. I was very very light when I picked it up in my yard -- no parents around
anywhere. It was also quite far from any tree. But it did not surive. I think it is just too hot.
There is always something I am learning from this site.

Thanks Linda, Louise and Kathy

Chrism Hiawatha, Ks Brown County

KathyF
Posts: 3507
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

Postby KathyF » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:21 am

Woo! Weighed him this morning before his first feeding - he's up to 41 grams already. He must have been really dehydrated too. I'm giving him the dog food soaked in home made pedialyte and of course, lots of crickets.

Crickets, mealworms, pedialyte and dog food on the menu today!
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com

ToyinPA
Posts: 2064
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.

Postby ToyinPA » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:01 am

Kathy:
I had one last year that tried many times to fly & couldn't. He was the last chick & underweight. Food was scarce due to lack of rain & high heat. The parents finally abandoned him. He was too small & weak to fly. So I fed him for 4 days & then he was able to take off. I feed him crickets dipped in pedylite.

Stuff the little guy, get his weight up. I also did wing exercises. I spread his wings & moved them up & down with each feeding. Just enough to get the wing muscles moving. I have parrots, so I understand the importance off keeping the muscles in shape. They need them to fly & balance.

Try to release him when other martins are close, so they can help him & guide him.

Good luck
Toy in PA

Davlyn
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Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: Ga/Pavo

Postby Davlyn » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:44 pm

Hey Kathy , I had a fledging a couple of years ago that could not fly , his siblings all fledged and he was still there the parents would come on and off during the day and feed him and there was no food shortage that year . He to would be on the ground every time I turned around so at 33 days old I took him to the wildlife rehab in thomasville . After a week I called and they said he still could not fly ! Abby one of the girls there decided just to keep him , just thought I would share that story . Good luck !
April McClelland


PMCA Member

KathyF
Posts: 3507
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

Postby KathyF » Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:06 am

Thanks Toy & April ... He is being a real stubborn butt about eating. I put 3 crickets down him last night and thought he had swallowed them, then he opened his beak wide and spit all 3 back out at me. :???:

He's at 45 grams this morning. Hoping to get his weight up to 50 grams, but he is NOT making it easy! :-(
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com

Tim Mangan-Kansas
Posts: 1728
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 7:25 am
Location: Kansas, Pittsburg
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 22 Pair

Postby Tim Mangan-Kansas » Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:15 am

Kathy:

I went back and checked some of my banding records to come up with weight associated with days of age.

I had one nest with four nestlings that were 21 days old. Their weight, in grams, ran from 55.3 to 59.8 That same year, I had a nest with one nestling, who weighed 62.3 grams at 16 days old. The weight of the nestlings has a lot to do with ability of the parents to find food for them along with how many nestlings are in the nest.

I don't believe nestlings fledge at 60+ grams; too heavy. That is why we see many parents cut way back on the feeding right before fledge time. I would say around upper 40's to mid 50's is probably a safe average for fledging. Good luck

Tim
Licensed Bander
2015 - 14 Pair - fledged 68
2014 - Moved to Kansas - 7 Pair, 35 eggs, 28 fledged in first year
2010 Thru 2013 - Moved-Tried to start new colony
2009 - 46 pair, 217 eggs, 178 fledged

eyeamtheman
Posts: 633
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 3:21 pm
Location: Quitman, La
Martin Colony History: Super colony

Postby eyeamtheman » Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:58 pm

You're doing good trying to save that baby Kathy. Good luck and keep us posted....
Johnny

Linda Reynolds
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:33 pm
Location: Adamsville, TN

Postby Linda Reynolds » Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:38 pm

Kathy, you are doing a wonderful job. I wish you and the little one much good luck.

Tim, your observations are right on target! Good job! I hope your banding projects yield more information regarding average weight.

According to *The Growth of Nestling Purple Martins* by Jamie Hill (published in the 10 anniversary issue of THE UPDATE Vol.8(1), there is a chart on page 18 that shows and average weight, in grams, for each day of growth. "The nestlings that were weighed were from 41 nests and weighed daily at midday from hatching day until fledge". Time of day might be the cause that the weights listed are a little lower than the ones you observed. Things might have changed just a little since this information was gathered, but it is the best we have to date, and seems to be holding close to or on target with what others are observing and reporting.

According to this (average) weight chart, nestlings top out at 56 grams on day 20 and 21, and then the weight begins to slowly diminish as parents usually withhold food prior to fledge.

(personal note***I believe every landlord should own a copy of this issue***) It is at the top of the list................The growth chart is alone worth the price of the information packed issue. They also make wonderful gifts for mentees and landlord friends.

http://purplemartin.org/shop/index.php? ... 9c7179a8e0
Ever-Grateful,
Linda

KathyF
Posts: 3507
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

Postby KathyF » Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:43 pm

Thanks for all the encouragement, but he didn't make it. :cry:

thanks to banding this year, I was able to identify where all the jumpers came from and identify the dead nestlings later. Coincidentally, all the jumpers I found and returned to the nest, except for 1, later died in the end (7 total).

My assumption is anecdotal at best, but could it be that they jump for a reason sometimes and just aren't up to par to survive the rigors of being a martin? Maybe the martins just wean out the weak so that their gene pools will stay strong... I dunno. It's hard not to put human emotions on these birds, so I try to look at it objectively. I can see it as species survival.
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com

Keith
Posts: 398
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:45 pm
Location: Missouri/Ava

Postby Keith » Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:03 pm

Kathy,
Sorry to hear the little fellow didn't make it. I had 2 jumpers this year and neither survived. I tend to agree with your thoughts here for in past years when I would put a jumper back they seldom stayed, plus it seemed like the parents didn't care for them either. It's sometimes out of our hands.
Keith

The Olsons
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Location: North Padre Island, TX

Postby The Olsons » Sun Jul 24, 2011 1:19 pm

Kathy,

I am sorry the little baby did not make it. You did the very best you could and I know how heartbreaking it is to loose any of our martins. Sending hugs your way!!!
Love it or leave it~~~Astrid :-)


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