First Pair

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tjl5709
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2020 5:40 pm
Location: S.E. Michigan

After 7 years, my first pair have set-up shop. I have had vistors in the past, but nothing would stay. These are definitely sub-adults from last year. I only had 1 of my 8 gourds open and these 2 started hanging around. They seemed kinda hesitant with the low cresent opening, so I dropped the rack and opened up 2 more. 2 had low cresent, and one had round. They selected the round opening the next day. The past couple of days they have been bringing in nest material and spending the night. Some HOSP noticed them and started going to the other gourds. They would fight them off if they got to close. I have since closed up the other open gourds. I will be doing more aggressive measures for HOSP over the next few weeks. Should I re-open a gourd in case another pair show up? With all the chirping these 2 make, I am sure others might get enticed and I do not want to turn away any new additions. My rack is close to my garden, so they are seeing us coming and going, so they seem comfortable with us around. Just trying not to screw this up and figure out the next steps.
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1486
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm
Location: TN/Collierville
Martin Colony History: I have been exposed to purple martin sounds in utero when my mother went out to get my father away from his martin colony.
I played around the martin colony every summer and watched as my father maintained his colony. In the late 50's until the 70's he did not notice European Starlings in south Texas.
When old enough, I helped maintain his colony. My primary task was eliminating English House Sparrows with a 1956 Benjamin 317 .177 air rifle.
When I settled into my own home, I started my first colony with an original Trio Castle and Trio Grandpa. When I moved again, I did not put up any martin houses. Frustration with European Starlings in the Southeast US was overwhelming.
Found PMCA Forum and learned about modern enlarged compartments and SREHs.
Inherited my father's last martin house, a Trio Grandma, modified it to modern specifications and have had good results since then.

7 years of waiting has made you a dedicated and proud landlord. Your martin pair are excited to find your site and are announcing their invitation for other martins.
You might think that the round hole is a good thing because the pair chose it and many opinions will be expressed about non-SREH and SREH entrances. I will forgo my opinion until after the European Starlings (EUST) drive off, maim or kill your SY martins, their eggs or their nestlings.
When you say aggressive measures over the next few weeks, I would say definitive measures today. Exterminate the HOSP now.
Your lone pair will not be able to withstand the presence of HOSP and could leave.
Mark.
Firm believer in HOSP/EUST Control, Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.
tjl5709
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2020 5:40 pm
Location: S.E. Michigan

Will they leave if I switch out the hole covers? I understand starling issue the more I read. I have BO9's with tunnel so I can change things up as needed. Also should I keep other homes covered for now?

I have implemented the HOSP eradication process.
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1486
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm
Location: TN/Collierville
Martin Colony History: I have been exposed to purple martin sounds in utero when my mother went out to get my father away from his martin colony.
I played around the martin colony every summer and watched as my father maintained his colony. In the late 50's until the 70's he did not notice European Starlings in south Texas.
When old enough, I helped maintain his colony. My primary task was eliminating English House Sparrows with a 1956 Benjamin 317 .177 air rifle.
When I settled into my own home, I started my first colony with an original Trio Castle and Trio Grandpa. When I moved again, I did not put up any martin houses. Frustration with European Starlings in the Southeast US was overwhelming.
Found PMCA Forum and learned about modern enlarged compartments and SREHs.
Inherited my father's last martin house, a Trio Grandma, modified it to modern specifications and have had good results since then.

If you wait until the female has eggs in the compartment and especially if there are pinkies (nickname for new born nestlings), then the pair will not leave if you change the entrance hole to SREH. The Clinger entrances on the S&K Tunnels is an excellent and easy entrance for the martins to transition from round to Clinger SREH. There will be a brief interval of peek a boo before the martins enter the SREH. With eggs and/or nestlings, peek a boo will be less than 2 minutes.
So as long as you do not see any EUST at your site, then wait for eggs. Hopefully you have overcome New Landlord Anxiety and will be doing nest checks so you can tell when the last egg is laid.
If you see EUST at your site, then change from Round to Clinger SREH immediately.
Mark.
Firm believer in HOSP/EUST Control, Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.
tjl5709
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2020 5:40 pm
Location: S.E. Michigan

I have been seeing them return with leaves. Everything is moving along. To keep them comfortable, should I stop playing the dawn song now. Its on a timer, and figured it might help bring more potentials in, but now that these two seem to be making a home, that might be enought to get others in. and it might confuse them.
Whippy
Posts: 615
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: See Signature

tji,

I played the dawn song a lot when I started out. It brought in a lot of visitors. On that day I noticed an ASY male staking his claim, I ceased to play it and allowed him to be my messenger from that point forward. I had no specific reason for doing it but figured I had succeeded in my goal to get my colony started artificially and decided to let nature take over from there.

That was 5 years ago. I now have 13 pairs with eggs or babies and many visitors every morning.

Again. My decision to not play the dawn song anymore was purely a guess and my desire to let my founding Martin have his say in the matter.

Coolwhips
2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged
deancamp
Posts: 425
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

I would open up more of your holes for potential residents. As for the dawn song , I don't think it hurts to continue playing it as long as your current pair is not bothered by it. If you are able and it makes you feel better turn it off when they are around and back on when they're gone.
tjl5709
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2020 5:40 pm
Location: S.E. Michigan

Well, I am happy to report 5 little eggs sitting in the gord. They were not to happy with me dropping the houses, but they returned a couple minutes after I got it back up. I think I had another yearling show up at the site. I've openned up some other nests. Debating to switch out the round entrance with just the eggs or wait for some hatchlings before I disturb things.
Cjs180
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu May 28, 2020 8:17 pm
Location: Oshkosh WI

I just added tunnels to my gourds and SREH after the eggs were laid and they went in. I ended up doing it in steps, adding the tunnels first then a couple days later adding the SREH. Glad I did. Go for it.
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1486
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm
Location: TN/Collierville
Martin Colony History: I have been exposed to purple martin sounds in utero when my mother went out to get my father away from his martin colony.
I played around the martin colony every summer and watched as my father maintained his colony. In the late 50's until the 70's he did not notice European Starlings in south Texas.
When old enough, I helped maintain his colony. My primary task was eliminating English House Sparrows with a 1956 Benjamin 317 .177 air rifle.
When I settled into my own home, I started my first colony with an original Trio Castle and Trio Grandpa. When I moved again, I did not put up any martin houses. Frustration with European Starlings in the Southeast US was overwhelming.
Found PMCA Forum and learned about modern enlarged compartments and SREHs.
Inherited my father's last martin house, a Trio Grandma, modified it to modern specifications and have had good results since then.

tjl5709,
Chris recently proved that purple martins will adapt to changes in their housing, especially after eggs have been laid. The martins' commitment to those eggs will allow you to change from round hole to Clinger entrances immediately. Today. Do it. Tick-tock. Pronto. Now. How can I express the urgency to you?
You will have proof that the change is accepted when you see the martins come and go from the Clinger entrances. Each of the martin pair will do a little peek a boo before they enter. They will see their eggs in the nest and their instincts to procreate will seal the deal. Get over your New Landlord Anxiety.
At this point you are endangering a Starling entering the round hole and destroying the eggs. The Starlings will do it. You are currently naive about Starlings.
You don't believe Starlings are in your area. Wrong. You don't believe Starlings will find the nest and eggs of your single pair of martins. Wrong! You don't believe Starlings are as aggressive as they are. Wrong!!!
Mark.
Firm believer in HOSP/EUST Control, Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.
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