Friday, May 23, 2014

Purple Martin Colony 2014

I haven't mentioned anything about my colony yet this season, which so far is looking pretty good.  They began showing up on February 16, and as of May 17th I have 19 pair, which have so far produced 2 nestlings and 86 eggs. 
Over the last 10 years (of the 20 years of my colony's existence) I've averaged around 23 pair. There was a couple years (2004 & 2010) where I had 25 pair.  In the last 3 seasons though (counting this one) I'm beginning to see a downward trend: 2012- 20 pair, 2013- 18 pair, and this season again with 18 pair.  It is very possible that some could have perished on their way back during their exhaustive migration back from South America.  Just a fact of life with these swallows.  Eventually newer adults could be attracted here which could replace those lost.
As mentioned before I discovered my first of two nestlings, one of which was still inside one half of the egg it hatched from.  When I discover eggshell in the nest I remove them to prevent the other eggs from becoming "capped".

I expect to find more eggs during my next check in 5 days and more the likely more nestlings.  I will report from time to time what's going on.  Hopefully this will be a very productive season.

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