Author Topic: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season  (Read 37583 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline OpieK

  • Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 581
Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #60 on: August 17, 2013, 09:17:45 PM »
Well done Booni!  I love reading your stories and seeing your photos.  Thank you!

Offline winterwren

  • HEG
  • Friend of HEGPS
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2,924
Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #61 on: August 17, 2013, 09:54:03 PM »
I received great news about the new Purple Martin nest boxes that I posted about on this thread. (Here.)

I had been told that on the first year, the birds are just scouting new sites and do not usually nest or breed. But this is just what happened at Shingle Spit. The coordinators of the Martin Project did their annual survey on the island on August 12, and they discovered that one sub-adult pair is raising four offspring! They are using the first box I saw them investigate, #12-15. They also spotted a third sub-adult in the area.

i should also mention that the eagle pair that was perching just south of the Shingle Spit territory left on August 5, the day I last posted about them. The Shingle Spits are definitely gone also. I last saw them on August 3rd.

Offline Cawatcher

  • HEGPS
  • Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10,619
Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #62 on: August 17, 2013, 11:33:21 PM »
great news! :thumbup:

Offline mishikeenhquay

  • HEGPS
  • Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2,046
Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #63 on: August 18, 2013, 05:05:09 PM »


Miigwetch Wren!!
"Our true enemies, as well as our true sources of strength, lie within."

Offline winterwren

  • HEG
  • Friend of HEGPS
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2,924
Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #64 on: August 24, 2013, 11:55:08 PM »

 On August 5 I watched a small family of River Otters playing on the breakwater, just below the Shingle Spit eagles' favourite perch.

First I heard the chirps. I had always associated that loud, bird-like sound to youngsters, but this time an adult was chirping. Soon I could see three otters among the rocks in the golden light of sunset.

I read that otters live in loose family groupings, with siblings, immatures, and unrelated hangers-on helping out the mother. The adult males have their own groups. One of the three we see here seems younger - the leftmost one in the photos, smaller and lighter-coloured. Maybe a baby from this year. One of the adults is paying a lot of attention to that little one. The second adult seems more interested in grooming the first adult.

August 5, 8:06 pm



8:07







The baby is now on his back, making meowing sounds, sounding like a fighting cat but much louder. Otters can be really noisy when they want to!
Click on the pictures to sort out who is who.


Offline winterwren

  • HEG
  • Friend of HEGPS
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2,924
Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #65 on: August 25, 2013, 12:06:36 AM »
More otter pictures from August 5. At first I thought the youngster was striking a paw at his mom or caregiver, but on the larger size of the pictures it looks like it's actually his tail that is curled back toward her. Still it looks like some play-fighting is going on.

August 5, 8:07 pm



The two adults walk away eventually...
8:08




...And sit peacefully in the sunset.


Offline winterwren

  • HEG
  • Friend of HEGPS
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2,924
Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #66 on: August 25, 2013, 01:00:18 AM »
August 20. At last I have a few minutes to check the martin boxes.  One bird is peeking out of the lower nest box, neither going in nor going out. So I'm thinking that it is really nest 12-14 that is active, not 12-15. After banding over 1700 nestlings in their busy season, it's not impossible that the coordinators of the Martin Project would have written one wrong number down...





Sub-adult sitting on top of the post. Is that a band, glinting among the feathers high on the right leg? Most of the birds born on the coast get banded during the annual survey.




A martin nestling, or one of the sub-adult parents? This one stayed there for the few minutes I spent at the site.





On the evening of August 22, I saw one of the sub-adults bringing food to that nest box twice. And the next evening, August 23 at 8:15 pm, I heard a lot of chirping, and soon I spotted 5 or 6 martins flying around! Twice I saw four of them land on the deck and top of box 12-14. So I think the babies have now fledged!

Meanwhile, I am told that the Ford Cove site has produced about between 30 and 35 nestlings out of 10 boxes in use, 8 of them with successful nests.  

Offline Cawatcher

  • HEGPS
  • Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10,619
Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #67 on: August 25, 2013, 01:18:19 AM »
 :eceek Wow Wren,fantastic series !!  :eclove

Offline boodle317

  • HEGPS
  • Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3,060
Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #68 on: August 25, 2013, 09:27:26 AM »
Wow wren...great series of photos!  Love the otters.  I have often wondered why there are numerous rescues of seal pups on Hornby, but never hear of an otter in trouble?  I'd be curious to know why.  Not that I wish trouble on the otters!!!!  Just wonder how the baby otters make it thru and the baby seal pups seem to get separated from their moms.

Love the Martins.  They are long gone from my area,  :ecsad, but when i was a kid, our back door neighbor put up a bunch of martin "condos"  they were on very high poles in his yard and had numerous holes for nesting..like 10 or 12 in each house!  I always assumed that they preferred nesting in communes, but it appears the boxes on Hornby are single family dwellings?

Offline winterwren

  • HEG
  • Friend of HEGPS
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2,924
Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #69 on: August 25, 2013, 10:34:42 PM »
Boodle, the boxes are actually duplexes, 2 boxes per post, as you can see from the first photo; At Shingle Spit there are 2 more boxes on another post nearby. On the Ford Cove dock, there are many more but I've never counted them. I see from the coordinator's report that 10 are in use; the others have been found to have a flaw in the construction of the doorways that prevent the birds from crawling in. This will get fixed this winter.

The martins do indeed like to nest in colonies. The traditional condos had numerous apartments in one block, but my understanding is that each apartment was self-contained, separated from the others by walls. Is that right?
The nest boxes built for the BC Purple Martin Stewardship and Recovery Program, you could say, are semi-detached housing... But still colonies, ranging from 4 to about 20 nests.
We only expected to have scouts at the Shingle Spit site this year, so this nest is a surprise. Apparently there was a third sub-adult who stayed in the area, and may return with a mate next year.

How the martins found those new boxes last spring, I have no idea. I saw them scouting Gravelly Bay as well (no nest boxes there, so they did not stay; but maybe the dock pilings attracted them?). I guess the sub-adults cruise the whole shore in spring, looking for likely sites. The snags with natural cavities are all taken over by starlings, so the martins are counting on those nest boxes, with their slot-like doors that are unattractive to their competitors.

As for the otters: from what I'm reading, otters live in extended family groupings, so if something happens to their moms, there are aunties and family friends who can take up the slack, especially after the pups are weaned. Seal pups depend completely on their mothers. So they are more vulnerable, I would think. The other element is this: troubled seal pups are conspicuous. They sit in plain view. They call for their moms in loud mooing voices. They follow kayaks and swimmers, hoping to be adopted. If an otter pup was in trouble, would anyone see it? or would it take refuge in a crevice between two rocks, never to be found?

Offline boodle317

  • HEGPS
  • Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3,060
Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #70 on: August 26, 2013, 06:09:28 AM »


The martins do indeed like to nest in colonies. The traditional condos had numerous apartments in one block, but my understanding is that each apartment was self-contained, separated from the others by walls. Is that right?
 
 Yes ...the condo's i remember were big blocks but all separate apartments.  Firewalls if you will.  lol

As for the otters: from what I'm reading, otters live in extended family groupings, so if something happens to their moms, there are aunties and family friends who can take up the slack, especially after the pups are weaned. Seal pups depend completely on their mothers. So they are more vulnerable, I would think. The other element is this: troubled seal pups are conspicuous. They sit in plain view. They call for their moms in loud mooing voices. They follow kayaks and swimmers, hoping to be adopted. If an otter pup was in trouble, would anyone see it? or would it take refuge in a crevice between two rocks, never to be found?


thanks for explanation on otters.  Makes sense!

Offline Sandor3

  • Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 218
Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #71 on: August 26, 2013, 08:48:58 AM »
"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have."    ~Frederick Koenig

"We aren't the only ones that live on the planet, but we act like it."  ~ Jane Goodall

Offline winterwren

  • HEG
  • Friend of HEGPS
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2,924
Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #72 on: August 26, 2013, 11:07:21 PM »
Thanks Sandor!  :ecsmile

That's a beautiful colony! I've never seen so many martins in one place!
I love their happy chirping. Makes me smile every time.

I think one of the reasons for the semi-detached housing has to do with the ongoing study and banding program. I haven't watched that part yet, but the boxes are designed to be opened so that the nestlings can be weighed and banded each year, in addition to the cleaning mentioned in the video.


Offline Sandor3

  • Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 218
Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #73 on: August 27, 2013, 06:52:00 AM »
There are what appear to be birdboxes down at Oyster Bay (here, south of Campbell River) - at least as we whiz by on the highway.  Will have to stop and have a look see and maybe catch some photos!
"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have."    ~Frederick Koenig

"We aren't the only ones that live on the planet, but we act like it."  ~ Jane Goodall

Offline mishikeenhquay

  • HEGPS
  • Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2,046
Re: Shingle Spit Nest - 2012-2013 Season
« Reply #74 on: August 27, 2013, 04:35:50 PM »


Wonderful series Wren....gitchi miigwetch for posting!!
"Our true enemies, as well as our true sources of strength, lie within."