First ever hatchling!

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Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:58 pm
Location: Moneta, Virginia

I did a nest check, sprinkled a pinch of Sevin dust around the nest edges and installed a snake guard of netting on the pole.

I wasn’t expecting the baby. I’m pretty sure the last egg was laid on the 11th, so I was figuring the 25th-27th for a hatchling. If I’d known they had a baby, I wouldn’t have lowered the house!
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Posts: 615
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: See Signature


That's great news.

Don't worry about lowering the house. You'll want to do that once a week to keep tabs on the baby and its brother and sisters when they arrive. Your parents will get used to it and, in the end, they don't mind it at all.

I know you have read a lot about nest checks on the forum so I apologize if I'm repeating something you already know. Lowering the housing and keeping records of eggs and babies will help you in the future. For example: If you find a baby on the ground your records will indicate which nest it came out of so you can accurately return it... and so on.

I'm only saying this because of your statement: "If I’d known they had a baby, I wouldn’t have lowered the house!"

Good luck to you. The fun is only beginning.

2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon May 04, 2020 5:13 pm
Location: Texas

My Martins get a bit fussy and I get dive bombed a couple of times when I lower my gourds but they quickly settle down when I raise it back up. The chicks seem oblivious when I open their gourd. It's for the greater good.

I rescued two jumpers on different days so be sure to check at the pole bottom for chicks, since we have barn cats I've been checking twice a day.

My two cents.
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Dave Duit
Posts: 1796
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: Iowa / Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2020, 60 pair with 285 fledged youngsters. 83 total cavities available, 58 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified deep trio metal house units, 1 fallout shelter, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President and founder of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit and join.

Congrats flmike. Just keep in mid to NOT do nest checks on babies 20 days or older, as they may jump / try to fledge too early. It is good to do checks up to around the 20 day mark.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:58 pm
Location: Moneta, Virginia

Thanks for all the good advice!

I didn’t know to not do the nest checks after the 20 days... great info.

I had a half dozen or more visitors yesterday, flying around and perching on the house... greeting the newbie, I guess.
They didn’t seem to mind when I lowered the house, but I was walking through the yard later in the day and a bird diligently dive bombed me all the way to my door!
Posts: 653
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:40 am
Location: Kingsville Mo.

I drop my houses and gourds every 5days to check the birds and keep records. I drop until the last baby has fledged. I use the sock and string method to plug openings of birds that are almost ready to fledge. I haven't had much trouble dropping my systems throughout the season because the birds get accustom to this activity. You get to know what's going on with the birds when dropping every 5 days and can fix problems quickly.

I'm involved with the PMCA Martin Watch program and send all info. to them. To be accurate , you should drop systems the whole season. I've been doing this for about 10 years.

I have between 60-70 pair producing around 250 fledges every year.

PMCA member
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