Late arrivals in eastern PA? Won't go in!

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Posts: 20
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 10:58 am
Location: Collegeville PA
Martin Colony History: 2013 Heath hexagon 12 birds
2014 T14 added. Couple of visitors only.
2015 Four birds? At least one pair? 5 eggs in three different cavities! Abandoned.
2016 Heath house not put up. Only visitors.
2017 Only visitors
2018 No activity
2019 Visitors 20May only
2020 Visitor 22May, 3 birds suddenly 20Jun!?

Hi all,

I've had a T14 up for quite a while. Play the Songbird Magnet until my wife goes crazy. We had a visitor around Mother's day, which is about typical for us. Then nothing again. I had stopped the music.

Yesterday I brought the box down to deal with a sparrow nest. When I brought the inserts back and started winching it up, I thought tree swallows were zooming me, then I heard one and realized that a PAIR of purple martins were checking out my box. I quickly got it up and walked away. The two of them checked it out for 20 minutes or so. A third (male, I think) also appeared. During all of their inspection, even though they seemed to favor one gourd hanging off of it, or maybe the lowest porch on one side, they never went in! I had put the music on to keep them curious. After maybe 30 minutes of teasing me, they disappeared.

This morning my wife and I were returning from a walk and I heard at least one purple martin in the neighbor's trees! Walked near my box and nothing, but soon a pair was again checking it out. Again I noticed that they would never go in! I have Troyer tunnels on the gourds and oval holes (Conley II entrances?) on all of them.

Is this normal new-arrival behavior? I wonder if the angry house sparrow is making them nervous. I dare not take a shot at him with them around. My scope is so lousy on my spring gun, I don't have a very high chance of getting him that way. I wouldn't want to scare off the martins with that activity.

I'm still hoping, and at least enjoying the extended visits. Their chatter to each other is SO much nicer than the Songbird Magnet.

Wish me luck.
Eastern PA
Posts: 615
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: See Signature


To increase your chances of having those Martins take up residence I will advise you, as many here will as well, to get rid of the sparrow. The Martins really won't mind the shot but if you are worried that they will be scared off, stake out the condo and wait for the sparrow to show when the Martins are not around. The sparrow will keep the Martins from encroaching on his territory. He and she sparrow must be dealt with.

Get that gun sighted in and put it to good use.

Good luck to you,

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
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:26 pm
Location: Windsor, Va

We had 4 sub adults come and stay almost a week then big storm came and they only came back to visit.
Today we checked the house and cleaned debris out (we do this regularly) and we played the dawn song and they are landing and going in an out. Isn’t it too late for nesting?
We saw no signs of predatory activity before when they left.
We live in Brown Co Ohio. They came around mid May.
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