Notes from a Purple Martin Colony in Florida
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We observed a variety of stages of development today during nest check.
Gourd A had 6 eggs.
Gourds B,C,D,E - still no sign of eggs.
Gourd F has 2 fresh babies.
Gourd G had 5 young.
Gourd H empty
Gourd I 4 young, J 2 young, K 6 young, L 5 young.
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Finally got around to a nest check - and here is the egg tally:
Gourd G: 5 eggs
Gourd I: 5 eggs
Gourd K: 6 eggs
This is relatively less eggs than last year at this time - possibly the record cold month has delayed activity...
Around 10 birds hanging out the colony afterwards.
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Only one small surprise during yesterday's nest check - one female martin staying in a gourd (J) while the houses were lowered, and did not fly out until the lid/cap was unscrewed by landlord Jim. Quite a surprise for both! Normally, adult Purple Martins leave their gourds when the process starts. Looks like around 8 Purple Martins hanging around at this point, more expected before eggs start getting produced.
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2 martins (Male, Female) stopped by for a few minutes today to check out the houses. It's the first 2 birds of 2013 here, even though they have been seen in and around the State of Florida for several weeks - including a first in the Nation report from Viera.
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During today's nest check, we found a fair number of gourds had fledged:
27 fledged birds
1 dead young
15 young still in gourds
17 eggs - 10 in one gourd, 7 in another!