nestcam - blessing or curse?

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zoefluf
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Bush, Louisiana

I have a nestcam in a Troyer gourd, the same gourd that my one and only pair from last year fledged 6 babies. On Friday, I had an ASY pair show up and go into the gourd. I wasn't around for the weekend, but this week I have only seen the ASY male by himself. The weather has been cold. Tonight it will be below freezing and the days have been in the 40's and windy. I'm afraid the male is getting weak. I don't know where the female is. I tried flinging crickets, but I am lousy at it and it is too windy anyway. So I put come crickets and meal worms in the gourd. He just moved into another gourd. I put some crickets and meal worms and eggs on the bed and breakfast feeder but the other wild birds have been eating them, not the PM.

I've been watching this bird non-stop on my nestcam. I'm not sure what signs to look for to see if he is weak or not. He is staying in the gourd most of the day, though he does come out every now and then and I see him sitting on top of the house if it is sunny. I'm driving myself nuts watching him on the nestcam, wondering if his breathing is too rapid, watching him sleep. I can't seem to shut it off. I'm obsessed!!

One more day of highs in the 40's and by Saturday we should have sun and highs in the 60's. I'm praying he makes it till then. I can't even imagine how you northern landlords keep them alive in the cold.

Good luck to all. My vigil has begun!
Jeanne
"Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap, yet your heavenly Father feeds them."
CraigMo.
Posts: 1480
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 12:30 pm
Location: Missouri/Lone Jack
Martin Colony History: Active since 2007
Landlord since 2003 at different site

I am not an expert, but by him coming out now and then it sounds a little promising, you are trying to feed him so I think you are doing your best. I imagine you might have to wait for the good weather. I am sure you will get better responses soon. It might be easier for you to just unplug the nest cam til it warms up Good Luck
Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6742
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)
Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

Its strange that he does not go out to eat, mine leave about 11AM and return about 4:30 PM. They buzzed my dog when he was retrieving the tennis ball, so they don't look stressed at all. I counted 28 this AM before they left, and there may be some inside the gourds that I didn't count. They have been going into the gourds a bit early the last 2 days, about 5:30 PM
CraigMo.
Posts: 1480
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 12:30 pm
Location: Missouri/Lone Jack
Martin Colony History: Active since 2007
Landlord since 2003 at different site

Emil don't you think its because of her low temps. I think she said 40"s in the day time and windy
zoefluf
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Bush, Louisiana

Emil,

He seems to be shivering. Do birds shiver when they are cold? Well, anyway he does it on and off. But mostly he just sits there quietly or sleeps. He looks so lonely!

I'm just a worrier. Maybe I should follow Craig's advice and turn off the nestcam. But, I think the heat from the camera may help keep him warm. There I go again!!

Thanks for the input.

Jeanne
"Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap, yet your heavenly Father feeds them."
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6204
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Our temps today started at 37 and reached 55. The martins went out to feed when it reached about 40. It's sunny but breezy. Before it reached 40 some of the martins visited the feeder that's stocked with crickets and mealworms.

It's hard to know what's normal when you're watching them inside the nest for the first time. It's typical for them to stay inside and sleep most of the day if feeding is not possible, say it's too cold for insects to fly or it's raining steadily.

Sleeping conserves energy, which is good. Jeanne, perhaps tomorrow he'll go out and feed, but try not to worry too much. You've tried to feed him, which is good. Plastic spoons work well for me, but when it's very windy tossing is harder since you can't get the food in the right place. hang in there -

Louise
Last edited by Louise Chambers on Thu Feb 15, 2007 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
CraigMo.
Posts: 1480
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 12:30 pm
Location: Missouri/Lone Jack
Martin Colony History: Active since 2007
Landlord since 2003 at different site

Do you have nesting material in his gourd. If not maybe if he flies off sometime you could add some. I know I find atleast 1 or more martins a year that dies in a compartment for unknown reasons at my old site. I think humans shiver to help keep warm, I would have to assume true to birds also. Who knows about the female she could have moved on or visiting other birds. The next time you bring the rack down you might check the other cavities just in case. Its got to be hard for you, I know I always freak out when things aren't going right at my site Again hope everything turns out good
The Olsons
Posts: 3200
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:57 pm
Location: North Padre Island, TX

Jeanne,

I do understand your concern for your ASY male very, very well. I call myself obsessive when it comes to the birds (or any other animal). I always want to do things perfect. Being a worrier keeping an eye on your bird with the nestcam is probably the best you can do. That way you are aware of any changes even though it is tough on you having to make the "right" decision or choice. Again, I just know what stress this must put on you but please keep in mind you are doing the best you can. I wish you and your ASY male the best of luck :!:
Astrid
Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6742
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)
Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

I remember one year, I had a beautiful male come in about dark, and the next morning his tail was sticking out of the entrance hole for a long time. I finally shook the pole, then lowered the rack and he was dead. I suppose he was old and just couldn't handle the trip. Things like this happen. I even had old birds die during the time that the babies were being fed...Thats all part of nature, they, like us all, must die someday.

Now don't look at this post wrong, I bet he will survive!
zoefluf
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Bush, Louisiana

Craig,

I've checked the other gourds today and no female. I have pine straw in all of my gourds. I am ready and waiting for a FLOCK of Martins! Hopefully, if my ASY makes it, he will recruit some friends when the weather warms up.

If he sits on the roof tomorrow and it isn't so windy, I'll try flipping crickets again. It's difficult though because he usually flys off when I go near the housing. Don't worry, if nothing else I am tenacious, and determined to save this bird.

Thanks everyone for your concern and understanding of my angst.
Jeanne
"Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap, yet your heavenly Father feeds them."
Bob Flam

I feel for you Jeanne!

I dunno if I could have taken a nest cam myself when I started out hahaha

I worried myself to death anyway! I about threw in the towel the 1st time I found a dead one the second year.

Try again tomorrow morning with the crickets, you may get lucky and get him trained on them and he'll teach the others when they come to you!

Hang in there!

bob
Tim Mangan-Kansas
Posts: 1728
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 7:25 am
Location: Kansas, Pittsburg
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 22 Pair

Hi Jeanne:
Give us an update on your ASY male. Hope he made it and will be out this weekend trying to bring more in to you. Did the female ever return?
Tim
zoefluf
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Bush, Louisiana

I still haven't gotten him to eat crickets, so maybe he is finding some food when he leaves the gourd on his short flights. He stays in the gourd when the temperature is in the 40's. Yesterday's temperatures were in the 50's but the winds were 20-25mph.

Even though we were below freezing last night, he left the gourd around 9:30 this morning and hasn't returned yet.

Maybe he has a hot date for the Mardi Gras parades. :lol:
With any luck, he'll bring her home.
Jeanne
"Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap, yet your heavenly Father feeds them."
Sparky
Posts: 1889
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 11:04 pm
Location: Texas/Katy

Yeah, he's heading for the party :lol: It seems they have been getting food at the middle of the day. I have 1000 crickets I have to bag and freeze. They just did not want any part of my cricket offerings this year!

I'm almost afraid of getting a nest cam too. I'd probably be watching it night and day! :)
I'm a "nestcamaholic" Is 18 hours a day a bad thing? (I have 2 this year, luckily I have 2 eyes!)
Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6742
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)
Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

Mine are in good shape, I didn't try to feed them, they have been out feeding from 5 to 7 hrs per day, so they should be ok
CUL Lou~Mich

Jeanne. Don't try to flip the crickets right at him. That will only startle him. Try to aim the crickets eight or ten feet in front of him, and as high as possible, without breaking the spoon. That will give him time to react, and catch the crickets. You might also scramble an egg, (Dry, nothing added) and then cut that into 1/4 by 1/2 inch strips. Flip some of them up in front of him. Possible the variety will get his attention, and he might try grabbing one or the other. Either Crickets, Meal Worms, or scrambled Eggs are good for them. They'll certainly keep them fed. Best of luck to you and your friend. CUL Lou
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