Posts Tagged ‘nesting’

WebCam Woes!

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Oh gosh! If I never have to deal with this webcam debacle, I will die happy!! It may not be THAT bad, but dealing with this webcam has been a testament to God given patience and a few wine coolers. So most of you know about the webcam. How many of you know what a royal pain in the toukis it is?

I NOW have the webcam with another broadcasting site called  www.ustream.tv . The actual site is at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/purple-martin-colony-cam and as of now it is working…knock on wood. It seems that computers have a love hate relationship with routers. Routers are those little boxes that hook up your computer to high speed Internet connections and wireless connections in your house. They are a Godsend and a curse. First of all you want the router to protect your computer from pre-pubescent jerks trying to wreck havoc on your PC. The hackers now troll your neighborhood looking for wireless connections to hack into your computer. BUT to connect a webcam to another computer somewhere else, you have to tell your router that some things are OK. But I digress.

So camstreams is out (couldn’t get it to keep working) , Uviewit is out (too expensive!), Mogulus is out (could never get that one to work at all!) and we are now on Ustream.tv. I MUST apologize for the ads that pop up on the stream. I must assure you that I, purplemartins-r-us.com or MyPurpleMartinBlog.com Do NOT get anything from those ads. It is a trade for the service provided by ustream.tv. They let me stream for free…I put up with intrusive ads for skittles or whatever it is. So please forgive me for that.

NOW, about my Purple Martins. Who really cares about webcams! I am up to a dozen birds, or so I think. The Sunset Inn has drawn a few birds as residents. Which is interesting as last year the rack filled up completely withASY martins before the old plastic house got any traffic. It eventually got its fair share of SY’s. This year the new Aluminum house already has a lone ASY male on the far side AND a possible ASY PAIR on the near side. I added a 2×4 wire Owl protecting “cage” to the front of the house for added security. The Purple Martins are navigating the wire with no difficulty.

I took the pellet gun for some target practice and appear to be a terrible shot. A far cry from my marksman days in the US Army. Then again, if it was a BB rifle I am sure I would be a better shot. It is a pump up pellet handgun and my arms shake like jello after a few shots. I am consistently to the right of the target and no amount of site adjustments seems to alter that. Weird.

As per my previous post the birds are still staying close to home with birds around till noon and then back checking in after 3 or so. They are gearing up and I can’t wait to see them bringing in the pine needles!!!

Blog & Photos Copyrighted 2009: S.Halpin/ PurpleMartins-R-Us.com

Changes Noticed in Martins Behaviour

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

It may be a sign that the ASY Purple Martins at my site are aware of something. I have not seen any SY birds yet but today the 8-10 birds that I have have been checking in quite often throughout the day. That is a major change as up until now they have been keeping a low profile.

The usual behaviour includes no birds around the housing after 9AM or so. No birds back at all (for the most part) until they are ready for bed. At 6 PM they zoom in without much ceremony at all. But today I have noticed that they are back and forth at the housing. All ASY birds still, but they are peeking in compartments, in and out of gourds, looking at the new Sunset Inn house and all around showing a high level of interest in the housing all day so far.  Even when they are not on the housing I can see them at a distance and here them occasionally. So they are staying closer to home. It will be interesting to see how they act this evening and if this behaviour is just a well deserved break after several weeks of cool weather and gusty breezes that would make their foraging for food a challenge. Perhaps the food is abundant today and they have the resources to keep a closer eye on the housing. Or perhaps there are some SY’s moving in.  Another possibility is that these are new birds moving in and NOT my birds at all. Simply other landlords ASY’s checking up on the neighbors. As you may know, arrival of the younger subadult birds (the SY’s) seems to coincide with nest building and an overall serious tone to the nesting season. These early weeks, prior to the SY’s arrival are much less intense.

Time will tell if which of these scenarios is in fact the case. At any even the frequent visits are a real treat and have perked up my spirits.

On another note, my Live Streaming Birdcam is still online HERE at PurpleMartins-R-Us.com. After 8PM I am working on trying to get the webcam up via http://purplemartinsrus.camstreams.com, an online broadcast site. As I work on the camstreams site I will eventually replace this as the source for my sites Live Birdcam. The previous software has changed its pricing as has become much to costly! Having the Camstreams site will allow me to have the Birdcam be on a site that is not commercial in origin.

Blog & Photos Copyrighted 2009: S.Halpin/ PurpleMartins-R-Us.com

Nest Sitting and Nest Building

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

martininnest.jpgThe morning broke cool in the low 60′s but is pleasantly warming and turning into a spectacular spring day. The pair of mockingbirds that is building a nest about a yard away from my lawn chair is happy, despite my 2 children running and screaming a few feet away. The birds quietly slip in with twigs and sticks much to my delight. Apparently the Mockingbirds have also come to appreciate my lawn and the “no hawk” zone that, together, the martins and I provide.

Another nest is being built in a natural gourd and it would seem that the 4 nests that I checked are being incubated.

When I did nests checks the other day, the most curious thing happened. I lowered the pole and was going from one gourd to another. I began to open Gourd #2 (which I knew to be an active nest) when I looked inside to count, I found myself face to face with the ASY female who refused to give up her eggs. She had moved to the side enough for me to count but did not fly out. She was, literally only inches from my face. It was one of the most spectacular things that I have ever experienced. She must be quite experienced at nest checks, is my conclusion. She could have easily flown away at any time. I closed the gourd, continued to check all gourds the raised the house back up. Only when the house was almost completely up, did she dart out-very quietly. Off for a snack, then she returned a few minutes later.

On the business side of things, www.Purplemartins-r-us.com is making small baby steps towards launching and I hope to have some inventory and items by end of month.

Blog Contents Copyrighted 2008: S.Halpin / www.PurpleMartins-R-Us.com