When do I open next year?

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Posts: 1
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 9:28 pm
Location: Oak Grove, KY

This was my first year with PM's. I got interested ASY's but no mating and nesting. Spent most of Springtime fighting off House Sparrows. My question is since I had interested ASY's check out my gourds, when do I open my gourds next year? Won't those ASY's come back as SY's early?
Posts: 2964
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

First of all to make sure you don't have your wording crossed up a little. (Or I am just reading it wrong :P ). ASY's are "after second year" they are adult martins that have returned for their second nesting season. SY birds are second year birds, they hatched last year and returned this year for their first nesting season. ASY's will come back about a month or so before the SY's arrive and typically the ASY's will return to the same place the nested the previous year.

Since you didn't have nesting martins this year it is likely any martins you have returning will not be bonded to your site. For that reason the most important thing is to keep competitors out such as blue birds, tree swallows, HOSP etc I always kept my housing closed until I actually saw martins at my housing. If I opened it up early the tree swallows would move in almost immediately. If you want to open it early I would go to the scout arrival maps in the research tab above and see when martins historically start arriving in your area. If martins do show up at your place and the housing is closed off when they first arrive they won't immediately leave just because it is blocked off. You wont want to leave it closed up long after they arrive. Some people tell new landlords not to open their housing until the SY's start showing up but it is not unheard of for people to start a new colony with ASY birds that have abandoned the site they were at the previous year for one reason or another. So for me I leave it closed until I see martins, I then open a few cavities, if they were to stay great, if they move on close it up if others species start trying to move in.
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.
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 27, 2020 10:03 pm
Location: Indiana
Martin Colony History: 2020 - 1 ASY pair, 3 nestlings

As a first year landlord myself I can't speak to appropriate opening timing for opening housing, but did successfully attract a ASY pair to nest in my first year. As flyin-lowe described, I suspect these birds abandoned a nearby colony as they did not arrive until May 27 in NE Indiana. I attribute my success to adopting a zero tolerance policy on S&S, while neighboring landlords haven't based on my observations. I hope your "fighting off" means killing every one of these pests that visit your location. Nesting success of all cavity nesters on our property is drastically improved this year as a result.
2020 - 1 pair (ASY), 3 nestlings
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon May 04, 2020 5:13 pm
Location: Texas

My gourds are cleaned and hung around April, our only undesirable nesters are HOSP at our location so I keep a close watch for them and the Martins. I've found the sighting reports don't correlate with our location for whatever reason but regardless it's still a helpful indicator of the migration.
JJ Ranch
Texas Hill Country
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