Fantastic year with huge increases!

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Posts: 22
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 4:37 pm
Location: Missouri

Well this is my second year attracting martins, and it's been a great one thus far. Last year, I had an ASY pair, and three SY pairs for a total of four pairs. During the off season, I added two new gourd racks and a Goliad Jr. house, plus I put up electric fence predator guards on all the poles. My goal this year was to hopefully get 15 pairs, but I surpassed that pretty quickly!

By the first week of April, I already had nine ASY pairs. Then towards the end of April, the SY's started showing up and holy cow, it seemed as though my pair numbers double in like a week. By the third week of May, I had 11 ASY pairs (or for sure 11 ASY males) and 20 SY pairs, for a total of 31 pairs! So far, I've had 5 nest fledge, and there are 15 or 16 nest that are all due to fledge within four or five days of each other, starting any day now! My youngest chicks are 5 days old (five chicks) and 7 days old (six chicks). plus a nest of four eggs that are due to hatch next Monday or Tuesday.

There were definitely some interesting things happen this year. There were seven SY pairs that added virtually no new nest material to their chosen nest. They simply added a few green leaves and started laying. They then just quit after one or two eggs and never even started incubating. I caught this pretty quickly, and actually fostered these egg into other nests that had pairs still laying. I fostered 11 eggs total, and 9 of these eggs hatched. Interestingly, these seven pairs then started proper nest building, and three of these pairs (the ones I described above with the young chicks and eggs) successfully re-nested. I think it just got too late for the other four pairs and they just hang around now defending their gourds.

So, I have 35 available cavities and 31 total pairs, with 27 pairs successfully nesting. I'm beyond happy with my increases from last year. I never thought it possible to make such a big jump from one year to the next!

Also, I think there's a reason why my numbers jumped so much, but I'm going to try to post that on a thread posted by Brad Biddle a few months back if I can find it.

I hope everyone else had a great year.
Dave Duit
Posts: 1798
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.

Hi Travis,
Congrats on the jump in numbers. Across the US I have heard there was a general increase in numbers at colonies. My colony went from 54 pair to 60 pair this year.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Posts: 615
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: See Signature

Definitely a good year.

I went from 4 pair last year to 15 pair this year. On top of the increase in pairs at my colony, I've been inundated with visitors all season. If everything holds through next year I may double up again.

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
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