Question from 2nd year landlord

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Cheryl S
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:26 pm
Location: OK/Sperry/Skiatook area
Martin Colony History: 2013 - 1 ASY pair
2014 - 18 pair
2015 - 45 pair
2016 - 82 pair

I had 18 pair in 2014 that successfully fledged babies. Will they expect the gourds they nested in to be in the same location on the gourd rack as they were last year?
Thanks,
Cheryl S
PMCA member
98 cavities offered for 2016 -- 70 are gourds and 28 are in houses.
apundt-TX
Posts: 983
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2004 7:34 pm
Location: Dripping Springs, Texas
Martin Colony History: :
Starting over in 2018
9 pair 2017
17 pair 2015
12 pair 2014
8 pair 2013
5 pair 2012
2 pair 2011

I never hang my gourds in the exact setup each year.
My gourd rack stays in the same location but I might swap out some gourds to view from my sitting area.
Some years I will put a wide porch in the viewing area for me and other years something with a clinger type entrance to watch them cling from the entrance hole and use the tail feathers as a prop.
PMCA member
racks:CUE AAA-16, PMCA Multipurpose pole , S&K EZ-Lift, Lonestar/Songbird Essentials, CUE 12 gourd rack
gourds: S&K gourds, Supergourds, Troyer horizontals, Naturalines, few naturals
housing: S&K great 8, TRIO M12K, Coates/BirdsChoice 8 room wateresdge
kehunter
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:42 am
Location: TX/Pearland

From the degree of housing upgrades / changes that successful landlords make year after year in their growing colonies, I don't think location changes on a rack would matter at all. I have read in various sources that individual birds often choose a cavity near the one they had previously, not the exact same one.
2016 - 6 cavities in Royal Wing/S&K house + 6 BO9 gourds with tunnels/porches on pole 1, 6 BO9 gourds with tunnels/porches on pole 2
2015 - new homebuilt 3 cavity house plus 3 BO9 gourds with tunnels porches on second pole, in addition to prior setup. 15 pairs, 54 fledged
2014 - 6 6x12 house cavities (plastic Royal Wing/S&K), plus 6 BO9 gourds with tunnels/porches offered; 12 pairs, 50 fledged
Anthony Neira
Posts: 1317
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:12 pm
Location: San Antonio /Texas
Martin Colony History: Started in 1992 From neighbors old 1950-60's colonies. Have 8 Trio 6 Room Houses, 4 MPP Poles, 1 Heath Deluxe Gourd with Troyer Porch, 8 NatureLine Gourds with Troyer Porches, 5 Troyer Horizontals ,& 2 S&K 11" WITH Troyer Porches ready for 2019 Season !

Nope.
PMCA Member, 8 Trio 6 Room Houses, 1 Heath Deluxe Gourd with Troyer Porch, 8 NatureLine Gourds with Troyer Porches, 5 Troyer Horizontals + Tunnels, & 2 S&K Bo 11"s WITH Troyer Porches ! 4 MPPs, For 2019 Season !! :grin: Started in 1992 from Older '50-'60s Colonies.
Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6743
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)
Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

For many years, I changed them all around. In the last few years, the hanging holes that are on the arms match certain gourds (unfortunately I have some differences in the hanging holes). Now I hang them in the exact same place. I think that the females usually go to the same gourd, and maybe (I think), that there is less fighting.

Overall, it is not something to worry about, you will be fine by moving them all over the place.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
Waydog
Posts: 188
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:08 pm
Location: Alexandria, La.

They will orientate their "radar" to home into the openings when they settle into a picked home. Once they arrive, don't move the housing. The return birds have it "programmed" into them for the mapped return to their previously established homesite's annually...openings matter after they establish each homecoming!
2012 -first year landlord.... 2 pair, 9 fledged.... 2013- 5 pair 20 fledged..
2014- 8 pair 32 fledged
Anthony Neira
Posts: 1317
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:12 pm
Location: San Antonio /Texas
Martin Colony History: Started in 1992 From neighbors old 1950-60's colonies. Have 8 Trio 6 Room Houses, 4 MPP Poles, 1 Heath Deluxe Gourd with Troyer Porch, 8 NatureLine Gourds with Troyer Porches, 5 Troyer Horizontals ,& 2 S&K 11" WITH Troyer Porches ready for 2019 Season !

Cheryl, Good Question, & like Waydog states, that their chosen home should Not be moved once they pick it. BUT, as far as knowing if the same Martin came BACK to the Same spot, Unless yours are banned & they are re- trapped to check the ban #, Most of us will NEVER Know if that IS Indeed the SAME Martin in the Same Gourd as last season, how do the rest of Us know if "Susy" Martin GOT "Helen" Martin's spot from last season? :wink: Good Luck! :grin:
PMCA Member, 8 Trio 6 Room Houses, 1 Heath Deluxe Gourd with Troyer Porch, 8 NatureLine Gourds with Troyer Porches, 5 Troyer Horizontals + Tunnels, & 2 S&K Bo 11"s WITH Troyer Porches ! 4 MPPs, For 2019 Season !! :grin: Started in 1992 from Older '50-'60s Colonies.
Cheryl S
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:26 pm
Location: OK/Sperry/Skiatook area
Martin Colony History: 2013 - 1 ASY pair
2014 - 18 pair
2015 - 45 pair
2016 - 82 pair

Thank you to all that replied. I'm glad to know I don't have to duplicate last year's arrangement of gourds exactly.

I hope everyone has a great 2015.

Cheryl S
PMCA member
98 cavities offered for 2016 -- 70 are gourds and 28 are in houses.
tonyg
Posts: 1520
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:16 pm
Location: Olpe, KS
Martin Colony History: 22 year landlord, 14 at current residence..offering 9 racks and a homemade T-8 for 166 total cavities. 160 Pair in 2018 Racks consist of a Deluxe 12, AAA 16, Starburst 16, 2 K-18 Series, Super 24, 2 Gemini, Multi-purpose/two trio’s/4gourds and a T-8..Great hobby to be involved in..

I have all my gourds marked as to which gourd rack they go, and have put them in the same place the last 3 yrs, when I expanded to all new gourd racks, but that's just the way I roll...it probably doesn't make that much difference, they'll manage it...😊
22 year landlord..9 Rack Systems for 2018 and my home built T-8 for a total of 166 cavities..160 pair in 2018 ..SUPER COLONY!!! Love You Bev... Fan of those St. Louis Cardinals!!!!!
Cheryl S
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:26 pm
Location: OK/Sperry/Skiatook area
Martin Colony History: 2013 - 1 ASY pair
2014 - 18 pair
2015 - 45 pair
2016 - 82 pair

Tonyg, thanks for your input. The gourd placement I do remember from last year are the ones that had babies. It was the ones that didn't have active nests that I'm not sure about direction and placement. It sounds like some do and some don't try to duplicate. It's good to get differing opinions.

Have a great 2015.
Cheryl S
PMCA member
98 cavities offered for 2016 -- 70 are gourds and 28 are in houses.
JeanS
Posts: 115
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 9:08 pm
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Martin Colony History: 2002 -Coates metal houses- about 18 pairs
2005 - Added a gourd rack- many more pairs
2007 - Added another gourd rack, gave the Coates houses away
2008-2015 - Experimented with many gourds & a few racks (its a sickness) fledged over 200 chicks/year. Hubby keeps records, not me. :-)
2016 - 64 gourds and expect most will be occupied

About 10 years ago, a bird bander came out to band all our baby purple martins. Over 100 babies were banded. The bander ran out of the little leg bands and he couldn't do all of them. The following year, we had only one of the banded baby birds return to our site. And the year after that, we had no banded birds. I know some of the banded birds did not make it to adulthood. I actually saw a few get taken by hawks. And one was taken by a loggerhead shrike. But I would think a great many survived but just didn't return to their birthplace.

I've often wondered how many of the adults return year after year, but I think the babies do not have a high rate of return to our site.
Jean S
2002 - Coates metal houses- about 18 pairs
2005-2007 - added a gourd rack, then another gourd rack = many more pairs
2008-2015 - Experimented with many gourds & a few racks (its a sickness) fledged over 200 chicks/year
2016 - 64 gourds and expect most will be occupied
Cheryl S
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:26 pm
Location: OK/Sperry/Skiatook area
Martin Colony History: 2013 - 1 ASY pair
2014 - 18 pair
2015 - 45 pair
2016 - 82 pair

JeanS, thanks for your reply. That's what I understand, too. I do think the adults that had successful nests do return to their home colony if they survive migration. Those are the ones I was concerned about.

Have a great 2015.
Cheryl S
PMCA member
98 cavities offered for 2016 -- 70 are gourds and 28 are in houses.
Chuck4
Posts: 861
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 10:05 am
Location: North MS
Martin Colony History: I started trying to attract Purple Martins in 2011. I got my first breeding pair in 2013.

2013-1 pair, 2014-4 pair, 2015-8 pair, 2016-12 pair 60 babies :-).

JeanS wrote:About 10 years ago, a bird bander came out to band all our baby purple martins. Over 100 babies were banded. The bander ran out of the little leg bands and he couldn't do all of them. The following year, we had only one of the banded baby birds return to our site. And the year after that, we had no banded birds. I know some of the banded birds did not make it to adulthood. I actually saw a few get taken by hawks. And one was taken by a loggerhead shrike. But I would think a great many survived but just didn't return to their birthplace.

I've often wondered how many of the adults return year after year, but I think the babies do not have a high rate of return to our site.
I read somewhere around here that survivability for first year birds is is about 30-40% (3-4 out of ten). So for a clutch of four birds probably one will survive until the next year. And, in general, they don't return to where they fledged.
PMCA Member
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Chris B
Posts: 379
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:10 pm
Location: AL/Toney

My gourd racks are 11' tall 3" PVC tees. The tee can and does rotate on the pole it is mounted on, depending on the winds. They seem to like/tolerate that. The guy who put me onto Martins suggested doing it this way.

I am going to put the 2" gourds on a new pole that is closer to my front porch and the new bigger gourds with SREH and porches on the old pole. 16 gourds instead of the 8 I had last year. We'll see and they are getting closer according to the scout reports. I will probably put up the SREH gourds on the new pole this weekend in case any earlybirds show up, and to keep the darn starlings out.
2014 8 gourds, 3 pairs nested. Ended w/ 24 total
2015 24 gourds, 22 nests. Lotsa birds!
2016 24 gourds and good activity.
2017 32 SREH gourds. Great activity.
2018 40 SREH gourds. Good finish despite big storm damage. No more dangling gourds.
2019 56+ SREH gourds, all on 3/8 rods. Birds did very well.
2020 56 SREH gourds.
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