Third Year...NO Luck!

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
stevenarenson
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 10:19 am
Location: Glencoe, IL

Like so many others, I have been unsuccessful in attracting any PMs to my house. I have a morning song machine playing at almost all times of the day, and I have tried using decoys on the house, as well. Still no luck. There are several large colonies in town about 3/4 of a mile from my home, and I occasionally see solo or pairs of birds soaring overhead...but they never seem interested in checking out my digs. The house is anchored to a second story brick wall of my home, and it sticks about ten feet above a flat roof. In total, it's about 25 feet above the ground. I have a number of very tall oaks surrounding my home, but the PM house has at least 30 feet of distance from the nearest trees.

I'm loosing hope. Any advice out there?

Steven
Steven Arenson
sjaglencoe@gmail.com
stevenarenson
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 10:19 am
Location: Glencoe, IL

Test Reply
Steven Arenson
sjaglencoe@gmail.com
Hanover Bill
Posts: 617
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 3:10 pm
Location: Pennsylvania/Hanover Township
Martin Colony History: 2009 & 10 - 0
2011 & 12 - Visitors
2013 - 2 pr. fledged 9
2014 - 3 pr. fledged 13
2015 - 7 pr. fledged 27
2016 - 15 pr. fledged 72

Best advise anyone can give you is hang in there. It took me 5 years to attract my first nesting pair, and there are lots of people out there who have waited a lot longer than that. Keep playing the Dawn Song and keep visiting the Forum for lots of good advise on how to attract Martins.

Since you have Martins in your area you already have an advantage. There were no Martins anywhere near my site when I first started.

Be patient and best of luck.

Hanover Bill.
2009 & 10 - 0
2011 & 12 - Visitors
2013 - 2 pr. fledged 9
2014 - 3 pr. fledged 13
2015 - 7 pr. fledged 27
2016 - 15 pr. fledged 72
-=DKC=-
Posts: 356
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:26 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
Martin Colony History: ................
2019: 11 pairs
2018: 11 pairs - 43 fledged
2017: 4 pairs - 17 fledged

Like Hanover Bill says, hang in there. I got Martins on my 4th year.

I've read that Purple Martins are more tolerant of trees in close proximity to housing in areas of the South. I know there are occupied colonies near trees all around my area, including mine. I assumed it was because we don't usually have Accipiters around here in the Summer.

I'm not sure how tolerant of trees they are farther north.
"If at first you don't succeed, keep on suckin' till you do succeed." - Curly Howard
rrmartins
Posts: 1435
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

I would be very cautious of having housing anchored to walls or fencing, it makes it very easy for predators to get up your poles, do you have guards on them? Post some pictures, there’s something they’re seeing that they don’t like. I’ve had martins for ten years without any issues until this year. Even with bird netting on my pole, a rat almost destroyed my entire colony. Not saying the lack of guards is what they don’t like, but it would be a shame too get them, just to loose them your first year. Do you have sparrows and starlings on your housing? What kind of entrances do you have? Post some pictures so maybe we can help you.
2020
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3071
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Post some pics.......I am guessing that the location of the house is your issue. I have never heard of anyone having a martin house attached to their house. Even above the roof line I am guessing that is the problem. Is there any open spots in your yard? The good news for this year is that the SY's are not done coming through IL so there is still a chance this year. If you have a good colony nearby I would think you should get a colony started if you have good housing in a good location.
2021.................HOSP count-5
2020 Currently 42 nest, 110 babies, 64 eggs left to hatch(6-22-20) HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair last count 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

stevenarenson wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 5:14 pm
I have a number of very tall oaks surrounding my home, but the PM house has at least 30 feet of distance from the nearest trees.
I'm not trying to kick you while you're down, but that's a no win situation. You aren't going to attract Martins to a small opening encircled by trees.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 162 plastic gourds with tunnels, all with Conley II entrances with the Lewis modification. I have 24 Supergourds and the rest are Troyer Horizontals.
-=DKC=-
Posts: 356
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:26 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
Martin Colony History: ................
2019: 11 pairs
2018: 11 pairs - 43 fledged
2017: 4 pairs - 17 fledged

I have a friend who has had Purple Martin housing attached to (and above) his house for the last 10 years. He always has Martins. And I've see other active local colonies attached to houses. So I think the placement in relation to the house wouldn't be an issue as long as you have predator guard/netting.
"If at first you don't succeed, keep on suckin' till you do succeed." - Curly Howard
stevenarenson
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 10:19 am
Location: Glencoe, IL

Thanks, Bill. I appreciate the words of encouragement. I see this amazing flock every morning in town, and they seem to be taunting me! :-)


https://www.purplemartin.org/forum/post ... 2&p=285409#
Hanover Bill wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 6:28 pm
Best advise anyone can give you is hang in there. It took me 5 years to attract my first nesting pair, and there are lots of people out there who have waited a lot longer than that. Keep playing the Dawn Song and keep visiting the Forum for lots of good advise on how to attract Martins.

Since you have Martins in your area you already have an advantage. There were no Martins anywhere near my site when I first started.

Be patient and best of luck.

Hanover Bill.
Steven Arenson
sjaglencoe@gmail.com
stevenarenson
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 10:19 am
Location: Glencoe, IL

That's interesting. Unfortunately, we do have a Coopers Hawk that patrols the area. Beautiful, but menacing. Nonetheless, the martins are everywhere around town.
-=DKC=- wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 6:36 pm
Like Hanover Bill says, hang in there. I got Martins on my 4th year.

I've read that Purple Martins are more tolerant of trees in close proximity to housing in areas of the South. I know there are occupied colonies near trees all around my area, including mine. I assumed it was because we don't usually have Accipiters around here in the Summer.

I'm not sure how tolerant of trees they are farther north.
Steven Arenson
sjaglencoe@gmail.com
stevenarenson
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 10:19 am
Location: Glencoe, IL

Thanks for the comments and advice, and so sorry to hear about that rat! I have been pretty aggressive in "removing" sparrows and starlings from my back yard, in general. I have eyes on the house very frequently during the day, and there are no pests at all. The several times I've taken it down to inspect, there have been no signs of invaders.

I'd love to post a picture, but I can't seem to get my copy-and-paste to function in this format.


rrmartins wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 9:24 pm
I would be very cautious of having housing anchored to walls or fencing, it makes it very easy for predators to get up your poles, do you have guards on them? Post some pictures, there’s something they’re seeing that they don’t like. I’ve had martins for ten years without any issues until this year. Even with bird netting on my pole, a rat almost destroyed my entire colony. Not saying the lack of guards is what they don’t like, but it would be a shame too get them, just to loose them your first year. Do you have sparrows and starlings on your housing? What kind of entrances do you have? Post some pictures so maybe we can help you.
Steven Arenson
sjaglencoe@gmail.com
stevenarenson
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 10:19 am
Location: Glencoe, IL

Thanks for your reply. My options for location are really limited because of the very mature oak trees on the property...I have at least a dozen.

I can't seem to get the copy-and-paste function to work in this format so I haven't been able to post a picture of my set-up.

flyin-lowe wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 9:28 pm
Post some pics.......I am guessing that the location of the house is your issue. I have never heard of anyone having a martin house attached to their house. Even above the roof line I am guessing that is the problem. Is there any open spots in your yard? The good news for this year is that the SY's are not done coming through IL so there is still a chance this year. If you have a good colony nearby I would think you should get a colony started if you have good housing in a good location.
Steven Arenson
sjaglencoe@gmail.com
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3071
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

The easiest way I have found to add pictures on this forum is to open the picture with microsoft paint. One of the options on the top of paint is "resize" Click that and then you can adjust the size of the picture so neither side is over 300. Then you can add it to a post.
2021.................HOSP count-5
2020 Currently 42 nest, 110 babies, 64 eggs left to hatch(6-22-20) HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair last count 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.
stevenarenson
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 10:19 am
Location: Glencoe, IL

Will do. And thanks !
Steven Arenson
sjaglencoe@gmail.com
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 !

Hang in there, My 8 houses& 16 Gourds are WAY TOO CLOSE to my house also ! & My 5 BIG Pecan trees are also Way too Close ! But the Hawks have a "Heck" of a time flying through them !,But, I've had PMs since '92. I think you are in the perfect situation to Connect a Gourd wire/line from the House to a pole in your yard ! :grin: OF Course, you Will have to make sure that no pred.s will climb, crawl, slither, or whatever, from the house & across the line !I'm kinda envious that you would be able to buy & attach Gourds, with SO Many to choose from !( PMCA Shop :wink: )PMs looking down, might enjoy the sight of Gourds! Best of 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.
Black Jack
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon May 06, 2019 4:37 pm
Location: NC

I live outside of town about 2 miles from a friend who lives in town which is small in population. He has a small back yard with trees and so forth around it and he has had a colony established for 20 yrs. I started 2 years ago and have had 1pr each year. I know some one who lives across the field from me and he has farm land open and he has attracted hordes of them for 4 yrs straight. I do believe they love a farm field facing out from a human dwelling.
stevenarenson
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 10:19 am
Location: Glencoe, IL

I appreciate your reply and the idea about using a wire to hang gourds. It's probably too late for this season, but I'm going to give it a try next spring.
Steven Arenson
sjaglencoe@gmail.com
Rockchalk
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2016 3:39 pm
Location: LaCygne, Kansas
Martin Colony History: Following my mom's footsteps. Old 12 compartment 'Grandpa' at our weekend lake retreat. Reestablished site 2015.

Put me in the camp of... has trees and martins. I have trees very close to my martin house. Martins seam to navigate around them pretty good. I only have three pair right now but others visiting. I do have a lake front as well so that helps. Stick with it. I just restarted our efforts to get martins three years ago. I was fortunate to get one pair right away. So far we have managed to fledge about 25 babies and we are seeing more martins this year than ever.
2016 - 1 pair - 4 fledged
2017 - 1 pair - 5 fledged
2018 - 3 pair - 11 fledged
stevenarenson
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 10:19 am
Location: Glencoe, IL

Awesome to hear that and congrats on your success. I remain encouraged by the large number martins very near by. I have pairs that circle overhead almost daily, but they never seem to come in for a close look.

I have two decoys on the house and play the morning song at all hours. Short of putting on a purple Martin suit and dancing around the back yard, I don’t know what else to do!
Steven Arenson
sjaglencoe@gmail.com
rrmartins
Posts: 1435
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

stevenarenson wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 3:00 pm
Awesome to hear that and congrats on your success. I remain encouraged by the large number martins very near by. I have pairs that circle overhead almost daily, but they never seem to come in for a close look.

I have two decoys on the house and play the morning song at all hours. Short of putting on a purple Martin suit and dancing around the back yard, I don’t know what else to do!
Just for grins, take the decoys down and turn your audio off and see if they take a closer look.
2020
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
Post Reply