Blog history - 2010

Feb 27, 2010   
It has been a cold and snowy winter. Luckily the martins have not shown up yet - they usually come before we are ready anyway. I saw on the Purple Martine Organization's web page that the purple martins have made it to Dallas so it is time to get busy. Today was the first decent day that we have had this year, so we put up our first house - the T11. We hadn't taken down the metal house, so we now have 19 rooms available, with the three rooms on the north side sealed shut for the time being. We also took the time to apply a new coat of paint - the house was starting to look bad.

March 4, 2010   
We saw our first martin this morning. The 2010 season has begun. When I got home from work we had three martins - 1 pair and a bachelor. The weather for the next few days is scheduled to be in the 50's and 60's. They should be okay.

March 20, 2010   
Its the first day of spring and its snowing. I'm not sure if we've ever had snow while the martins were here. Harold fed them scrambled eggs - they probably would have been okay, but no sense in letting them get weak if we don't have to.

March 28, 2010   
Harold put up the second martin house - the T14. It didn't take long for the martins to check it out. I haven't taken the time to count the martins but we probably have a couple dozen. The T-11 and metal house are looking overrun with birds.

Apr 18, 2010   
Had a couple days of cold and rainy weather. Harold fed the birds scrambled eggs. The web cams are up and running.

Apr 21, 2010   
The T24 is up - we opened up the back rooms to all of the houses. We have a total of 57 rooms open. We didn't have time to put up the gourds or check any of the rooms. Looks like there are a few nests. We have a starling with 4 eggs in one room. Harold thinks he shot the female starling, but we left the nest intact, just in case it wasn't her.

Apr 22, 2010   
I performed the first nest check of the season. We have 29 nests and 19 eggs. I removed one sparrow nest and one dead purple martin (probably from the cold weather the previous weekend). I put up our 5 gourds - total cavities is now 62 - our max. I don't think we got the female starling - the eggs were still warm. I left the nest.

May 3, 2010   
Apr 25 - 31 nests; 22 eggs
Apr 27 - 37 nests; 29 eggs
Apr 30 - 43 nests; 37 eggs
May 3 - 52 nests; 54 eggs; Compared to last year at this time, we had 43 nests and 69 eggs.

May 22, 2010   
I think we may have a half-way decent martin season this year. Its nearly the end of May and we haven't had any late cold spells or 100 degree days. I've been continuing with the nest checks:
May 5 - 54 nests, 64 eggs, 3 hatchlings!!
May 8 - 57 nests, 74 eggs, 20 hatchlings
May 11 - 58 nests, 109 eggs, 21 hatchlings
May 14 - 59 nests, 153 eggs, 27 hatchlings
May 18 - 62 nests, 199 eggs, 33 hatchlings ... 100% capacity on nests
May 20 - 62 nests, 209 eggs, 45 hatchlings
It should be interesting for the next days - we have 130 babies due to hatch before Jun 1st.

May 30, 2010   
May 24 - 62 nests, 218 eggs, 60 hatchlings
May 27 - 62 nests, 208 eggs, 99 hatchlings
May 30 - 62 nests, 182 eggs, 126 hatchlings

Jun, 2010   
We've had lots of babies born - and more than half have fledged.
Jun 2 - 106 eggs, 188 hatchlings, 6 fledged
Jun 8 - 56 eggs, 216 hatchlings, 16 fledged
Jun 11 - 37 eggs, 224 hatchlings, 26 fledged -
Jun 15 - 13 eggs, 238 hatchlings, 39 fledged
Jun 19 - 5 eggs, 204 hatchlings, 71 fledged
Jun 25 - 5 eggs, 159 hatchlings, 110 fledged
Jun 29 - 2 eggs, 104 hatchlings, 174 fledged
Only a couple of more nest checks to go - all but one nest is scheduled to fledge by July 10th.

Jul, 2010   
We only did a couple of nest checks in July - by now the birds are skittish and have a tendency to bail during nest checks.
Jul 12 - 3 eggs, 275 hatchlings, 278 fledged
Jul 24 - all of the birds are gone - in total we had 332 eggs, 287 hatchlings and 280 fledglings

Aug, 2010   
The heat finally showed up - we finally hit 100+ degree days but the birds have already gone. The houses have been taken down and we are waiting for next year. Before we know it, it will be February and the purple martins will be here.