Hatching Has Begun
I performed a nest check today and hatching has begun. I have a total of 58 eggs and 37 young.
Now that eggs have begun to hatch activity at the colony will increase twofold. The parents will make many sorties back and forth to their respective gourd bringing food (dragonflies, moths, butterflies, and other flying insects) to sustain the ravenous appetite of their growing young.
With each nest check the nestlings will appear to have doubled in size. Check out the photos. The first photo shows 3-day old young and the next shows 8-day old young. It's incredible how fast they develop. Within 25-28 days after they hatch they will be fuly feathered and ready for their maiden flight. To watch an animation showing the development of the purple martin nestling from egg to fledgling go here.