Feeding baby’s

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Post Reply
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2020 12:37 am
Location: Virginia

How can we be assured the babies are getting enough to eat? Is there a way we can supplementally feed them? We’ve tried tossing crickets and mealworms and the adult PMs just won’t go for that
Posts: 2126
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.

Chicks grow like weeds. In a matter of 26 days they will be almost as big as the adults in size.

During nest checks look at the abdomen. It should be plump & no wrinkles. If there are a lot of wrinkles then they are not getting fed enough & are starting to dehydrate. You could try to put crickets or meal worms just inside the entrance.

Toy in PA
PMCA Member
Dave Duit
Posts: 1819
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 www.iamartin.org and join.

Hi Poidog,
There reason the adults are not taking to supplement feeding is a matter of need and timing. Martins usually do not go after supplement food until they feel hunger. At this time, they simply are not in need of supplement food. The parents are busy feeding their babies now and they are finding enough food. I hope this helped. ToyinPA has great info in his response. If the babies need food, the crickets and mealworms just inside the entrances is a great suggestion.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Post Reply