Tree swallows

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jhcox
Posts: 285
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 9:23 am
Location: tennesse

Tree swallows

Postby jhcox » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:06 pm

I have over thirty tree swallows here at my site and their on their second batch of little ones. So that number is increasing almost daily. I have used the gourds down low around 20 to 30 feet from my martin house to stop others from trying to use my martin houses. It has worked so far but there are so many of them now that they are braking the rules and are trying to use my martin racks now. I lowered and closed the ones that they are trying to use but now they are trying to use the rack that my one PM pair and their little ones are in. What do I do to keep them from harassing my one PM pair.

Ed Svetich-WI
Posts: 696
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:05 pm
Location: Brooks, Wi (McGinnis Lake)
Martin Colony History: 24 Super and Excluder Gourds on two gourd racks, all SREH. Full occupancy. My philosophy is to maximize fledge % with existing cavities rather than adding gourds to grow colony, thus providing opportunities for new colony expansion. Fledge over 100 nestlings yearly from 24 gourds. Band nestlings in cooperation with state university.

Re: Tree swallows

Postby Ed Svetich-WI » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:55 pm

Just a quick question for you about the number of nesting tree swallows you have on or near your property. As you are experiencing, they are a pest around martin colonies as well as blue bird trails. I limit the tree swallows to two houses along the lakeshore. All other houses are unavailable to them. It has greatly reduced the number of tree swallows around here.

I have always had reservations about using gourds for tree swallows. By doing so, you may be habituating them to nesting in gourds rather than a distinct house such as the traditional bluebird houses. We see posts here frequently saying that even martins prefer T14s or even gourds to nest in based on the type of housing that they were hatched in. There may be nothing to it, but why tempt fate.

They may harass your pair but I doubt they will drive them away, especially with young in the nest.

Good luck,

Ed

jhcox
Posts: 285
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 9:23 am
Location: tennesse

Re: Tree swallows

Postby jhcox » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:34 pm

Hey Ed I have a bluebird trail on my property that has around ten bluebird boxes. I do have two shepherds poles within the 20 to 30 foot range of my Martin racks. Everything that I’ve read says to offer them something in that range that would deter them from using your martin racks. I’ll leave the purple Martin racks closed allowing the tree swallows to use the lower housing near my Martin racks. What’s the tree swallows start nesting then I open up the Martins racks. In the tree swallows have use those but now the numbers are so high that even the bluebird boxes are not enough for them. So next year should I limit the number of tree swallows that are allowed to nest in my area.

TheSmiths
Posts: 260
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 1:02 pm
Location: Western KY
Martin Colony History: Trying to attract PMs since 2004; began a more ernest attempt in 2014. Modified Trio M12K at 15' w/3 gourds beneath; multi-rack w/8 gourds mounted at 20'.

2018 — finally have 1 ASY pair & 1 SY pair in the Trio & 1 SY pair in a supergourd on the multi-rack. :D

Re: Tree swallows

Postby TheSmiths » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:57 pm

jhcox, sounds like you already have a plan of action but have you ever looked on treeswallowprojects.com for info? There might be something helpful there. If not, one of the administrators there might have some helpful advice.

Ed Svetich-WI
Posts: 696
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:05 pm
Location: Brooks, Wi (McGinnis Lake)
Martin Colony History: 24 Super and Excluder Gourds on two gourd racks, all SREH. Full occupancy. My philosophy is to maximize fledge % with existing cavities rather than adding gourds to grow colony, thus providing opportunities for new colony expansion. Fledge over 100 nestlings yearly from 24 gourds. Band nestlings in cooperation with state university.

Re: Tree swallows

Postby Ed Svetich-WI » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:41 pm

Not to belabor this topic, but the tree swallows need to have laid eggs before they will fully accept and defend the alternative housing that you have provided. I learned this thru trial and error. Building a nest will not deter them from checking out your gourds as a potential nest site. They have only fully commited and defend a nest site against other tree swallows after they have eggs to defend. It may mean an addtional week or so before opening your gourds. Don't let your impatience cause you to push the time frame.

Ed

jhcox
Posts: 285
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 9:23 am
Location: tennesse

Re: Tree swallows

Postby jhcox » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:54 pm

Hey Ed I have been letting them get to egg laying stag before opening martins housing. I have even had multiple tree swallows nest in the housing that i put up near the martins housing as one pair would flege their young I would cean out the box and a new pair would start building a nest. And it has worked great up to this point. But now there’s just not enough housing down low for them to use. And now their trying to use the martins housing. Only thing I can do now is let them biuld then pull the nest before they start to lay eggs. I really love the tree swallows because they really eat alot of insects that are closer to the ground where as the martins feed much higher for larger insects. So what do I do??????

jhcox
Posts: 285
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 9:23 am
Location: tennesse

Re: Tree swallows

Postby jhcox » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:10 pm

Thanks TheSmiths. I’ll try to check that out and see if I can get some answers there. I know I heard and read that tree swallows don’t nest in actual colonies. But I’m starting to think I may be getting the first if they continue reproduce as fast as they are this year. Not sure how many tree swallow fledgings return to where they were born but if its a high precentage then im in a lot of trouble next year. It seams that they have doubled in numbers each year that I have been at our new home. We will see I guess.


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