I finally did a Purple Martin nest check again today and overall things are going very well. However, in nest 4, I have some not so good news.
If you’ve been reading for a bit, you know on May 15 I took this picture and below and that it appeared that these Purple Martin Babies were hatching right when we did the nest check. I made that assumption because the babies were so small and there were still unhatched eggs.
Well in nest 4 we saw some bad news today. In that nest, there was still an unhatched egg, and only 1 small baby.
Based on the picture that Leecy took with her camera phone, we couldn’t tell if the baby was alive or not, so I lightly touched the baby and it became clear it was dead.
Because of that, I also removed the egg. We cracked it open, and there was a super tiny baby Purple Martin that never hatched. Inside the egg, it smelled terrible.
I have a couple of theories as to what may have happened, but I’m really not an expert so someone else might be able to offer better insight.
One, these eggs and babies were for whatever reason unhealthy and that’s why they were so small when they were born and why some never did hatch.
The other possibility I thought of is perhaps one of those Sparrows attacked the baby and it died. We didn’t notice any marks on the dead baby, and I didn’t see any cracks on the unhatched egg. I also was unable to find any of the other babies that did hatch, so I’m not sure what happened there (I did a good nest check and checked the ground).
If anyone has any ideas, I’d love to hear them.
Now for the good news. We have a two more nests that have appeared. No eggs, just the nest. In nest 1, the oldest of the bunch at 17 days, they are doing quite well (these were the babies sticking their heads out of the nest yesterday to be fed. They have lots of their feathers, and are starting to get their tail feathers.
In nest two, which is approximately day 9 for these babies, they are just starting to get some feathers and their eyes are just about to open.
In nest 3, which I also had assumed would be day 9, they look a bit younger than nest two, so I might have been off on when they hatched.
Finally in nest 5, the eggs still haven’t hatched. On these eggs, I know for a fact it has been at least 7 days, so I would think they would be close to hatching soon, assuming they are healthy.
That’s the latest for today. I’m going to go back outside and see if I can find any Butterflies and maybe see if there’s any way I can position that Wingscapes Birdcam towards nest one.