Have they already left?

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LisaJ
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:47 am
Location: North Texas

The past two days in N. TX, I only have 2 PMs, one adult is still feeding one that has not fledged yet.
I had over 35 fledge and the adults are gone too.
It seems to be too early for them to all leave??
Plus worried about this last little guy.
Would it be strange for most of them to head out already? I didn’t even say “goodbye”.
LisaJ
😞
Whippy
Posts: 615
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: See Signature

Yep. One day I'm watching a very large group of Martins and the next day I'm watching only 4 pair feed their late arriving babies.

I am greeted with social activity in the mornings for a couple of hours but for the most part all of my adults and fledglings have moved on. I see two ASY males in the mornings with SY females acting like they are selecting a gourd for the first time but they leave for the rest of the day. In the evenings I'll get a few babies come back and stay in their gourds but I don't see them all day long.

When I had only 4 pair, or less, once they fledged, that was it for the season. This is the first year I actually had Martins return to their gourds after fledging. Maybe because I still have working pairs. I don't know.

Coolwhips.
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
LisaJ
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:47 am
Location: North Texas

Thanks, Coolwhips.
Yes, this evening I watched a pair feeding the two yet to fledge. All others are gone.
Oh, how I will miss them all. I had the best year yet with my sweet PMs! Nothing like their songs!
Happy that I did not lose a single hatchling. My heart feels sad too.
Counting the days till they return!!
LisaJ
Whippy
Posts: 615
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: See Signature

You know, Lisa. Pretty funny timing. Just after writing that last note I'm here in my kitchen looking out the window at 20 or more Martins of all ages in my airspace, on my gourds, going in and out , both babies and parents returning to their same gourd.

This is the craziest thing I've seen in my 6 years of land lording. Every year except this year they would fledge and leave. I wonder if it's a sign of having a safe place or maybe just really cool gourds. Maybe they like my dogs. Maybe they like me. No matter what the case, its's fun to watch them in the evening.

Coolwhips

Quick follow up.

As I watched the Martins tonight, half of them in the sky came in to roost in the gourds and the other half landed in a nearby tree just adjacent to the gourds. So have a look around your area in the evening and see if you can see them roosting in a nearby tree.
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
Joe W
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:04 am
Location: FL/Lynn Haven (near Panama City, FL)
Martin Colony History: 2020 10 pairs
2019 finally success! 8 pairs
Oct 10, 2018 Hurricane Michael
2018 visitors in April
2017 visitors in April
2016 visitors in April
2015 visitors in June
PMCA Member

I’m in NW Florida, the last of my birds left a few days after Fathers Day. It’s sad to see them leave.....but it’s so exciting to see the arrive and grow into a colony. I’ll leave the housing up a little while in case a few visiting birds want to overnight on the way south.
I’ll see them again in 7 months! Cheers to all!

Joe
LisaJ
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:47 am
Location: North Texas

Thanks, Joe! Mine all left too, but some came to spend the night, or early in the morning. Have not taken house down yet. Always kinda makes me sad! Safe travels, my sweets!
LisaJ
Whippy
Posts: 615
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: See Signature

This has been a crazy year for my colony. By this time all of my martins have left however, I still have two SY pairs with some to fledge. You'll see in my tagline that I've already counted fledglings so I'll add these when they fledge next week. They are all very healthy. I still have a small happy hour here every morning with anywhere from 7 to 15 Martins hanging out so that's fun to watch. During the day all day there are Martins in my airspace coming and going and swooping into the gourds and giving my decoys a flyby. I guess when my last babies go that'll be it.

This is the longest I've ever had Martins at my colony so I guess that is a measure of success and, perhaps, an indication of what to expect next year.

Coolwhips
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
Conrad Baker
Posts: 333
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: Paulina, Louisiana

I hadn't seen any for a day or two, then yesterday evening about 6:30, I looked out at the houses and saw two on one house and one on another. That was it. They must just be spending the nite on their way to Brazil. No eggs or babies left in any of the houses. The houses will be coming down this weekend for their annual cleaning and storage for next season.
Dave911
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:09 pm
Location: Bloomington, Il

Saddest time of the year here in central Illinois. Saturday the 25th about half of our 23 strong colony still here and the next day all gone. I am seeing what appear to be young ones from this year’s hatch still flying around the area but not coming to the houses. Is that normal? Do they migrate later than the adults and sub adults?
LisaJ
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:47 am
Location: North Texas

Dave911,

That is how it was for me this year! One day, I was watching the flurry of first flights, lots of noise and encouragement, then bam, it was silent.
Over a few days, I would have 4 - 6 young ones that still hung around for a couple of hours. I just had a single pm show up today.
I believe some are still passing through on their migration and stop for a rest.
Yes, it looks like the adults left first and some fledglings went too, but some hung out longer.
It always hurts my heart when they leave, but I have so many lovely memories and take great pride in being a dutiful, caring Landlord. We have done our job for another season. Now, we begin the countdown for those daring Scouts next spring!!
LisaJ
Dave911
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:09 pm
Location: Bloomington, Il

Yes LisaJ, they never stay long enough! But at least I can work on securing that 3rd house in the off season and having it ready for their return in the spring.
Martinear
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:00 pm
Location: Justin, TX
Martin Colony History: Started 2015 with 6 HTG excluders, added 6 S&K Bo with excluder tunnels in 2016. Full occupancy both years, many fledglings.

The majority of my colony left at the beginning of July this year, which was almost a month early. Not really sure why. Had a good fledging though, so I guess it was all good!
susanw77
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:39 am
Location: Radford, VA
Martin Colony History: Lucky to have inherited an established colony in a lakefront Heath house, 18 units. 2020 was my first full season, mostly observing. Still learning how to be a responsible landlord.

Mine left so suddenly this year, I was convinced a predator had somehow gotten them. I have an old pole and house, so I haven’t checked the nests yet. The setup came with the house I bought last year. As soon as all migration has passed, I am putting up a fully equipped house with big compartments and a winch. But the more I think on it, the more I think they did indeed leave suddenly. We saw no predators, no feathers, no jumpers. Sometimes I guess they depart en mass. Good luck next year.
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