Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Good, the Bad, and the Cute.

I just got back from a four day camping trip and couldn't wait to get out and check on the nests I found earlier this month. I've been trying to keep track of them to find the date of hatch. There were five nests, two turkey, two chukar, and a hun. I also found a second hun nest (I believe) on my drive. I saw these two huns in a hay field and decided to look for a nest. After about a half hour I located a smashed nest from a tractor tire and assumed it was their's.
The other hun nest I found earlier looked to have had a clean hatch and I counted an even dozen eggs in the nest earlier this spring. You can tell if the eggs were hatched or destroyed by a predator by the way the eggs are cracked. Chicks peck a fairly even circle around the egg in order to free themselves while a predator destroyed egg will be broken randomly and often not even be there anymore.

The two turkey nest results were the same as the two hun nests. One success and one failure due to predators.
The destroyed nest.
Sadly, the chukar nests were the same. One successful and one not.

Outside of the successful turkey nest was a full egg which must have been infertile.
The five nests I discovered were hatched out or destroyed some time on the 16th, 17th or 18th of June. This is pretty consistent with past years on what I have seen. Hopefully the birds that lost their nests will renest and in about 40 days we will have what is usually called the second hatch.

Mother Nature has been kind and we're getting a grasshopper hatch at the right time. I see all kinds of tiny little hoppers everywhere. The birds should be eating well. It's hard to see just a 50% survival in nests but that's what happens in a world with predators.

Survival of the chicks hatched now depends on insects and weather. If we have just a little moisture in the next couple of months we will be looking at a perfect scenario. 

So there is the good and the bad before summer hits. The cute are these little critters we got to see as we headed back to our truck. Mom tried to distract us but we knew if we looked hard enough we could find one of her babies hidden in the grass.


Chukarhunter50 said...

Emmie, Oakley (our new Munster addition) and I are hoping for big hatches. I also have seen lots of little hoppers and areas of lots of big crickets. This bodes well for chicks. Yes we need a few more mild rain storms over the next 60 days. I'd like 80% hatch success, but nature determines this. Mark

Greg said...

Oakley and Lucy were intently peeking over my shoulder as I looked at your pics.

Tuckers Chukars said...

80 % success would be terrific. Maybe this will be that year.

Greg, how does it look over your way for the huns?

Hanson said...

Larry, why aren't you guarding said nests?

Around my property, I am amazed at how many avian predators/pests there are. I feel they are more damaging than fox, coons, skunks in my world. They at least seem braver during daylight hours. And most are protected.

Thanks for sharing. Optimistic.

Tuckers Chukars said...

Great point. Just yesterday we witnessed 9 ducklings following mother from a lower pond up to my pond a quarter mile away. We saw from the house three magpies swooping down on them and by the time they got up here there were only 7.

Randy Shepard said...

Thanks for the encouraging report. I made it out to SW Idaho last season and found good numbers of partridge. (And left all but a few there.) With the extremely wet weather we've been having in the Midwest it looks like another trip to the high desert may be the only option for getting the dogs into huntable numbers of birds.

Greg said...

I think MT birds are in trouble again this year. We came into spring with few has been a couple of back to back bad springs and tough winters. Now we have cold rain again, and again and again. Some golf ball to baseball sized hail in spots. Snow above 5000 today.

Anonymous said...

The MT birds are more than in trouble