A bunch of slackers showed up today

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briansupernaw
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2003 1:13 pm
Location: Kansas/Valley Center

By this time last year there were many (4 to 6) SY bachelor males spending the summer here. They showed up in early June but never did hook up and nest last year.

I hadn't seen any extra SY males until today while mowing the grass. These are the first unpaired PM's to be seen at the house in spite of a pretty good 2nd year. There were at least 5 of these late comers. I think these bachelor SY males are very immature and probably come too late to get hooked up with females. They spend a lot of time looking inside gourds with nestlings.

By the way, my colony saw an increase ratio of approx 2.5 from the rookie year last year for number of pairs and eggs layed. So far the mortality rate is improved from last year.

2004: 2 pair, 10 eggs, 9 hatched, 8 fledged. This was first year.

2005: 5 pair, 24 eggs, 19 hatched (1 died at 2 days old), 5 eggs to go, none fledged.

This is a great hobby.
Brian Supernaw
Valley Center, Kansas
Dale Hrncirik

briansupernaw wrote: This is a great hobby.
Brian,

YES IT IS :!:

I have lots of hobbies but this ranks up at the top! These wonderful martins are surely a site for (my)sore eyes when they arrive here in late winter...and they continue to hold my interest and feelings of gratification long after their departure.

Good to see your #'s increasing!

Dale
Guest

brian.

Good to hear how your colony has grown. I had an SY female here this morning and 2 or 3 SY males + 1 ASY male courting her. Be interesting to see if she nests here.

Your first year (last year) sounds similar to my first year.....this year. I have 2 pair, 1 ASY pair and 1 SY pair. Just curious.......how many houses/gourds/nests did you offer last year? Did you add more this year?

I have 1 S&K starter house that was converted to 3, 6x12 nests on 1 level. Also have an S&K 12 Gourd Rack underneath the house with 6 Big Bo gourds on the top level. If I had known more when I started, I would have offered 2 houses with each having 6 nests on 2 levels. If I had.....I believe I would have had at least 2 more pair and possibly more. My first pair was the ASY pair and as soon as they chose a nest, the male would not let visitors check out the housing. Of course I was grateful to have them.......just think I could have had attracted more martins if I had offered another house.
briansupernaw
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2003 1:13 pm
Location: Kansas/Valley Center

Hogwild,

I've added pics of 2004 and 2005 setup.

2004 : I offered 6 apartments and 4 natural gourds on one pole. Blitz house converted into 6 compartments @ 6"x6"x12" with excluder entrances. Four natural gourds hung from corners. An ASY pair took a natural gourd. A SY pair took an apartment.

2005: This year I offered the same 6 apartment Blitz house and 4 porched crescented supergourds. All 4 gourds are full and there is one pair in the apartment house. The apartment was picked before 2 gourds were taken, but they do seem to prefer the gourds.
Somebody told me on the forum several years ago to offer both types of houseing, and I think that is a good thing to do if possible. It sounds like you are offering a lot of good housing.

Thanks for the comments, Brian
Attachments
2005 house and gourds.   Those power lines are approx 30 feet away.
2005 house and gourds. Those power lines are approx 30 feet away.
pm_house_post.jpg (22.3 KiB) Viewed 4428 times
2004 house and gourds.  The gourd facing the picture had the ASY pair.  The excluder house lower level on the right had the SY pair.
2004 house and gourds. The gourd facing the picture had the ASY pair. The excluder house lower level on the right had the SY pair.
2004_0718Image0016.JPG (24.4 KiB) Viewed 4476 times
Brian Supernaw
Valley Center, Kansas
Guest

Looks like a nice setup. Can you tell a difference in how they respond to the SuperGourds as compared to the gourds you had the first year?

Do they try to take rooms in the house first before the gourds?
Mary Dawnsong
Posts: 1685
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 8:17 pm
Location: Michigan, Livingston County

Hi Brian,

Wow! You are having a great second season. You're going to have to add housing next year to keep up with the demand. :grin:

It makes me very happy to see you doing so well after all those years of trying. My home state of Kansas doesn't have very many martins, but the population is climbing very slightly according to the Breeding Bird Survey:
http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/cgi-bin/pl ... /06110.kan

Martins are especially uncommon in southcentral Kansas, which is near the western edge of the PM range:
http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/htm03/ ... a06110.htm

Kansas needs strong martin colonies and you can make a difference, Brian.

My best, Mary
Click here to see my colony
"In Michigan every martin matters"
Guest

Mary:
Martins are uncommon in Southcentral KS? Wichita has huge colonies around golf courses and lots of landlords here. Their are only a few homes in my neck of the woods with houses up, but I'm trying to change that. I golfed at Willowbend the other day and counted 146 houses-most of them full and very few of them looked to be poorly managed, which impressed me.

It's been too long since you've been back here-you can hear martins in just about every part of Wichita, at least. But, you go 200 miles west, they thin out quickly as you near high plains below the Rockies.

Just thought I'd let you know things aren't as bleak as you may remember.
Mary Dawnsong
Posts: 1685
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 8:17 pm
Location: Michigan, Livingston County

Hi,

That's great news! Apparently the Breeding Bird Survey is not doing a very good job of counting them -or- the colonies may not be located near survey routes. The BBS shows a very low density of martins throughout central KS.

I've never spent much time in Wichita, just in and out of the airport. Of course, it's the big urban area in the central part of the state. Perhaps colonies actually do better in the KS cities because of less HOSP competition? I grew up on a grain farm west of Hutchinson and we had infinite HOSP, nesting in the steel rafters of equipment sheds and eating the grain we grew. Both of my grandparents had martin colonies on their farms until, I believe, the 1950's when the HOSP arrived and drove them away.

Thanks for letting me know. I'd love to see those colonies!

My best, Mary
Click here to see my colony
"In Michigan every martin matters"
briansupernaw
Posts: 98
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2003 1:13 pm
Location: Kansas/Valley Center

Patriot Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 11:30 pm Post subject:

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Looks like a nice setup. Can you tell a difference in how they respond to the SuperGourds as compared to the gourds you had the first year?

Do they try to take rooms in the house first before the gourds?
Patriot,

It is hard to pick out preferences between the supergourd and a natural gourd because of the small numbers at my site. But, for this year the supergourds are full while I still have 5 excluder compartments available. I think they do prefer the gourds over the apartments even with the expanded size. I would need multiple poles and offer both types of gourds to get a better idea of gourd preference.

Mary,

Thanks for the comments. In the previous 2 to 5 years I had not found any other active martin colonies in Valley Center. I saw many houses, but usually had starlings or sparrows. There may have been some active colonies, but they were scarce. This year I have found at least 4 other sites within 1.5 miles of my house. I think the numbers will grow year to year. I also have people stop by the house while they see me out front maintaining the pole and they are curious about how to attract PM's. I help them the best I can and point them to the PMCA on the web.

Like M Gragg said, there are places here in Wichita with good PM establishment. Another place approx 5 to 6 miles south of me is a housing community called the Moorings built around some lakes which have excellent PM establishment. If I had to go many more years with out getting the PM's I might of just thrown in the towell and moved to the Moorings. Thank God I got them, I just saved a bunch of money.

Brian
Brian Supernaw
Valley Center, Kansas
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