We learned a lot about being landlords, especially the impact humans have by intruding too close to housing. Most visitors to the park respected the string fencing and signage we put up, but almost every time we visited we had to replace the broken strings, perhaps people inadvertently went through it, but it told us that people got close to the birds even with requests not to. We have been promised some changes at the park to accomodate the birds, moving the large shells up the hill, adding a split rail fence, removal of a stone pathway will. Combined this should make a substantial difference next year.
Terry and I met with a nature reporter last week Mark Lender who promises to do an article on the martins in and effort to help educate. In January we have been asked to speak at Hartford Audubon on the martins, we'd love to have some of you there, we will be sure to talk about our landlord program!
Here are the totals for this year
At the nature center: we had a total of 82 eggs, of those we had 56 fledge (we are down 35% there)
At Chase Pond: we had 155 eggs, 90 fledged (we are down 25%)
In Guilford : we had 101 eggs 79 fledged
The discrepancy between the number of eggs and the fledges takes into account some eggs that never hatched, either abandoned (due to disturbance or death of parents) "bad" eggs, for some other reason they just weren't able to hatch out, or death of baby birds, some by predators, congenital issues or unknown reasons.
We have appreciated your support this year, it is much more fun to monitor the birds when we can share our struggles and successes. I presume we will continue the landlord program next year, so be on the look out in the Spring. I'll keep you posted with any other significant issues, you all should be receiving monthly emails from Menunkatuck Audubon about our free programs, walks, etc...If you haven't been getting them sign up for the Menunkatuck email list at menunkatuck.org. Click on the + sign on the left to open the signup form.