Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Second Martin Pair

Today, we seem to finally have a second martin pair that have taken up residence in the second of the three gourds with cameras. The male arrived a week ago and has been trying repeatedly to get into a gourd. I think that the Starling Resistant Entry Holes were just a bit too small for him. Every day he tried and every night he slept out on one of the gourd porches.

The female, a likely sub-adult, arrived a bit after the male and went in and out with ease. Though the male had staked out #3, the female wanted #2. For several days, I have been debating whether this was a female or competing male. I could not find any purple feathers on the breast or throat but they fought with each other as I had expected of males. Last two nights, they have been flying and perching together as a bonded pair so ... female it is.

This morning, I got out the Dremel tool and enlarged the opening vertically on gourds #2 and #3 by 1 or 2 millimeters. That seems to have done the trick, though it took until tonight. Here they are on the right in #2. The original pair is to the left in #1 still tending eggs. I think that in total pair #1 produced a clutch of 5 eggs.

Update April 28 - First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes shrubbery in the baby carriage. Two weeks behind the first pair, the #2 gourd pair started bringing green leaves. Again, counter to what I have read, it was the female bring most of today's offerings. They are not at it full steam yet, just a token leaf every few hours.

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