Posts Tagged ‘heat’

Texas Heat Explains Purple Martin Landlord Woes?

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

Well, it’s official. According to the August 2011 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center, Texas had the hottest summer since they have been keeping records. And to compound the issue according to the website, “analysis of Texas statewide tree-ring records dating back to 1550 indicates that the summer 2011 drought in Texas is matched by only one summer (1789) in the 429-year tree-ring record, indicating that the summer 2011 drought appears to be unusual even in the context of the multi-century tree-ring record.”

wikipedia 1930 DustBowl

All of the data that NOAA has accumulated seems to explain the record complaints of purple martin landlords, not only in Texas but in many States. Nestlings starving from drought, record heat causing nest fatalities and “jumpers”. Even Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina all experienced their warmest March-August recorded yet. Though Texas has not exceeded its record of the length of drought conditions, already the severity exceed those of the 1930’s “Dust Bowl”.

Unfortunately, nothing can be done about the weather, except perhaps, to wait it out.  Taking the few steps we recommend to help your martins can perhaps help you to feel less helpless but even those steps can only help so much. Things like making sure your martin houses are well ventilated, using purple martin houses that utilize larger nest compartments and perhaps installing a misting system, are the only things that can help. So until next year, pray for more accommodating weather.

HY Purple Martin Euthanized

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

The deed was finally done. The HY purple martin that was found at the Davie roost was peacefully euthanized over the weekend. With a broken shoulder and no hope of rehabilitation he was put down.

Then yesterday on a non purple martin note, one of my gouldian finches was on the verge of death. Egg bound and with her eyes closed, I picked her up off the cage floor and after almost 20 minutes of warm steam, mineral oil and gentle massage, she expelled the egg.  I totally blame myself as I had not been giving her egg shells to eat. Today she is a bit greasy looking but chirping and flying about her cage. I even watched her take a bath.

At the colony here, the purple martins were busy dive bombing a large hawk that was painting lazy circles directly over the housing. I am sure it was on the look out for fledglings. The heat index was well into the hundreds. 110 in some locations and was just miserable. I stayed in and watched from air conditioned comfort.