A good season in south Texas - how's yours?

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Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6210
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Egg-laying is full speed ahead at the 3 sites here. Not all adult pairs have eggs yet, but many do, and the others are ready to follow suit. Not that many subadults here yet, but the next couple of weeks should bring more.

I was very pleased with results of nest check at public site (South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center, here in Corpus Christi) - House 1, 6 nests with eggs, more nests ready for eggs. House 2, one nest with eggs, more nests ready. Gourd rack, 6 nests with eggs (1 has a 7 egg clutch!), more nests ready for eggs.

Despite heavy rains recently, nests were dry. I left more pine straw on the ground for the martins. This spring's rains translate to abundant insect food for the nestlings later on. Hatch and fledge rates will be better than the previous 2-3 years of drought. We probably will not have to do any supplemental feeding, with more rain and less heat this year - we'll enjoy it!
Matt@atx
Posts: 728
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:13 am
Location: Buda, TX, south of Austin

Hi Louise,


So it is possible that sub adults can still come in May?
Some more rain to possibly come this week too.
2008~(1st yr) 4 pairs, 11 to 12 fledged
2009~(2nd yr) 9 pairs, 41 fledged
2010~(3rd year) 11 pairs. 50 fledged
2011~(4th year) 20 pairs, 23 out of 23 gourds Martin occupied, 3 fledged, the rest died in the drought. (1 new Blue Bird, 3 BB fledged.)
2012~ 26 pairs, approx. 100-110 fledged
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6210
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Yes - the numbers will drop, but they will still be moving into Texas, some staying and some moving north. Big influxes of subbies could continue for another couple of weeks - 2014 was a pretty good season, with lots of young martins fledging.
Matt@atx
Posts: 728
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:13 am
Location: Buda, TX, south of Austin

Thanks for the news Louise.
I ask because I may be having some of mine being displaced by Starling breaches either to other gourds on the racks or other. Not sure plus I still have what appears to be at least 6 unoccupied gourds.. probably a little more.

I got stuff coming and hope to fix the breaches by this weekend so if more are coming, this is good news.
I do remember last year. It turned out well for Martins. Keep this rain coming and they'll be fed and fat God willing. I still remember 2011 from time to time. .. :???:
2008~(1st yr) 4 pairs, 11 to 12 fledged
2009~(2nd yr) 9 pairs, 41 fledged
2010~(3rd year) 11 pairs. 50 fledged
2011~(4th year) 20 pairs, 23 out of 23 gourds Martin occupied, 3 fledged, the rest died in the drought. (1 new Blue Bird, 3 BB fledged.)
2012~ 26 pairs, approx. 100-110 fledged
rrmartins
Posts: 1435
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

Great season so far. Ours are very busy building nest. We added a little four room cedar house. Two pair stayed in it last night, and we put it up Saturday. Have a great season everyone.
2020
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
Matt@atx
Posts: 728
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:13 am
Location: Buda, TX, south of Austin

Hey that pretty neat RR. what kind of 4 room cedar house is it?
2008~(1st yr) 4 pairs, 11 to 12 fledged
2009~(2nd yr) 9 pairs, 41 fledged
2010~(3rd year) 11 pairs. 50 fledged
2011~(4th year) 20 pairs, 23 out of 23 gourds Martin occupied, 3 fledged, the rest died in the drought. (1 new Blue Bird, 3 BB fledged.)
2012~ 26 pairs, approx. 100-110 fledged
Bob Buskas
Posts: 600
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2003 8:08 pm
Location: Wetaskiwin Alberta, Canada

Louise, Great to hear you are getting the rain this year, nothing worse than a drought. All of this world relies on rain. Are you noticing any of our western Canadian Martins moving through now. Our Martins should be hitting a peak migration in the next few weeks moving through Texas.
Bob Buskas, Alberta, Canada (The Northern Sky's Colony) Supplimental feeding is the key during bad weather, but you must train them to feed ahead of time.
rrmartins
Posts: 1435
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

Matt@atx wrote:Hey that pretty neat RR. what kind of 4 room cedar house is it?
It's just a small, sloped roof, shed, lol. Built it with leftover cedar fence pickets. The rooms are 7x11. It's not pretty, but very effective. I will post a pic later on, in a new thread.
2020
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1497
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm
Location: TN/Collierville
Martin Colony History: I have been exposed to purple martin sounds in utero when my mother went out to get my father away from his martin colony.
I played around the martin colony every summer and watched as my father maintained his colony. In the late 50's until the 70's he did not notice European Starlings in south Texas.
When old enough, I helped maintain his colony. My primary task was eliminating English House Sparrows with a 1956 Benjamin 317 .177 air rifle.
When I settled into my own home, I started my first colony with an original Trio Castle and Trio Grandpa. When I moved again, I did not put up any martin houses. Frustration with European Starlings in the Southeast US was overwhelming.
Found PMCA Forum and learned about modern enlarged compartments and SREHs.
Inherited my father's last martin house, a Trio Grandma, modified it to modern specifications and have had good results since then.

Bob,
I know my sister in Seguin, TX has transients passing through her colony and I have some of your Canadian martins roosting for the night before moving on.
They seem in a hurry to get somewhere. Is it that nice at your Northern Sky colony?
From your website pictures, it is beautiful and equipped with excellent housing.
Mark.
Mark.
Firm believer in HOSP/EUST Control, Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.
Matt@atx
Posts: 728
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:13 am
Location: Buda, TX, south of Austin

rrmartins wrote:
Matt@atx wrote:Hey that pretty neat RR. what kind of 4 room cedar house is it?
It's just a small, sloped roof, shed, lol. Built it with leftover cedar fence pickets. The rooms are 7x11. It's not pretty, but very effective. I will post a pic later on, in a new thread.

that would be cool RR. I will look for the thread. Ill wait to see what kind of
entrance holes you selected. If something you can make for free if only one season which they will live in works, that's pretty neat. :grin:


I also wanted to say hello to Mark(4 Gene.) and thank you for the helping me understand the Lewis modification specifications along with Mr. Lewis.
My materials should arrive this week which I hope to get up this weekend.
2008~(1st yr) 4 pairs, 11 to 12 fledged
2009~(2nd yr) 9 pairs, 41 fledged
2010~(3rd year) 11 pairs. 50 fledged
2011~(4th year) 20 pairs, 23 out of 23 gourds Martin occupied, 3 fledged, the rest died in the drought. (1 new Blue Bird, 3 BB fledged.)
2012~ 26 pairs, approx. 100-110 fledged
rrmartins
Posts: 1435
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

I just cut sreh into doors, flush with porch. The martins pop right in, much easier than the clinger.
2020
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
tonyg
Posts: 1520
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:16 pm
Location: Olpe, KS
Martin Colony History: 22 year landlord, 14 at current residence..offering 9 racks and a homemade T-8 for 166 total cavities. 160 Pair in 2018 Racks consist of a Deluxe 12, AAA 16, Starburst 16, 2 K-18 Series, Super 24, 2 Gemini, Multi-purpose/two trio’s/4gourds and a T-8..Great hobby to be involved in..

Was concerned a few weeks ago, but they have been coming in and my estimate guess would be over 100 and no SY's yet, so hopefully at least what I had last year will happen..discovered today that a landlord here in my area has pretty much given up hosting martins as I drove by his house and what used to be a thriving colony of around 40 pairs is a mixture of sparrows, starlings and very few martins..his large Trio Castle is all closed off..he even had a couple of nest cams going one year..he divorced a few years ago and remarried..guess the new bride isn't into martins.. :-(
22 year landlord..9 Rack Systems for 2018 and my home built T-8 for a total of 166 cavities..160 pair in 2018 ..SUPER COLONY!!! Love You Bev... Fan of those St. Louis Cardinals!!!!!
Bob Buskas
Posts: 600
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2003 8:08 pm
Location: Wetaskiwin Alberta, Canada

Mark, it is nice here but the summers are too short, I love this time of year for sure.
Bob Buskas, Alberta, Canada (The Northern Sky's Colony) Supplimental feeding is the key during bad weather, but you must train them to feed ahead of time.
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