Date: 6/10/20 9:08 am
From: Mary Lee Sayre <maryleesayre...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Baskett Slough Purple Martins and food scarcity

My nest boxes are nearly devoid of birds this year. I have ten, usually they are full and this year there are only three occupied, TREE SWALLOWS all. Most years I have them all full, majority VIOLET-GREEN, then TREE and usually one box with WESTERN BLUEBIRDS.

I was wondering what was going on. Thanks for the discussion.

Mary Lee Sayre

> On Jun 10, 2020, at 4:41 AM, <clearwater...> wrote:
> Bill and all,
> The prolonged wet season with temperatures dropping into the 40s at night seems to be seriously depressing insect numbers. At grassland bird monitoring sites lately, swallows of all species have been feeding very low, within a foot or so above the grass. I don't think it's just on particular days, it's an ongoing thing.
> Yesterday I noticed some Chipping Sparrows and Savannah Sparrows were hovering around some high wildflowers to try to pick off insects. That's got to be a very energy-intensive method of feeding for sparrows. The Streaked Horned Larks that I've been watching at nesting sites have been mainly nipping off grass seed heads/flowers rather than finding bugs.
> If this cool, wet weather continues as long as is predicted (two more weeks), this could be a bad nesting season for a lot of birds. It feels like April except the grass is a lot taller. I'm just heading out the door for another day in the field now, and not looking forward to getting soaked again. Meanwhile, back in the Midwest, we see people out in the streets in shorts and tank tops.
> Joel
> On Tue, 9 Jun 2020 Bill Tice wrote:
> ... in my previous post on the 60 martins at BSNWR today, the majority were females, I doubt there were more than 10 males. Was food scarse on this rainy day, forcing them out into the valley for such? A mystery we are hoping to solve.
> --
> Joel Geier
> Camp Adaire area north of Corvlalis

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