Archive for May, 2018

Rain Fledgling Update

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

Day 12 of this terrible weather and all but 1 of the babies are holding their own. I am fattening them up but with more heavy rain in the forecast, I hesitate to release. They are still underweight, but have gained several grams. The biggest improvement comes from a 36 gram fledgling that appears to be about 24 days old and weighs now 44 grams.

There is Rain, and then there is RAIN

Monday, May 21st, 2018

Yesterday, someone posed the question on Facebook, “What kind of housing lets in so much water?”

Though it felt as though there was a bit of blame on the housing, living in South Florida I know that there are several kinds of rain. There is rain, and then there is RAIN. You have to understand that South Florida, by its very nature, is swamp. Not the friendly scenic swamp people envision, with palm trees and flamingos, but the dirty kind of swamp with alligators and mosquitoes that drive you to the brink of madness. Now granted, Florida was drained (for the most part) by the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers that cut a system of canals all over the state in order to drain said swamp. But the rain that drives the nature of this state still lurks below the surface waiting to inundate you with water unlike what Noah witnessed. OK, so that last bit was a bit hyperbolic, but still, it’s some crazy rain. Sideways blowing, bucket dumping, yard flooded, canals overflowing amounts of rain.

Now usually, these South Florida rains will come in the afternoons. We call it our monsoon season. Like clockwork, a sunny gorgeous day draws up the humidity and water from the central parts of the state (that ARE still swamp) then by 1 or 2ish in the afternoon, the sky turns black and the thunder booms. Usually a 1/2 hour worth of rain later, the sky clears and then the rest of the day clears up and by sunset, you are back to a gorgeous (and humid) day.

But this last week and a half has tried even the most native Floridians to the brink of madness. All day, all night, driving, dumping rains. UGH! Yesterday had us picking up a few more dead birds and this morning we found another wet, tired, and HUNGRY nestling at our feet.

So our count rests at 5 babies at this point. The one in the worst shape weighs in at a pitiful 33 grams and I doubt he will make it. The others weigh in at 36, 43, 45, and 49 grams. Chewie, the first one we found about 4 days ago, is in the best shape. He is happy to see me and begs for food, chirping away when he hears me call, “chew chew.” The others are more reluctant feeders. But the 3 in the 43+ gram zone, I have some optimism for. The others…not so much.

For more information on emergency feeding of Purple Martins, visit us at www.PurpleMartinPlace.com

Devastating Rain Continues

Sunday, May 20th, 2018

Lord have mercy. The rain came down SO hard last night. I woke up to the sound of torrential rain and prayed for my birds. Another 3 dead in the lawn today, 3 alive that I was able to catch, and 2 others swam (YES SWAM) through the yard to escape to the neighbors yard and sure death. I am h art broken. The bad news: (yes, there is MORE bad news!) is the 3 rescued today are very underwent AND have significant feather damage to both tail feathers and primary flight feathers. The good news: Chewie (the first guy from 2 days ago) is eating me out of house and home and crickets. He just might make it!

Rain Causing Problems

Saturday, May 19th, 2018

Over a week of solid and often heavy rains has been wreaking havoc on our colony. Wet nests combined with underweight fledglings have them jumping out like crazy. Nests are too far along to lower gourds and do nest changes. Found 4 dead in the yard in the last 2 days and this little guy yesterday. Wet to the bone and way undernourished. Yesterday he went through some scrambled egg and 2 dozen crickets. Today he’s already had 2 dozen crickets and he’s not done yet.
Rain can cause huge problems. Not just any rain, but the deluge has f driving rain that we have gotten, pretty much nonstop without getting a chance to dry. Even through the night, the rains have persisted. And rain like this means no food. We have also had the resident Cooper Hawk making his rounds and the poor babies (I suspect) may be from an orphan gourd.