dead martin

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barbiejoe
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:16 am
Location: Branson MO

Sad day today. I went out to ride my bike back and forth on the driveway beside the PM gourds. It began raining again. Rained most of the day till mid afternoon. I tried my bike again, and on the first round noticed something black hanging from a gourd. It did not look like a bird. So I got closer and it was a dead PM. We lowered the house. The bird was hanging upside down with its foot caught inside the crescent door. I watch the gourds from my window, but this gourd was totally out of sight of the window. I feel really bad, but I want to know why it happened. We have had wind in the night and 2.5 inches of rain today. I can't find any other posting about a foot getting caught. Wings, yes, but not feet.
I noticed people advising to round out the corners of aluminum crescent doors to make it less likely for wings to get caught. Should I try to do that with plastic corners?
This is my third year, I think, and I have not had anything like this. I have had these particular gourds/crescent doors two years.
After 3 years, I gave up and put two gourds out, hoping to get other birds to nest. I did. Had one pair of tree swallows and ONE pair of purple martins. The PM had 4 hatchlings. One died in the nest and one was found on the ground two days running and died that night. Two flew successfully.
TheSmiths
Posts: 330
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 1:02 pm
Location: Western KY
Martin Colony History:

Tried to attract PMs since 2004; began more ernest attempt in 2014.

Current housing consists of two modified Trio M12Ks and a round gourd rack.

2018 — 3 pairs

2019 — 6 pairs

2020 — 12 pairs; barred owl late in season


Monitor FILs colony as well as colony at park.

~15 years of providing housing for bluebirds, Carolina wrens, house wrens, Carolina chickadees, tufted titmice, great-crested flycatchers and northern flickers.

I remember reading about toe/toenail entrapment but I'll have to see if I can find the info.

Edit: Here are a few references to toe/toenail entrapment...
Scott D.- La wrote: There are 3 types of entrapment, Wing, Toe Nail, and Wedging... Toe Nail entrapment's occur when there is a small gap where the toe nail's can get caught. This is easily remedied with caulk and all entrances and tunnel's should be inspected for any toe nail catch point's.
Scott D.- La wrote:Jeanne,
Sorry to hear of it, I know how you feel...... trust me. There are several entrapment scenarios. Wing, body/wedging, toe nail. If you had already removed the lip, then I would suspect a toe nail caught on something or a body wedge. Look for anything a toe nail could slip under and caulk any potential spot you see. Take a small object similar to a toe nail and see how many spots you can slip it under. I did this with a dental flosser tooth pic and caulked anything that flosser could fit under or between. If you experience anymore entrapments, study it, and take pics. I know that's hard to do when your upset but, you can learn a lot that way. I feel confident we will get this issue under control and know how to stop it.
barbiejoe
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:16 am
Location: Branson MO

To "The Smiths:"
I cannot figure out how to reply to you. Hope you see this. Thank you for answering my plea for help on a martin caught by the toe. I will begin checking out the gourds.
My PMs are eating gravel/oyster shell/eggs. Saw one green leaf go in a gourd Saturday.
Good luck to you and thanks again. Barbiejoe
After 3 years, I gave up and put two gourds out, hoping to get other birds to nest. I did. Had one pair of tree swallows and ONE pair of purple martins. The PM had 4 hatchlings. One died in the nest and one was found on the ground two days running and died that night. Two flew successfully.
C.C.Martins
Posts: 892
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA made adjustments and next year was successful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021:
Home colony: mix natural gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 gourds: PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021:
PMCA member

That's sad! So sorry to hear that, must have been a bad sight. All you can do is make some adjustments I suppose, care for your birds and press on. I know of one gap I have...will have to fix that...and look for others!
this is good info and will help the birds.
Tom
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
TheSmiths
Posts: 330
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 1:02 pm
Location: Western KY
Martin Colony History:

Tried to attract PMs since 2004; began more ernest attempt in 2014.

Current housing consists of two modified Trio M12Ks and a round gourd rack.

2018 — 3 pairs

2019 — 6 pairs

2020 — 12 pairs; barred owl late in season


Monitor FILs colony as well as colony at park.

~15 years of providing housing for bluebirds, Carolina wrens, house wrens, Carolina chickadees, tufted titmice, great-crested flycatchers and northern flickers.

You're welcome, barbiejoe.
Chris B
Posts: 379
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:10 pm
Location: AL/Toney

Is the gap between the S&K porches and the entrances a threat? I replace the rivets each year as they get loose and the porch sags. Do I need to start caulking these on to eliminate the gap?

Nest building is in full swing at my place and the live oak they like for leaves is ready.
2014 8 gourds, 3 pairs nested. Ended w/ 24 total
2015 24 gourds, 22 nests. Lotsa birds!
2016 24 gourds and good activity.
2017 32 SREH gourds. Great activity.
2018 40 SREH gourds. Good finish despite big storm damage. No more dangling gourds.
2019 56+ SREH gourds, all on 3/8 rods. Birds did very well.
2020 56 SREH gourds.
TheSmiths
Posts: 330
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 1:02 pm
Location: Western KY
Martin Colony History:

Tried to attract PMs since 2004; began more ernest attempt in 2014.

Current housing consists of two modified Trio M12Ks and a round gourd rack.

2018 — 3 pairs

2019 — 6 pairs

2020 — 12 pairs; barred owl late in season


Monitor FILs colony as well as colony at park.

~15 years of providing housing for bluebirds, Carolina wrens, house wrens, Carolina chickadees, tufted titmice, great-crested flycatchers and northern flickers.

You can test it using something roughly the size of a PMs toenail. I tend to err on the side of caution since my middle name might as well be Murphy. I think I remember JohnMiller commenting on a sealing/caulking agent that was removable... used it on his wing guards... I can't remember the name though. I'll have to see if I can find it.



Edit: Found the post. He's discussing wing guards but the principle is the same.
John Miller wrote:You can attach with screws, but I use high quality caulk as a glue...I like Quad White Caulk..(mineral spirit cleanup) but many people say glue to plastic with lexel (I think)..I've not used the later. I like the Quad Caulk because it adheres but remains rubbery enough that I could gouge it off if I change my mind later.
I used Lexel on my FIL's gourds but won't know how well it holds up until the season ends.
Chris B
Posts: 379
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:10 pm
Location: AL/Toney

White Lexal is good stuff. It is what I use to seal the S&K parts onto the natural gourds. You can paint it also.
2014 8 gourds, 3 pairs nested. Ended w/ 24 total
2015 24 gourds, 22 nests. Lotsa birds!
2016 24 gourds and good activity.
2017 32 SREH gourds. Great activity.
2018 40 SREH gourds. Good finish despite big storm damage. No more dangling gourds.
2019 56+ SREH gourds, all on 3/8 rods. Birds did very well.
2020 56 SREH gourds.
barbiejoe
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:16 am
Location: Branson MO

Chris B:
If I discover a crack or place that might catch a toe, can I put white Lexel on it while the gourd is being lived in? Will the caulk get on the birds and mess up their feathers or eyes, etc.? All the glues, caulks, etc. that I looked at take awhile to dry. I sure don't want birds with glue/caulk all over their feathers.

I finally decided to order two new gourds. I will replace two gourds on the rack with two new ones. Then repair the second set of two, put them back in place of two more, and keep going. Will take a long time. The person I ordered from said their new gourds had rough insides. Yea!
Barbiejoe
After 3 years, I gave up and put two gourds out, hoping to get other birds to nest. I did. Had one pair of tree swallows and ONE pair of purple martins. The PM had 4 hatchlings. One died in the nest and one was found on the ground two days running and died that night. Two flew successfully.
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