Posts Tagged ‘repeating trap’

Rain, Rain, Go Away…

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

Not that I am not grateful for the rain that South Florida so desperately needs. I really don’t want the rain to go away. Just give me enough time to take care of business on the 3 poles. South Florida has had torrential downpours in the last week or so as a result of a low pressure system that was actually threatening to turn into an early Tropical Depression. Hurricane season can’t wait to start, apparently.

The nest checks could wait no more. Last nest check of the numbered gourd rack had gourd # 10  smelling quite ripe and needing a change badly. The babies all fledged successfully in that nest but yesterday as I watched the birds coming in for the night, I noticed that no one wanted to enter that gourd. So I was finally able to do several nest changes in empty gourds that had already fledged on the numbered rack and also changed several nests with babies on the lettered rack. The smell was reminiscent of the monkey cages at the Bronx Zoo and General Tso’s Chicken from the neighborhood Chinese restaurant. I doubt I will ever be able to eat General Tso’s Chicken again. Thankfully my experience as a nurse and mom has prepared me well for the foulness of the situation…5 straight days of sideways falling rain, plus bird poop, plus “bug parts” was turning into a potent compost material. I am convinced that had I not changed the nests for some of the nestlings that some will have perished in short order. The nestlings in Gourd “D” were wet and dirty. They seemed grateful to be placed back in a dry clean nest. I noticed one of the nestlings had a small lump on its abdomen that reminded me of a cyst or a tumor. Hopefully it is benign but I will observe it. All but the telescopic pole was checked as thunder was rumbling again and a drizzle began to fall.

Last night I had the strangest dream. In the dream I heard the wolf whistle call of a starling. Then this morning when I went outside to check on the birds and check the trap, as I ALWAYS do. To my surprise I looked down at the trap and I see a bird in the trap. At first I thought it was a fledgling martin that let his curiosity get the better of him. When I looked closer I saw that it was not one but 2, yes TWO Starlings in “the little repeating nest-trap-that-could”. 

There are some half dozen starlings frequenting the yard and I decided to keep the younger of the two as a lure. Now to just work on my baited trap.

I was glad to be able to get some good up close photos of the European Starling and several came out quite well.

Nest Check Results for 5-23-09:

Fledged to date:    58

Total Eggs remaining:       28

Total Young remaining:       38  (+10 ? Unable to check telescopic pole)

First Starlings (March 20,2008)

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

So the repeating nest trap sits virginal atop its wooden post. All painted white, untested, pure. UNTIL…One of my 50 glances outside per hour. My eye catches movement in the holding cage. Nah, could it? Nah, no! WAY! I look up at the housing and right on top of my Martin house, death with feathers. As if its laughing at the world, my heart sinks. It pops right in to a compartment that was housing a pair of martins. The nest, not yet complete, now the prospective breeding ground for black death. The European Starling! ugh, hear we go. Apparently the female went in the repeating nest box trap, virginal no more. But the male is calling and calling confused as to why his chosen won’t come up and take a look see at this mighty fine nest he has built (not) for her. The Martins are in obvious discord. No happy gurgling, no courting songs. A few of the braver males perch to watch and scream in protest. The Starling flies to his mate picks up some pine needles and flies back up to the purple martin nest. In he goes, right at home. Its only a matter of time before he gives up on this girl and brings another. He has no intention of going in the trap. Once again my trusty string and I, swing into action. I bring the house down, rig up a quick trap door on the compartment he has chosen and hoist the house back up. Rain drizzling down like a mist. Hurry, hurry, mornings almost gone. Soon the nest making stops and the daily duty of finding food is on their minds. Its now or never. I wait….1, 2, 3….minutes and in he goes. I pull the string and I trap him effortlessly. Textbook!!!  I bring the house down and it takes me longer to get him out of the house than it did to catch him.

Me 5,   Starlings 0

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