Where do the purple martins go every few days?

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Mary Vazquez
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:52 am
Location: Blum Tx Hill county 76627

So this year was the first year I’ve had purple martins after waiting two years for them to find my nests. I started with 4 and then soon after about 10 and now I’m up to about 30 with the hatched babies flying around ,but now every few days they disappear and then they all come back, where are they going? Sometimes I see them in the trees or on the fences but they’re not sleeping in their nest at night anymore is that normal?
C.C.Martins
Posts: 1309
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- Visitors.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021- 28 pair. 118 fledged
Home colony: mix natural, super and excluder gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satellite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mini castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021: 10 pair, 30 fledged
PMCA member

Hi Mary,
Aren't they fun to watch? Congrats on your martins, expect your wait is over, they will be back next year.
So as to your question: your birds have fledged. The adults are taking them out and teaching them how to eat and be purple martins. They often stash the chicks on high wires or taller trees and feed them, but it sounds to me like they are past that stage.
I'd guess they are roosting somewhere now, and returning in the mornings and afternoons to socialize and check out their old homes. Fewer and fewer will return, soon they will all be off migrating.
I get the occasional flyby now, some land some don't.
Try to pick out the fledges, you will see shorter wing feathers that when folded dont extend beyond the tail. Its kinda hard to pick them out but give it a shot.
Congrats on the start of your colony!
One PS: i think you are south of us here in Corpus. See if you can find the roost! Its a challenge, but wow is it rewarding. Iv been looking for the last few weeks here, lots of chimney swifts but no roost yet. Best bet is to look just as the sun is going down, look to the west. Easier said then done....driving and watching the sky is tricky. You will see groups of martins gathering and then suddenly dive to their roost.
Tom
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
Mary Vazquez
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:52 am
Location: Blum Tx Hill county 76627

Thank you so much for your answer, I was beginning to wonder if I had last them for good! This has been the most rewarding thing for me! I absolutely love and enjoy them! I can’t wait till they come back next year! I will keep an eye open for their roost!
C.C.Martins
Posts: 1309
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- Visitors.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021- 28 pair. 118 fledged
Home colony: mix natural, super and excluder gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satellite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mini castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021: 10 pair, 30 fledged
PMCA member

Fantastic! It sure sounds like you had a great season, again congrats.
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
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