Posts Tagged ‘bird’

Top 6 Causes of Bird Fatalities

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Glass Windows
Dr. Daniel Klem of Muhlenberg College has done studies over a period of 20 years, looking at bird collisions with windows. His conclusion: glass kills more birds than any other human related factor.
Estimated yearly deaths -100 – 900 MILLION deaths per year!

House Cats
The National Audubon Society says 100 million birds a year fall prey to cats. Dr. Stan Temple of the University of Wisconsin estimates that in Wisconsin alone, about 7 million birds a year are killed by cats.

Automobiles / Trucks
Scientists estimate the number of birds killed by cars and trucks on the nation’s highways to be 50 to 100 million a year. Those statistics were cited in reports published by the National Institute for Urban Wildlife and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Electric Transmission Line Collisions
responsible for up to 174 MILLION!

Which have been estimated to cause the poisoning death of 67 million birds a year, throw in cutting hay and you add another million

Communication Towers
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that bird collisions with tall, lighted communications towers, and their guy wires result in 4 to 10 million bird deaths a year. During migration, birds rely on stars to navigate are confused by lighted towers. As they circle the towers in confusion, they ultimately collide with the tower or its wires.

For more great info on bird death statistics, check out

Blog & Photos Copyrighted 2008: S.Halpin/

May 14, 2008

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Another call to the rehabber this Am provided little info other than the scripted, “very well” and nothing is broken. I asked again when he was going to be released; I think it would be good to release him here where there are other martins around, maybe he can hook up with his family. They said he was being kept for “observation” and that when he was brought in he was only dehydrated. Also, that they are feeding him and he is eating well.

He fledged and got stuck in the fence on the 7th PM. (at 30 days old)
I took him to the rehabber early in the AM of the 9th.
So he has been there 6 days.
I used to be a vet tech before I went back to school to get my RN. I have a realistic view of both MD’s and DVM’s. I know that vet’s know alot about animals. But knowing about animal MEDICINE does not mean you know about Purple Martins. I don’t want to sound like a know it all, I just feel that the more time he spends there, the less his chances will be to learn what he needs to know to be a Purple Martin. These birds are so communal and him learning how to eat crickets isn’t going to help him eat while he’s flying to Brazil.

If I could speak to someone other than the receptionist, I know this could be cleared up, toot sweet. She’s a nice lady, don’t get me wrong but it’s like playing a game of telephone. The vet tells the tech, the tech tells the receptionist, the receptionist tells me…who knows what the real deal is.

Hatch Day April 7,2008

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Within the next few days the first lot of 20 eggs is due to hatch. This morning when I looked at the nest that I have on camera, the precious treasure lay hidden under an obviously doting mother. She no longer sat patiently on her eggs, seemingly asleep. she fussed and turned and fiddled and then ate some thing… A piece of egg shell. Finally she moved aside and I could see. The tiny, almost transparent form of a newly hatched Purple Martin. Wiggling next to 4 other eggs, the tiny life squirmed and moved about. Now the fun begins.

Another nest is 1 day ahead of this nest so I can assume that there are other babies. I looked out at the housing and there is a difference. No longer quiet the gourd rack seems to be a buzz. Several other birds are coming to the gourds to peer inside as if they are giving congratulations. The ASY males are sitting above their respective gourds, acting quite protective. Several of the females that have been incubating are sitting with heads peeking out or flying in and out finally free of their self imposed  isolation called incubation. The female on camera is also out and about and I can finally see the baby bird only 4 or so months away from a transoceanic flight.

Blog Contents Copyrighted 2008: S.Halpin /

Nest Check April 4, 2008

Friday, April 4th, 2008

I did another nest check and my numbers are cRaZy! 30 eggs in 9 nests. Of those, 5 nests have just started laying so more are practically guaranteed.  5 more nests that are almost completed. 4 remaining compartments have pairs but nests are just beginning. I COULD have approx. 70 eggs at this rate. Of course I wouldn’t be foolish enough to think that all those eggs will hatch…but still. That’s ALOT of baby birds. The owls and hawks are setting the table. ugh…I feel an ulcer coming on.

Blog Contents Copyrighted 2008: S.Halpin /

April 3, 2008

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

My Purple Martin housing consists of 2 poles. One with a gourds -4 S&K Combo plus & 4 troyer horizontals. The other pole with a 7 unit S&K ‘barn’ and 3 natural gourds. I have a shepherds hook with a tunneled Bo gourd, a blue bird box and a Flicker house high up in a pine tree. As a testament to S&K products I am happy to announce that almost all available compartments are occupied. The only house that’s empty is the cedar blue bird box. And that is because their haven’t been blue birds in Palm Beach county in about 50 years! All gourds all house compartments ALL taken. I was wondering why it was so calm at “bedtime”. I had assumed that some had moved on to greener pastures but I was mistaken. It’s just that everyone is happy now….until someone else shows up! I May have to put up another pole THIS year. Hmmmmm. Maybe it’s something in the water?

Blog Contents Copyrighted 2008: S.Halpin /

Hawk goes away Hungry

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

collecting mudThe purple martin forum is ablaze with hawk talk. Many landlords have become victims of these attacks on their colonies. This morning, I was no different. Fortunately my ending is a happy one.

It was about 5:30 pm and the martins were on or about the housing. The day had been filled with risky martin behaviour. Their loud chatter like a beacon for all raptors saying, “Here we are, come and eat us.” All the sudden the alarm went out and a mid sized hawk shot over my left shoulder towards the housing. The martins had all dispersed only moments before and within seconds a small swarm of purple was in hot pursuit. Chasing and calling out in alarm. No purple victims this time.

The martins are still visiting the dirt road for mud. I have been watching them closely and also witnessed a female that is collecting grasses from my back yard. Which is actually an odd occurrence in this area. All the nests here are composed of pine needles except for this 1. This ASY male and SY(?) female have been adding bermuda grass to the nest.

On an off martin note; the mockingbirds have moved into egg laying mode. Their nest is complete!

Blog Contents Copyrighted 2008: S.Halpin /

My Paradise

Monday, March 31st, 2008

dsc_0107.JPGYesterdays nest check was great! 20 eggs total. 5 nests appear completed and seem to be ready for eggs any day. So hopefully. barring any untoward events, if these new nests also produce 5 eggs per clutch…45 eggs total. WOW. Mockingbirds are still bringing nest material, the owl is still in its nest box, and the bird feeders are busy. All is right with the world.  I believe several birds have moved on as the fights and bickering at bed time have subsided and my overall count seems to have dropped slightly. My count25 or so- Perhaps some pairs, unsatisfied that they could not get the housing they wanted have moved on to find other accommodations. Still, no complaints. My season is going great. 

A rainy day for a portion of yesterday, had my martins on the dirt road collecting mud from the street. A behavior that I had heard about but not witnessed first hand.

Blog Contents Copyrighted 2008: S.Halpin /