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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Monday, May 19, 2014

Ringtails and bears

A fellow blogger of mine and camera trap extraordinaire- Camera Trap Codger, put an excellent video capture on his blog.  He set up a camera hoping to capture ringtails on video near an area where he put down lures in the form of civetone (the musky pheromone from the African civet) and castoreum (exudate from the castor sacs of the North American beaver which is used by them for scent marking). He got one ringtail to bite, but what follows is some excellent video of a family of black bears also enjoying the lures. Check out Codgers blog here.

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