Bluebirds and tree swallows

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Peter Alberda
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:09 pm
Location: Michigan, Zeeland
Martin Colony History: Started with Amish copy of Trendsetter 12 room house, added Trio Grandpa with expanded rooms, and North Star 8. Taking Trendsetter down this spring and adding gourd rack.

This is short note for those of you who have trouble with bluebirds and tree swallows dominating your housing. Over the years I have often seen martins come to check out our housing, only to be chased away. Bbs and ts were never allowed to nest in the martin housing but they didn’t want martins around. They had their own nest boxes the prescribed forty feet away but they still owned and protected the Martin housing. Frustrating!!
But this year we got a pair that wouldn’t be run off. They have three nice chicks that should fledge sometime next week. It wasn’t at all uncommon to see all three species sitting on the wire next to the housing at the same time. You just have to wait for the right birds to come along and you’ll be a landlord.
2020 - A pair of SY birds with three nice chicks. Lots of visitors all year long.
2015-2019 - A few lookers.
2014 - ASY male and SY female fledged four chicks.
2013 - Several visitors but none stayed to nest.
2012 - Lots of visitors all season long. We had a pair of sys but no chicks survived.
2011 - New location - A few visitors
2010 - First year – Poor house location.
Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1905
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:35 pm
Location: Little Hocking, Oh.
Martin Colony History: 2018 Success at my Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”.
2019 Success at my home Site "Little Hocking, Ohio".

...... Peter .... That is so frustrating... I had to deal with the Bluebirds and Tree Swallow also.. Man they drove me crazy... Finally last year we got our first pair and they had five babies... This year another single pair which had 4 babies, and they will be fledge with in a few days now... I know how hard it is to keep at it.. But your success this year payed off.. Super job..

Dave
Home Site “Little Hocking, Ohio”
2010 / 2018 -- Lots of Visitors
2019 — 1 Pair, 5 Eggs, 5 Babies, 5 fledged. :wink:
2020 — 1 Pair, 4 Eggs, 4 Babies, 4 fledged. :wink:
2021 — Waiting on March 2021

Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”
2018 -- 15 Pair, 58 Eggs, 38 Hatched and 36 Fledged :wink:
2019 — 26 Pair, 128 Eggs, 99 Babies and 97 Fledged. :wink:
2020 — 30 Pair, 156 Eggs, 137 Babies and 137 Fledged. :wink:
2021 — Waiting on March 2021

PMCA Member
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2962
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Tree swallows can be the biggest obstacle getting a colony started. The good news is once you get returning martins they will not be ran off by the TS. Now that I have an established colony I just leave the martin housing closed up until martins start to return. The TS are usually several weeks ahead of the martins so they will be close to nesting by the time the martins arrive. Congrats on the nesting pair.
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.
Dave Duit
Posts: 1815
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: Iowa / Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2020, 60 pair with 285 fledged youngsters. 83 total cavities available, 58 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified deep trio metal house units, 1 fallout shelter, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President and founder of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit www.iamartin.org and join.

Hi Peter,
A great informational section on tree swallows and bluebirds can be found right on this website. Click on Purple Martin Website, hold cursor over Purple Martins, pull down to competitors, over to Native. At the bottom on the Native page is a download on Tree Swallow Emergency.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1905
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:35 pm
Location: Little Hocking, Oh.
Martin Colony History: 2018 Success at my Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”.
2019 Success at my home Site "Little Hocking, Ohio".

... Dave Duit .. Thanks for the information.. I have read that information on the Bluebirds and Tree Swallows before.. but forgot where it was.. :grin: :grin:.. Thanks for the reminder on how to fine it here on the PMCA site... (Actually-- I didn't think it would be here)

Dave
Last edited by Dave Reynolds on Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
Home Site “Little Hocking, Ohio”
2010 / 2018 -- Lots of Visitors
2019 — 1 Pair, 5 Eggs, 5 Babies, 5 fledged. :wink:
2020 — 1 Pair, 4 Eggs, 4 Babies, 4 fledged. :wink:
2021 — Waiting on March 2021

Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”
2018 -- 15 Pair, 58 Eggs, 38 Hatched and 36 Fledged :wink:
2019 — 26 Pair, 128 Eggs, 99 Babies and 97 Fledged. :wink:
2020 — 30 Pair, 156 Eggs, 137 Babies and 137 Fledged. :wink:
2021 — Waiting on March 2021

PMCA Member
Hanover Bill
Posts: 615
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

I think the individual bird has a lot to do with this problem. Over the years I have dealt with both aggressive and non- aggressive TS and Blusbirds. Same with the Martins, some are more willing to defend their housing than others. When it comes down to it they belong to a species of birds, but they are individuals also.

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
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