Stafford TX PM Roost 2011

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BumBee
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:47 am
Location: Sugar Land, Texas

Don Troha
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:14 pm
Location: Texas/Houston

Houston Audubon is having a roost watch event Thursday 7/28/11 at The Fountains. Hope to see you there.
http://bit.ly/qcMWKh
2020 - 16 pair, 70 fledged
2019 - 14 pair, 61 fledged
2018 - 15 pair, 63 fledged
2017 - 11 pair, 46 fledged
2016 - 5 pair, 22 fledged
2015 - 3 pair, 13 fledged
2014 - 3 pair, 12 fledged
2013 - 3 pair, 12 fledged
2012 - 2 pair, 8 fledged
2011 - 1 pair, 2 fledged
BumBee
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:47 am
Location: Sugar Land, Texas

Purple Martin roost at the fountains was on KHOU TV last night. When I got to the park behind the shopping
Center, they were already there filming.

http://www.khou.com/home/People-flock-t ... 98098.html
Last edited by BumBee on Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
trisha
Posts: 428
Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 1:12 pm
Location: Texas/Burleson, south of Fort Worth

Awesome shots of the martins dipping in the water! Thanks for sharing!
Trisha


PMCA member
2019, 36 pair
Don~VA
Posts: 391
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:01 am
Location: Virginia/King George
Martin Colony History: Had a colony many years ago which dwindled over a couple of years and then did not return. Kept trying each year for almost 20 years and finally had a small success in 2011 with two pairs nesting. Colony has grown slowly each year with 22 pairs in 2015. In 2016 my gourd rack of 18 gourds filled up so I added 4 more gourds and then put up a small rack of 6 gourds. All of those were claimed within a few days so I believe I have at least 25 pairs this year.

Your photos are both beautiful and amazing BumBee! The sunset on the water is as beautiful as the PM's in the air. Thanks for posting and sharing :-))
Don~Northern Neck of Virginia-PMCA Member
BumBee
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:47 am
Location: Sugar Land, Texas

I am having a blast taking those photos and videos. Thanks to the
Sunset Setting in my camera that allows me to produce those shots
without having to doctor them up.

I took some more photos last night and there were more PMs compared
to a week ago.
Laverne
Posts: 2216
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:58 pm
Location: TX/Alvin
Martin Colony History: Erected 1st house in 1997. Birds were checking it out before Mike got down from the ladder. Six cavities had a little colony 1st year. Grown to 88 cavities all gourds with near 100% occupancy. Most important factor for success is rain = bugs.

I looked at this roost on the wunderground radar this morning and it appears to be extremely large. There are other roosts in the area, but this roost at Stafford is by far the largest. Others have talked about roosts of 10,000 or so -- but, I believe this roost is reaching peek and has historically contained numbers closer to 150,000 at peek. Gisela Fregoe saw the roost at Sharpstown in August 2007 and she reported 100,000 to 150,000 individuals. Pat Arnold reported many times and almost always claimed there were a million Purple Martins at this roost. All I can say is when you're there and the sky is darkened by the sheer volume of bodies in the air -- then you estimate it's gotta be at least a million, maybe a billion birds!!! :roll: I intentionally quoted Gisela Fregoe because I believe she knows how to estimate the number of birds in a roost better than anybody else I could think of and for sure better than me.

I can't remember when the roost in Houston is finished. Everything I am finding indicates it continues on until mid-August which is just two weeks away. Heads up everybody!! The time to view this roost is now. It won't be here forever. It's not that far over there! If you want to see a truly spectacular roost event with more Purple Martins than you ever believed possible - go see...

Sincerely,
Laverne
Sincerely,
Laverne
Don Troha
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:14 pm
Location: Texas/Houston

Each section of power lines is about a tenth of a mile. Last night Martins occupied ten of the wires on the first section by the pond,
6 wires on the second section, and 2 wires on the third section. That's 1.8 miles of birds. At 4 birds per foot, that's about 38,000 birds.
Attachments
Martins occupy ten wires on that first section of wires by the pond.  08/03/11
Martins occupy ten wires on that first section of wires by the pond. 08/03/11
PM8030004.JPG (89.54 KiB) Viewed 5209 times
Martins shoulder to shoulder on this section of wires.  08/03/11
Martins shoulder to shoulder on this section of wires. 08/03/11
PM8030006.JPG (68.88 KiB) Viewed 5220 times
2020 - 16 pair, 70 fledged
2019 - 14 pair, 61 fledged
2018 - 15 pair, 63 fledged
2017 - 11 pair, 46 fledged
2016 - 5 pair, 22 fledged
2015 - 3 pair, 13 fledged
2014 - 3 pair, 12 fledged
2013 - 3 pair, 12 fledged
2012 - 2 pair, 8 fledged
2011 - 1 pair, 2 fledged
Guest

Now thats a bunch,,,,,were there also buirds roosting at the tree area in the parking lot?

dick
Laverne
Posts: 2216
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:58 pm
Location: TX/Alvin
Martin Colony History: Erected 1st house in 1997. Birds were checking it out before Mike got down from the ladder. Six cavities had a little colony 1st year. Grown to 88 cavities all gourds with near 100% occupancy. Most important factor for success is rain = bugs.

Don't you guys ever sleep?? :shock:

Anyway, I wanted to comment on Dick's question. Usually, the Purple Martins do not drop into the actual "roost site" until the very end of the event every evening. This is part of the grand finale that is so exciting!! You just gotta go see it to believe it - it just doesn't come across on film. Maybe witnessing it would answer some of your questions and help you understand it. It will definitely entertain you... :roll: 8)

Sincerely,
Laverne
Sincerely,
Laverne
BumBee
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:47 am
Location: Sugar Land, Texas

Dick,
The PMs starts gathering on the power lines at the park before sunset,
then after sunset, they start moving to the roost site.

Come and see this happening, I’ll be there again tonight.
Don Troha
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:14 pm
Location: Texas/Houston

For those of you who visited the roost at the Fountains, did anyone attempt to make a count
of the number of Martins there?

During multiple visits to the staging area next to the roost, I attempted to "count" them by estimating the
number of Martins perched on the power lines and reported the numbers to the Audubon folks for their records.
They like to have data from multiple observers for validation.

fyi, I came up with about 65K at the peak in mid August, and the last Martins left after mid-Sept.
2020 - 16 pair, 70 fledged
2019 - 14 pair, 61 fledged
2018 - 15 pair, 63 fledged
2017 - 11 pair, 46 fledged
2016 - 5 pair, 22 fledged
2015 - 3 pair, 13 fledged
2014 - 3 pair, 12 fledged
2013 - 3 pair, 12 fledged
2012 - 2 pair, 8 fledged
2011 - 1 pair, 2 fledged
Kathy in VA
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:24 am
Location: Virginia/Scottsburg
Martin Colony History: It took me 11 years to get martins. It finally happened in 2010! Been going strong, ever since! I have a 12-gourd rack, full and overflowing!! I love this hobby!

Sorry, I wasn't able to make it there to count; Virginia is a little too far away!...and I wouldn't have had a clue how to count, anyway. But I would have loved to have seen it...Thanks to all of you for taking photos and videos and sharing them here! I think I had seen this roost from the National Weather Service radar website, but had no idea THIS is what I was looking at!
The news story said the trees are oak trees...can anyone verify that or identify the species?--since I'm a bit too far away to drive down and take a look at them myself. Just curious. Thanks.
Kathy in VA
Don Troha
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:14 pm
Location: Texas/Houston

Live Oak I think. Small leaf variety of oak. Very common here. That Martin in my profile pic is perched in one. :)
2020 - 16 pair, 70 fledged
2019 - 14 pair, 61 fledged
2018 - 15 pair, 63 fledged
2017 - 11 pair, 46 fledged
2016 - 5 pair, 22 fledged
2015 - 3 pair, 13 fledged
2014 - 3 pair, 12 fledged
2013 - 3 pair, 12 fledged
2012 - 2 pair, 8 fledged
2011 - 1 pair, 2 fledged
Kathy in VA
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:24 am
Location: Virginia/Scottsburg
Martin Colony History: It took me 11 years to get martins. It finally happened in 2010! Been going strong, ever since! I have a 12-gourd rack, full and overflowing!! I love this hobby!

Thanks for the info. Wow, I did a Google Images search on Live Oak--looks like those trees get huge! I sure hope they have a slow growth rate or the shopping center may be chopping 'em down or pruning them soon, like our town did...they planted Bradford Pear trees on both sides of a narrow street with narrow sidewalks...and then when the trees got too big, they topped them (whacked off the tops, straight across!) and now they look horrible. Bradford Pears are known for having narrow crotch angles that are weak from the bark build-up, and many branches have broken off from wind damage or the weight of snow/ice, destroying the shape. Not a wise choice for our downtown revitalization project--planting that species, nor topping it.

Too bad there isn't a way to zoom in on those little Avatar photos beside posters' names--I have often wanted to get a closer look at the photos. I've tried to, unsuccessfully, on the post and on the poster's Profile. Hey, Don, just read your profile...congratulations on your first pair! And your first fledglings! Don't forget to change your Landlord Status from "Trying" to "Active"!--you're an official landlord now--no longer a wannabe! Can't believe you got martins your first year--I had to wait 11 years! Hooray for you!
Kathy in VA
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