Search found 128 matches

by randyM
Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:33 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Martin gestation period
Replies: 3
Views: 87

Re: Martin gestation period

In general, birds can lay a fertilized egg from 1 day up to 15 days after successful copulation. Under normal environmental conditions a fertilized egg will remain viable for at least 15 days after being laid.
by randyM
Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:04 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Getting PM’s to stay.
Replies: 6
Views: 155

Re: Getting PM’s to stay.

I'd suggest playing the martin CD from an hour or so before sunrise until dark. I would not play it over night, but have done so my self when I was on vacation for a week in the past before my colony was established, as I did not have a timer on my CD player. When you have martins visiting your site...
by randyM
Mon Jun 07, 2021 11:17 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Getting PM’s to stay.
Replies: 6
Views: 155

Re: Getting PM’s to stay.

Welcome aboard!! A few decoys would be a good addition, but mostly be patient. Many folks wait 3-5 years to get their first nesting pair. It is a very good sign that you've had visitors already in your first year. I would play the dawn song or daytime chatter CD through the month of June. If you don...
by randyM
Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:47 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Introduction
Replies: 6
Views: 157

Re: Introduction

Congratulations!! I'm a big birding fan as well (for multi-decades) and it keeps getting more and more addicting the more you learn about different bird species and their annual life cycle. Enjoy the martin experience and learn as much as you can about all birds at every opportunity you get!
by randyM
Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:23 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Very unusual. Adult Female Martin has lost her voice
Replies: 13
Views: 224

Re: Very unusual. Adult Female Martin has lost her voice

Last year I had a SY female at my colony that made martin like calls, but the sounds she made were more of a nasal pitch like a white-breasted nuthatch, but very raspy (hard to describe, but very distinct). She and her SY male mate hatched 4 eggs and fledged all 4 young. She's back again this year w...
by randyM
Sat May 29, 2021 12:22 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: All my martins are dying. Any advice?
Replies: 15
Views: 777

Re: All my martins are dying. Any advice?

Hopefully the weather in you area warms soon and the winds lighten up so the flying insects become active again. I had to supplemental feed martins at my site for the first time this spring - very early arrivals (April 2) this year for northern SD. I had luck flipping June beetles I had collected th...
by randyM
Thu May 20, 2021 2:54 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: An Eastern Kingbird.....
Replies: 17
Views: 1816

Re: An Eastern Kingbird.....

I've seen kingbirds jump on the backs of redtail and swainson's hawks in flight before, but not martins. Such aggressive birds might be able to get a way with doing that to buteo-type hawks, but likely would not attempt (or live to tell about) such a daring stunt to much more agile accipiter-type ha...
by randyM
Wed May 19, 2021 11:08 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Martins and TS living together?
Replies: 4
Views: 1147

Re: Martins and TS living together?

Do as the other's have said in previous responses and leave all gourds open. If the TS and martins have been tolerating each other over the past few weeks they likely have accepted each other as local residents and no major fighting should occur this year going forward. I have a pair of TS that laid...
by randyM
Wed May 19, 2021 10:27 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Removing eggs
Replies: 3
Views: 965

Re: Removing eggs

Eight eggs is a very large clutch...one would think the female was healthy to lay that many eggs. Perhaps she got sick or something during the incubation period and went into self survival mode and abandoned the nest of eggs? If you've done regular nest checks are are sure the eggs are more than a m...
by randyM
Wed May 19, 2021 1:10 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: An Eastern Kingbird.....
Replies: 17
Views: 1816

Re: An Eastern Kingbird.....

Two years ago I had a pair of western kingbirds successfully nest in my plastic heath house (modified to 6 rooms, but they built their nest in the "front" cavity and didn't utilize the cavity extention). No martins nested in that plastic house, but were nesting in wooden houses 20 feet from the heat...
by randyM
Mon May 03, 2021 12:51 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Getting them to Stay?
Replies: 10
Views: 2510

Re: Getting them to Stay?

I played the dawn song CD for 2 years without having a nesting pair, but had frequent visitors (also, too many tree swallows that kept such visitors at bay). The following year I played the dawn song each day through July when I hand one nesting pair. The next year I had 4 nesting pairs, but switche...
by randyM
Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:55 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: shooting sparrow with shotgun?
Replies: 10
Views: 2100

Re: shooting sparrow with shotgun?

The info I'm providing is what works for me at my site and for the design of my colony and may not necessarily be doable or recommended at other colony sites, I'm just sharing my personal experiences. Most of the starlings (or HS) I shoot at my colony are shot in the weeks before the earliest martin...
by randyM
Sat Apr 24, 2021 6:01 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Will PM s co-habitate with tree swallows?
Replies: 2
Views: 1287

Re: Will PM s co-habitate with tree swallows?

You indicated you've been attracting martins to your site for 35 years, but only had visitors and no nesting martins last year and only 2 successful nesting seasons in 35 years...is that correct? I'm not clear what the actual PM occupancy history of your long-term PM housing has been. If you've only...
by randyM
Sat Apr 24, 2021 5:09 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: shooting sparrow with shotgun?
Replies: 10
Views: 2100

Re: shooting sparrow with shotgun?

How long have you had martins at your colony? If they've been established for a year or two, it should be okay to shoot a shotgun around the colony and not scare them permanently away. If they are martins new to your site I'd be a bit more hesitant shooting a gun until they are building nests or egg...
by randyM
Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:15 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Cold weather feeding lesson
Replies: 7
Views: 1941

Re: Cold weather feeding lesson

Tom - I tried putting thawed beetles in a tray on a feeding platform a few times last year with eggshells and watched a few martins pick up some beetles and toss them from the tray to the ground. None were eaten, as I know how may beetles I put in each tray and was able to account for all of them at...
by randyM
Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:26 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Cold weather feeding lesson
Replies: 7
Views: 1941

Cold weather feeding lesson

I have a growing 5-year-old PM colony in northern SD and birds arrived at my site ~two weeks early this year (April 2) during warm conditions (70's), but now the weather has turned cold over the past 5 days with daytime highs in the 30's and 40's (overnight lows in the teens and 20's), with cold and...
by randyM
Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:36 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Early Dawn Activity
Replies: 21
Views: 3772

Re: Early Dawn Activity

Jmmaly - I have all round holes in my martin housing and have plenty of starlings around. However I work from home and live in a rural setting and can shoot starlings with a shotgun. I typically shoot about 3 dozen starlings each spring (I've got about 24 so far, so might exceed that number this yea...
by randyM
Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:12 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: TO PLAY OR NOT
Replies: 7
Views: 1531

Re: TO PLAY OR NOT

As long as the martins at your colony seem not to be bothered by playing the CD, I'd keep playing it. Like others have said, until you have double digit numbers of martins at your colony, it's a good thing to keep playing the CD, especially when your resident pair is out feeding. Perhaps you could t...
by randyM
Fri Apr 02, 2021 1:46 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: 16+ yr established site now having tree swallow issues
Replies: 8
Views: 2084

Re: 16+ yr established site now having tree swallow issues

The 3 bluebird boxes within the radius of my 10 martin house poles are anywhere from 10-20 feet from the base of the closest martin house pole (basically equal distance between two martin house poles). My martin house poles are each about 20-40 feet apart. The 6 bluebird houses outside the perimeter...
by randyM
Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:51 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: 16+ yr established site now having tree swallow issues
Replies: 8
Views: 2084

Re: 16+ yr established site now having tree swallow issues

In my opinion, your best bet to reduce tree swallow competition for your martin gourds is to "saturate" your yard with alternative nest site options for the TS. I have 3 "bluebird" boxes attached to posts situated within the perimeter of my martin housing (one in the middle, and one each on opposite...