Thursday, June 21, 2007

No Luck

I checked the game camera that I had set up about a week ago and found nothing but deer on it. I had hoped to pull in a predator, but no such luck. I know of another area that is deeper in the woods and I plan on setting it up there hopefully in the next couple of weeks. I also plan on trying some type of lure along with the FurFindr. The Camera Trap Codger seems to have quite a bit of luck using beaver castoreum so I plan on trying it myself. I know without a doubt that many predators lurk in the depths of the Big Thicket that surrounds our property so I plan to keep on keepin' on until they show their gnarly faces to my camera lens. Updates will follow so stay tuned!

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Premature Fledging in Martins

It seems only recently I was counting eggs in all of the martin nests and now I'm seeing nestlings that are within a few days of fledging. After hatching it takes a minimum of 26 days from the time they're bare naked to fully feathered and ready to soar. The ones in the photo are 24 days old and when you have them 20 days or older you must be very careful during nest checks to prevent premature fledging. In other words trying to fly before they're quite ready to.

I do this by checking my records to see which nests have nestlings at this age or older and the moment I get the gourds lowered I will place a rag with a string attached into the entrance hole of that particular gourd. When I'm done I gently raise the gourds back into the air, wait 5 minutes or so to allow them to settle down and then pull the string removing the rag. Though some nestlings may still jump after settling I can refer to my detailed nest records and determine where it came from and place it back into its respective gourd. Hard to believe that the nesting season is about to end.

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