Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Purple Martin Colony Update

As I dropped the gourd racks my grand-daughter waited patiently for me to begin today's nest check.I perform these checks every five days to see how things are going.  As I have stated before, having a martin colony allows one to have an up close and personal relationship with these beautiful swallows.  Which is truly a blessing.  We  recorded 79 eggs and 12 newborn nestlings and while doing this came across an interesting find.

We found one nestling that had just hatched, with a portion of the eggshell still attached to it.  I removed the eggshell so that it wouldn't "cap" one of the other eggs that had not hatched yet.   If one or more eggshell hemispheres remain in the nest after a nestling hatches chances are a half could end up attached to the end of any remaining unhatched eggs.

If this happens the nestling inside the egg may have difficulty hatching.  Usually the adult martins with either remove the eggshell or consume it for its calcium content, but sometimes its overlooked and capping occurs.  One of the many duties of the purple martin landlord.

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