Although we feared the worst, we brought down the purple martin babies with their daddy flying around overhead to check us out. The babies seemed scared, quiet, and not very animated, but the three martins - oldest, middle and baby are doing ok. They ate meal worms from our hands! They opened their beaks and three 5th graders, Nathan Fishman, Griffin Green and Mason Lamberton stuffed them in. The oldest martin ate 4; the middle martin ate 4 worms - only in halves, and the baby got a tiny worm in.
Once the babies got some food, they began to chirp and wake up. We contacted the Purple Martin Society and got some good advice on working with the nest changes and ways to prevent the birdies from fledging (taking flight) too early. They are about 6-8 days away from taking flight and we don't want them to take off from their nest too early. We will begin to check them a little less frequently. We also found out that at this stage the birds have messier nests (not so much cleaning from the mom and dad) as that may encourage the birds to start to think about finding their way out of their beloved house! Also the dad has been leaving 2-3 inch dragonflies - which are bigger than the babies, but the babies CAN eat those at this stage as well. And the lice (white specks) that we noticed are always there and live on the martins all their lives - in fact, they will start eating them at some point for nutrition!
We are cautiously optimistic with our mommy martin absent, but daddy is doing a great job.
A Rare Case of Invasive Species Helping Out - In this great article by the NY Times, it tells us of the Florida Snail Kite evolving in spectacular fashion to take advantage of invasive snails that are ...
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