No pond

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Fire45
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun May 15, 2016 6:52 am
Location: Alabama

Hello all,
I am a new wanna be landlord. Heres my situation. I do not have a pond on my property. I live in the country. My nearest neighbors have a pond, they are located a 1/2 mile from me and they have a good colony of martins. I was wanting to build a pond but im not sure if the soil is suitable. Its very sandy. If I am unable to have a pond constructed will I be able to attract martins without water on site? One of my fears is that any martins that visit will be staying at my neighbors, seeing he already has a colony and water close by.
Thanks for the help!
Berndog
Posts: 184
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:33 am
Location: OH/Bethel

Hello FIRE45,
A pond would be a bonus but I wouldn't lose any sleep over it,main thing to keep in mind is qualityy housing,sreh,predator gaurd's and open fly-ways imo.i'm sure other landlord's will chime in and give you sound advise.....Oh yaeh,keep those starling's and house sparrows away !!!Best of luck to ya,keep us posted...BERNDOG
2013-1PAIR
2014-1PAIR
2015-2PAIR
2016-4PAIR
2017-5PAIR
2018-12PAIR
2019-21 PAIR
2020-30PAIR
Ed Pace
Posts: 675
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:31 pm
Location: NY/Jamestown

Hi and welcome to the forum . I know many more people who don't have a pond on their property than do have. Having a neighbor who has a colony and a pond within a half mile of your place is more of a help than a hinderance. Once you get martins at your place they will be loyal to your place rather than his .

I don't know how long you have been visiting the forum but pay attention to the archives and you will find a lot of important information telling you how to attract a martin colony? Ask any questions that you have. Good luck. Ed .
DebA
Posts: 1941
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 7:43 am
Location: Pratt County/Kansas
Martin Colony History: Start 2009 with one pair. Upgraded from S&K houses to two Trendsetter 12's with gourds beneath in 2013. I have experienced job, pet, and parental losses since '13. The Purple Martins lift my spirits and remind me how life continues forward by flying their little selves from Brazil back to my yard. As one forum person once told me, chin up DebA, look at the martins. Danger all around but yet they soar in the sky without a care in the world.

I've previously read on here they need a water source within a mile. So there you go. I'm also out in the country and my birds water sources are over a mile away in dry years. But mine survive.
Deb
PMCA MEMBER
Pratt County, Kansas
2016 34 PAIR
2015 27 PAIR
2014 23 PAIR
2013 13 PAIR
2012 6 PAIR
2011 4 PAIR
2010 2 PAIR
2009 1 PAIR
MamaBruff
Posts: 1466
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:21 pm
Location: SW Missouri
Martin Colony History: 2013-2016 Unsuccessful at starting a PM colony. Health problems.
Rehomed all my PM stuff. Good Luck and Best Wishes to All.

And your colony got started with a plastic barn, too. See Okie's post re such housing. And to think I have been putting up the wrong housing all these years! Man. I could have saved a bundle if I had started with a plastic barn! Going to get one to test that theory. Maybe there's still time... Please don't take it personal, my friend, I'm just Grumpy and Frustrated.
~Mary B~

Lifelong PM Admirer and Nature Enthusiast.
Ruthless trapper of S&S year round.
2013-2016 Unsuccessful at starting a PM colony. Health problems.
Rehomed all my PM stuff. Good Luck and Best Wishes to All.
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 use to have a plastic house. I gave it to my son now he has 6 pair in 3 yrs. go figure. :lol:
Sharon from southern Illinois
DebA
Posts: 1941
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 7:43 am
Location: Pratt County/Kansas
Martin Colony History: Start 2009 with one pair. Upgraded from S&K houses to two Trendsetter 12's with gourds beneath in 2013. I have experienced job, pet, and parental losses since '13. The Purple Martins lift my spirits and remind me how life continues forward by flying their little selves from Brazil back to my yard. As one forum person once told me, chin up DebA, look at the martins. Danger all around but yet they soar in the sky without a care in the world.

Ahh but you forget it wasn't a plastic house that gave me my start. My husband found this house on the ground surrounded and covered with weeds at a rental property he was remodeling for someone. He asked if he could have it. He told me that he remembered purple martins as a kid in Illinois and how cool they could be so he threw it up on a fixed pole. I was like, shrug. I worked all the time and didn't really pay attention until this day...babies!
Image

Incidentally, someone tried to manage sparrows judging by the BB dings in the house. Or .22. I don't know. But then I found this site and forum and knew I needed to upgrade to this. Then added a second a year later.
Image

See, not a "barn" one. No where on this site did it say to not use these houses. I considered them a big upgrade because I did convert them to 6x12 compartments. Plus put it on a tritel pole so I could nest check. So yes, this was my colony's start. Which served me well. My pole had issues. Plastic knobs broke so I had to drill and bolt and then it got harder and harder to raise. A few pieces of my plastic porch broke. So I was fortunate to be able to upgrade housing again.

Other than the overall trees in your area, Mary, your site looks perfect. Even with those trees, none of which are too close to your house, there are PM's in your area. I don't think that the distance of the two ground stakes you have make much difference at all. Other than if one doesn't work it is something to think, dang it should have tried the other. You know I feel for your frustration and that of all wannabees. I now know how blessed I was to have a colony. It is ironic in your disappointments how over the past 3 years, I credit you with helping my colony to thrive. That thread where people were advising you on S&S trapping I was like, people...she is a trapping bada$$. You helped my needy ways of being able to describe exactly what I will feel in my hand during the sqeeeeze, etc... Which has helped me be able to face the chore.

So get yourself a "barn" with PRIDE. It is adequate housing for a few seasons and if it works, hot damn. :grin:
PMCA MEMBER
Pratt County, Kansas
2016 34 PAIR
2015 27 PAIR
2014 23 PAIR
2013 13 PAIR
2012 6 PAIR
2011 4 PAIR
2010 2 PAIR
2009 1 PAIR
DebA
Posts: 1941
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 7:43 am
Location: Pratt County/Kansas
Martin Colony History: Start 2009 with one pair. Upgraded from S&K houses to two Trendsetter 12's with gourds beneath in 2013. I have experienced job, pet, and parental losses since '13. The Purple Martins lift my spirits and remind me how life continues forward by flying their little selves from Brazil back to my yard. As one forum person once told me, chin up DebA, look at the martins. Danger all around but yet they soar in the sky without a care in the world.

Also, btw, Fire45...back in 2011 where the temps were consistently over 100 degrees for 32 days, most days being 109 to 114...I was very worried about their water source. So we filled our big ditches with water leaving a hose to continually drip. Blocking the ends at the culvert. It held pretty good. Long enough for them to swoop and get a drink on the wing. I saw the barn swallows go crazy for it besides other native birds. My husband told me it is technically illegal to block a water way drain or something but hey...no one ticketed me. One of those do it again in a heartbeat.
Deb
sdsteil-IA
Posts: 85
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 7:13 pm
Location: Iowa/Keystone
Martin Colony History: 2020 - First nesting pair.
2002 - 2019 - Trying

I moved to a farm back in 2011. The farm has 1 acre pond and power lines within about 20 feet of my martin houses. It has been 5 years now and I am still waiting for my first nesting pair. Even though a pond and power lines are a plus there is still no guarantee.

I think the big plus for you is that there is a established colony within 1/2 mile from your site.

The closest establish colony from my site that I have found is about 40 miles.

Cheers David
2020 - 1 nesting pair
2012-2019 - 0 nesting pairs
2011 - Bought 18 acre farm with a 1 acre pond
2008-2010 – 0 nesting pairs
2007 – 1 nesting pair. Female died trying to lay 4th egg
2002 - 2006. 0 nesting pairs
Okie
Posts: 541
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:26 pm
Location: Claremore, OK
Martin Colony History: 2016 Informed landlord now Have 2 pair returning from 2015 That is a miracle. Hoping for a very successful year, sparrow population on decline.
First house was plastic with crescent holes Had martins within a few days. Ignorant landlord gradually lost them
Then got Trio House and still lost most of them. Lots of sparrows

DebA The second pic is the exact same one I started with. I really hate it, especially the telescoping pole which does not come down far enough & requires a ladder. Not to mention pinching your fingers. Don't know how you enlarged it but i'm not bothering. Martins have not ever used it since I got the Trio. So blessed to have this forum now. I knew nothing until I found the PMCA web site. I was of the persuasion, like so many others of the uninformed that put up a house, any house, stand back & they will come. NOT!!! I distinctly remember reading "somewhere" that martins & sparrows will peacefully coexist! :!: :!: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: I believed at the time. Never liked having all those sparrows but what to do about them when you are ignorant of trapping & have never held a gun in your life! Now that I understand what a threat they are to our native cavity nesting birds.....Come one, Come all to my sparrow traps :lol: :grin: :wink:
We all function on our own understanding until that understanding is enlightened. :roll: Thank you PMCA for what you do AND for this forum. :)
Okie
PMCA member
2016 Started with 2 pair, 1 pair abandoned after HOSP destroyed eggs
1 pair= 6 eggs, 6 fledged
2017 1 pair so far, But they abandoned before nest complete for ?reason? Now Bridless and joined the Wannabes
2018 One pair ASY male SY female 5 eggs, 5 fledged
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1497
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm
Location: TN/Collierville
Martin Colony History: I have been exposed to purple martin sounds in utero when my mother went out to get my father away from his martin colony.
I played around the martin colony every summer and watched as my father maintained his colony. In the late 50's until the 70's he did not notice European Starlings in south Texas.
When old enough, I helped maintain his colony. My primary task was eliminating English House Sparrows with a 1956 Benjamin 317 .177 air rifle.
When I settled into my own home, I started my first colony with an original Trio Castle and Trio Grandpa. When I moved again, I did not put up any martin houses. Frustration with European Starlings in the Southeast US was overwhelming.
Found PMCA Forum and learned about modern enlarged compartments and SREHs.
Inherited my father's last martin house, a Trio Grandma, modified it to modern specifications and have had good results since then.

Deb,
The top floor dents and one hole were probably BBs but the bottom floor through and through holes were .22 bullet holes.
That Trio house does look pitiful except for the martins and nestlings. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder!

Mary,
I remember you pondered a Trio house because of the dilapidated houses in your nearby town. Go find a Trio Grandpa, Grandma, MSS8, MSS12, or Castle that someone in town will donate to you. Especially if you could get the pole system. The Trio Jedi Masters could talk you through a refurbishment of one of those houses. The key is the pole system since it is so big and bulky to ship.
I will even dig up the bottom pole with concrete base to have a complete pole system. Lots of work to dig it up a pole with concrete base, bust off the concrete with a sledge hammer, scrape off the remnants of concrete, clean off the surface rust, treat with phosphoric acid and paint with epoxy paint . I have even had to use a hydraulic press to straighten out a slightly bent pole. But that house and pole system is now mounted into a ground socket and is full of martins. Would have been a lot cheaper to buy a new one but I can be dumb and stubborn sometimes. LOL now but not at the time.
Mark.
Last edited by 4th Gen Martin Fan on Wed May 18, 2016 10:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Mark.
Firm believer in HOSP/EUST Control, Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.
MamaBruff
Posts: 1466
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:21 pm
Location: SW Missouri
Martin Colony History: 2013-2016 Unsuccessful at starting a PM colony. Health problems.
Rehomed all my PM stuff. Good Luck and Best Wishes to All.

Deb, Mark, Okie, and others...

Thank you for putting up with my sharp comments. I am sorry for posting when I should have just kept scrolling along... sometimes the frustration and disappointment becomes overwhelming, and lashing out is not the way to fix anything. (Embarrassed and sorry.)

My Auntie Joan is 87 and has a Trio grandma with rope and pole that is currently neglected. I have contacted her about using it. I also ordered a plastic house combo kit from S&K, very reasonable. Time to pull out all the stops and see if ANYTHING will work...

Love to all, and many wishes for thriving colonies. Please accept my humble apologies. We are all in this together, thru good and bad times. My PMCA friends are some of the BEST people I know, who really understand me.
~Mary B~

Lifelong PM Admirer and Nature Enthusiast.
Ruthless trapper of S&S year round.
2013-2016 Unsuccessful at starting a PM colony. Health problems.
Rehomed all my PM stuff. Good Luck and Best Wishes to All.
Okie
Posts: 541
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:26 pm
Location: Claremore, OK
Martin Colony History: 2016 Informed landlord now Have 2 pair returning from 2015 That is a miracle. Hoping for a very successful year, sparrow population on decline.
First house was plastic with crescent holes Had martins within a few days. Ignorant landlord gradually lost them
Then got Trio House and still lost most of them. Lots of sparrows

Mary, I am sure we have all done the same at some time in our life. Sometimes it builds up & has to come out somehow. We are all imperfect humans. All is well We are all supporters of each other and the important thing is we are all still friends. Love ya lady :wink:
Blessings & good luck this season I am rooting for you
Okie
PMCA member
2016 Started with 2 pair, 1 pair abandoned after HOSP destroyed eggs
1 pair= 6 eggs, 6 fledged
2017 1 pair so far, But they abandoned before nest complete for ?reason? Now Bridless and joined the Wannabes
2018 One pair ASY male SY female 5 eggs, 5 fledged
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