Helped out a female. My guys are on the naughty list.

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Curtis Reil
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:51 pm
Location: Alberta/Tofield
Martin Colony History: I inherited this colony when I purchased the property from my Great Uncle. To the best of my knowledge, he had hosted Martins since 1977. Housing consisted of three twelve compartment units that he had built. Small compartments, round holes and no way to lower for managing. There were maybe 6-8 pairs here when we moved in. Through reading up on information provided by the PMCA and that provided to me by Bob Buskas, the decision was made to upgrade the housing. We are now fully switched over to North Star houses and hosted 58 pairs this season(2017). 60 compartments open for business and being so close to 100% occupancy, I believe we may expand housing offered next season. Expansion will continue contingent to high occupancy, being able to keep up on management and or until it starts to feel like work.

Our colony up here in Alberta is on the grow again which is great. All the advice, tips & information received is really helping us along. This morning I found my 3rd grounded female this season with a mess of males "passing on their genes" we will say. For such neat little birds we are seeing a nastier side to the breeding cycle with abundance of males here. Anyway, that's part of the bad I guess.

The good. I went out to where the female had tucked herself in by the playground we have for the kids. Sat down about 4' away from her and talked as smooth and soothing as I could. We sat like this for close to half an hour. I had my arm stretched out along the bench of the little picnic table. She got herself up on the bench and ever so cautiously made her way over to my hand where she sat just looking at me for 5 minutes or so. I was really enjoying being so close to her when she stepped it up a notch. She proceeded to hop/flutter up my arm, onto my shoulder and then nestled herself into the back of my neck! I was wearing a hooded sweat shirt so I can only assume it looked like a good place to hide. After settling herself in we stayed like that for close to another half hour until she hopped out and started fluttering about on the ground again. I figured she was probably trying to fly again so I caught her at this point. No squabbling, squawking or pecking. Placed her up on the oyster shell feeder and let her be. She was stretching her wings almost immediately and took off within minutes. I watched her land in the tree line where I'm assuming she will rest before returning to the colony. Not sure if this was the right thing to do given the situation but it sure felt good.

This was one of the coolest interactions I've had with any animal, wild or domestic. Pretty special little creatures.
Bob Buskas
Posts: 600
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2003 8:08 pm
Location: Wetaskiwin Alberta, Canada

Not hard to figure why your colony is growing so fast. They know when their landlord cares for them and about them. She trusts you, and she showed it. This is just one of many memories your Martin colony will bring you and your family in the years ahead. So Cool!
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.
Posts: 778
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:09 pm
Location: Manitoba/Altona
Martin Colony History: six pair in 2014, have grown to 52 pairs in 2017.

That's great to hear Curtis. Thanks for sharing that story.

I don't like the way some of my boy are behaving either, but its the same drive that gets them from Brazil to my backyard. I like the way that my colony tells me its hungry. One of their fearless leaders will fly straight at me and squak as loud as he can. As promised, I go and get some eggs. My birds are becoming more trusting as well, my egg shell feeder is only 10 feet from my deck and they are not alarmed at my presence. Tonight one drifted over my head no more than a foot or so above it. Thought he was going to land for a second.

keep up the good work.
2011- first year trying, a few visitors.
2012-One ASY pair, raised two young, lots of subby visitors. So thankfull.
2013-daily subby visits.
2014-Six SY pairs
2015-18 pair, 83 fledglings
2016-36 pair, 147 fledglings
2017-52 pairs, 192 fledglings.
2018-60 pair, 246 fledglings.
2019-59 pair, 238 fledglings.
2020-62 pair.
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