How to get them to eat crickets

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Bob Flam

How to get them to eat crickets

Postby Bob Flam » Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:04 am

Hi all, I already put this in a reply to Tonys post about 35 martins eating, but thought a new title might be good also. There is other ways to get martins to go after crickets I'm sure...but here's how I got mine to eat out of my Bed-n-Breakfast feeding platform.

It took a while to get them to go after a cricket flung in the air. Most would watch the cricket fly up and by though. It took a few attempts on a couple days. But once one finally went after one, more and more started doing it. It got to the point of many martins flying off the perching pole after 1,2, or 3 crickets tossed in the air at once. That's a waste of their energy for the ones that didn't get a cricket.

But after I had them going after tossed crickets, I moved over by the feeding platform. I lowered it and dumped the crickets in it. I would pick up a cricket out of the platform, load it in the spoon and flip it towards them sitting on the perching pole. Of course they were watching me do this the entire time. Sometimes they almost had to catch the cricket right above ground level because of my distance away from them. But they still could get most of them. Then...I stepped back away from the platform and I started just tossing them over the feeding platform, so when they flew off the perch to catch it, they were buzzing the platform. After a while they were landing on the feeder platform perching arms just to be closer to where I was flicking them. Eventually I raised the platform and they eat out of it constantly.

I got them to go after scrambled egg by tossing also, because they were so used to it being crickets, once in a while I'd switch to a piece of egg. I also put egg in the feeder platform with the crickets. They love the scrabled egg, it's cheap and always available also. I don't use milk in making my scrambled eggs...just water.


The Olsons
Posts: 3200
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:57 pm
Location: North Padre Island, TX

How to get them to eat crickets

Postby The Olsons » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:07 am


I love your idea!!!! So far we never really had to feed our martins but we always have a freezer full of crickets just in case. .. I always worry that if I should have to feed them they might use up a lot of energy which if they cannot find bugs on their own, obviously they do not anyway. Also, where we live you do not want to throw too much of anything in the air or the seagulls will get it, and they are very aggressive towards other birds. So your way of directing the martins to the feeder in such a swift way is a great idea.


Postby Guest » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:13 pm

I got them to go after scrambled egg by tossing

That can be taken a number of ways. I hope you haven't been out drinking all night, have you? :lol:

I hope I get martins this spring so I can use your recommendations to get them started on supplemental food. The way the weather has been around here recently they would certainly need it.


Bob Flam

Postby Bob Flam » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:30 pm

Haha..more nutrients?


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