Let's talk!

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
taxidermy lady
Posts: 2989
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:21 am
Location: IL/Ellis Grove
Martin Colony History: Started trying to attract purple martins in 2012! It's finally happened in 2017! 5 years!!! ASY male and SY female came May 1st, fledged 5 babies!

Mary I am so excited for you. The gourds are very nice. You will get martins if you keep trying. I wish i lived by you I would help you take care of them. :grin:

Jody I applaud you for trying at your golf course. I think it's a great idea. If you can get them out there you'll populate your skies and they will have to come to your house. Good luck! :grin:

Good luck to you Rodger. I cut another tree in my front yard yesterday. The trees in the front yard are 180' away from my setup now. The trees in the fence row are 140' away. Should help out a lot. Hope your colony grows even bigger next year. :grin:
Sharon from southern Illinois
Rodger Drye
Posts: 671
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:07 am
Location: NC/Mt. Pleasant
Martin Colony History: Have been hosting and providing a sanactuary for Purple Martins for 30 years.

Hi Sharon,
Just cut down another large beautiful Water Oak today. Gave the wood away. The man who got the wood asked me why would I cut down such a beautiful tree that was probably about 35 40 years old. I pointed at my gourd poles and told him I liked my Purple Martins better than I did the tree. I have other trees around the house but that one was in a clear path from the lake accross the road to my Gourds. It really opened everything up. Sure hope the Martins like it as well.
Rodger
PMCA Member
Have been Hosting and Protecting Martin's for 30 years.
Rodger Drye
Posts: 671
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:07 am
Location: NC/Mt. Pleasant
Martin Colony History: Have been hosting and providing a sanactuary for Purple Martins for 30 years.

Jody,
Don't you give up either - just be patient. I think its great that you are planning on setting up a site at your golf course.
And yes we do need to tell everyone about Purple Martins. I went 24 years with hardly any birds. My Dad had literally hundreds, but we couldn't figure out why I couldn't attract any. Didn't have computers or the PMCA back then, and my Colony suffered. I was lucky to attract 7 to 12 birds. I've come a long way since then thanks primarily to the PMCA and this Forum.
I was doing so many things wrong and it showed in the number of birds I attracted each year. I cut those first two big trees down and started killing black snakes, (which I never used to do). Now I kill every snake on my property. They will climb your pole and eat your Martins. I've seen one climb up a painted block wall and couldn't believe it.
We've got Owls too, but I've put up Solar Predator Guards and I do believe they help.
Hang In - Rodger
PMCA Member
Have been Hosting and Protecting Martin's for 30 years.
madattiver
Posts: 263
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:44 pm
Location: SK/Saskatoon
Martin Colony History: 12 unit North Star + 4 gourds
2014 - 1 pair
2015 - 1 pair
2016 - 1 pair + 1 sub male (until my female died)
2017 - 6 pair

Sharon,

I know I am a little late to the party, but I wanted to chime in on my plans for next year. I just picked up my first supergourd that I plan on hanging from my north star last week. I am also getting 2 natural gourds and I am going to try to track down a troyer horizontal. I am trying to give them as many options as I can to attract more than one pair. Two years in a row I have had just the one pair. I have had many visitors throughout the year, especially at fledging time, but nothing ever comes of it. Maybe this year is my year to add to my colony.

I have also been working my way towards that public colony. I have a nice letter I wrote up that I plan on sending to the city for approval and started collecting parts for the build of a north star at this site. If it doesn't happen this year, maybe next year. I am taking baby steps at this as I don't want to rush into this.

Hope all is well,
Adam
Adam
Fifth Year Landlord
taxidermy lady
Posts: 2989
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:21 am
Location: IL/Ellis Grove
Martin Colony History: Started trying to attract purple martins in 2012! It's finally happened in 2017! 5 years!!! ASY male and SY female came May 1st, fledged 5 babies!

Nice to hear from you way up there. I just come in from working on my natural gourds. Had to stop while the Big Bang Therory was going on. (That's what I call deer season)!!!!!
I have 2 clean out ports to come up with. Then painting them! I am thinking only one gourd rack with the 4 naturals and 2 others. I will put 2 super gourds under the trio. I am hoping the pair that played house will come back and give it another go. I moved my poles further out away from trees. Cut a few more down so sure hope so. Open, open, open, that's what I'm trying to do.
I hope your colony grows this year. Everyone that is trying should be blessed. Good luck Adam! :grin:
Sharon from southern Illinois
Henry Limpet
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 3:48 pm
Location: IN./Howe, via the s/w side of Chicago
Martin Colony History: Trendsetter-8. Set up in 2014 at my summer cottage, a beautiful natural inland lake in N.E. Indiana's Amish Country. T-8 is on cleared land behind my pole barn and adjacent to a farmer's field

2015: Had several flyovers in early June with 1 dedicated SYM visitor who visited each day for well over a month. He brought by a few PM "parades", with 8-12 PM's who would visit all at once, but soon leave. (Added 2 gourds to bottom of the T-8). We discovered a large (Amish) colony apx. 3/4 mile South of our T-8, while on a bike ride through the country. We think this will eventually be our "feeder" colony.

2016: Put up a Trio G'Pa lakeside. Overall, not as much interest as 2015, likely because of our vacation to Gulf Shores, AL. in early June.

2017: Finally switched over to wheat straw. Success!! One nesting pair. Fledged 4!

2018: Zilch.

2019: Slow start, nothing observed by mid June. Wet, cold Spring a factor??

I will switch to straw bedding from pine needles, as that is what the Amish near me use with great success. And I definitely will add a second setup lakeside. My decision was an easy one. All 4 of my Big Tooth Aspen trees, planted in 2009, were eaten and removed in early November by Mr. Beaver. I guess they had finally reached the correct height to his liking. :roll:
Be careful how you wish . . for wishes can come true . . be sure that every wish you make is one that's right for you!
taxidermy lady
Posts: 2989
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:21 am
Location: IL/Ellis Grove
Martin Colony History: Started trying to attract purple martins in 2012! It's finally happened in 2017! 5 years!!! ASY male and SY female came May 1st, fledged 5 babies!

Wow Henry, beavers is what I have needed!! They bring'em down and carry them off. I have cut a lot of trees so maybe this year they will stay and finish what they start. Good luck to u!! :grin:
Sharon from southern Illinois
Rodger Drye
Posts: 671
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:07 am
Location: NC/Mt. Pleasant
Martin Colony History: Have been hosting and providing a sanactuary for Purple Martins for 30 years.

Hi Sharon,

Yes Beavers would be a plus. You could get them to cut down the trees from around your pond, creating an ideal path for the Martins to take a drink. Oh well wishful thinking I guess. If your poles are 140' to 180' from your trees I would think that would be good enough. That last oak tree I cut down was about 80' to 100' from my poles, and I still had a lot of birds last year. Now there is no tree within 200' of my poles. It really opened it up.
I've moved some of my poles and re-landscaped that whole area. However I did leave one pole my original, in the same place that it's always been. I've heard that Martins like to come back to the same place where they had a successful year. I believe they call that site tenacity. So don't move all your poles to far away from where you first Martins nested.

Good Luck with all.

Rodger
PMCA Member
Have been Hosting and Protecting Martin's for 30 years.
BrendaVR
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 12:44 pm
Location: Ontario/Burlington

Was really enjoying this thread until the disturbing post and just have to say: use proper predator guards!! There is absolutely NO need to kill snakes.

Many snakes are already threatened or endangered because of humans unnecessary killing for no reason and to no benefit. Its really disturbing to see attitudes like that. If you have proper predator guards on your poles your birds are at no risk from snakes. Don't destroy an important part of our ecosystem. It helps nothing. Some snakes are protected by law.

Just use proper predator guards then snakes are not a risk to your birds.

Everyone else seems to have some great plans for the upcoming season. Thumbs up to all the great work improving houses.
I'll be happy if I can get a house up this year. Still working on permissions... :cry:
Rodger Drye
Posts: 671
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:07 am
Location: NC/Mt. Pleasant
Martin Colony History: Have been hosting and providing a sanactuary for Purple Martins for 30 years.

You can't place a Predator Guard everywhere. And all the Predator Gurads in the world will not stop some snakes. I'm not just speaking about Purple Martins, other Swallows, Blue Birds, Wrens, Etc. are all threatened by snakes. Last year I had a Wren build a nest in my Dump Trailer located in the equipment shed - she usually builds down there in that shed somewhere every year. She had 6 eggs in a beautiful little nest in the Hydraulic Reservior. I checked the nest occasionally until the eggs hatched. I found a huge Black Snake, a 7 footer not long after. One day when checking the nest to see what progress the chicks were making, I found all the chicks gone. Several weeks later as I needed to use the Dump Trailer. I was cleaning out what was left of her nest I found an inmature chick on the other side of the battery covered with Hydraulic Oil. Of course it was dead.! It had crammed itself as far as it could go into the corner to avoid being eaten by that big Black Snake. Just thought of the terror that little bird must have gone through trying to get away from that big Black Snake.
I was in the Marine Corps four years and done my time in a war zone in VietNam - so I'm not squeamish. However, I am compassionate for smaller and weaker things in life.
If you choose not to kill Snakes that's you're prerogative.! As for me I will continue to kill them, and go out of my way to kill them when ever I can. My wife doesn't want me to kill Starlings or Sparrows, she says everything has it's purpose in life. She may be right to a degree.
Like I said, Starlings, Sparrows, and (All) Snakes will meet the "Grim Reaper" if they come on my property...!!
Respectfully,
Rodger Drye
PMCA Member
Have been Hosting and Protecting Martin's for 30 years.
Henry Limpet
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 3:48 pm
Location: IN./Howe, via the s/w side of Chicago
Martin Colony History: Trendsetter-8. Set up in 2014 at my summer cottage, a beautiful natural inland lake in N.E. Indiana's Amish Country. T-8 is on cleared land behind my pole barn and adjacent to a farmer's field

2015: Had several flyovers in early June with 1 dedicated SYM visitor who visited each day for well over a month. He brought by a few PM "parades", with 8-12 PM's who would visit all at once, but soon leave. (Added 2 gourds to bottom of the T-8). We discovered a large (Amish) colony apx. 3/4 mile South of our T-8, while on a bike ride through the country. We think this will eventually be our "feeder" colony.

2016: Put up a Trio G'Pa lakeside. Overall, not as much interest as 2015, likely because of our vacation to Gulf Shores, AL. in early June.

2017: Finally switched over to wheat straw. Success!! One nesting pair. Fledged 4!

2018: Zilch.

2019: Slow start, nothing observed by mid June. Wet, cold Spring a factor??

Taxidermy Lady, I just FedEx'ed Mr. Beaver to Southern Illinois. Tracking number to follow. You should receive him by Christmas. I had to pay extra for the lead box. :mrgreen:
Be careful how you wish . . for wishes can come true . . be sure that every wish you make is one that's right for you!
taxidermy lady
Posts: 2989
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:21 am
Location: IL/Ellis Grove
Martin Colony History: Started trying to attract purple martins in 2012! It's finally happened in 2017! 5 years!!! ASY male and SY female came May 1st, fledged 5 babies!

Ok I will be on the look out for them. :lol:
We are cutting one this weekend that shades my fruit trees. Thanks for your kind thought! :wink:
Sharon from southern Illinois
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