New landlord

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Fuzzmeister
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:02 pm
Location: Saskatchewan Canada

Hi I am attempting to attract a colony of purple martins, I am in the process of building a 16 room house and hope to have it done soon all though I think I have until April of 2018 to have it in place. I was wondering if all you purple Martin landlords could give me some tips on attracting them I should mention that my neighbor has a martin house and is full of purple martins.
Whippy
Posts: 841
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: See Signature

I was a new landlord in 2016 but began late in the year. However, what I know about this forum is that there is a wealth of information and years of experience throughout. I found myself going back many pages looking at posts with titles in line with what was on my mind. You will receive many replies as well and I can tell you that, with those replies and my research, I was successful in attracting my first pair in 2017 and am looking forward to increasing the numbers in 2018.

I looked at this site every day since I joined. In 2016 I started my attempt late in the season but practiced what I learned during that time and lured many visitors late in the summer to my gourd rack. When 2017 season rolled around I was more than ready and was successful.

Buy the Morning Song CD, the Chatter CD and a few decoys. Many landlords here have their special way of presenting these tools and it all works well. Search the site for those topics. I bought all of that material from this site.

Good luck to you and welcome. You will enjoy the company and the experience you'll receive from the members.

Coolwhips.
2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged
Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6743
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)
Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

My best tip is to position the birdhouse as far away from any trees as possible. Martins will not use a house if the trees are too close by.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
Fuzzmeister
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:02 pm
Location: Saskatchewan Canada

I was planning on putting it at least 50 feet away from any trees or buildings but the fact that my neighbor has a house just a couple hundred feet away makes me think I could attract them if I put a decoy on it not 100 percent sure just my 2 cents worth. What is the minimum height that the pole should be?
C.C.Martins
Posts: 1017
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA made adjustments and next year was successful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021:
Home colony: mix natural gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 gourds: PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021:
PMCA member

Welcome! Id mirror the neighbors height but it also depends on the type of house set up you are going to put up. Youll have to consider wind and storms for example. I have 2 houses up, 15-20 feet high. As someone suggested, look through here and read everything. It will surprise you how much information is available. I put mud just inside the cavities to make it look used and lived in, put in straw, hung gourds too. Eventually I took the gourds off and the Martins took the mud out themselves but the point was to overwhelm their senses. The martins will be dedicated to your neighbors site, but they will investigate...that's what happened to me. You will get them.
Best of luck and welcome!
Tom
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
Fuzzmeister
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:02 pm
Location: Saskatchewan Canada

Tom curious to know what is the purpose of the gourds?
C.C.Martins
Posts: 1017
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA made adjustments and next year was successful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021:
Home colony: mix natural gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 gourds: PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021:
PMCA member

They love gourds, so I bought some and hung them under the house to get their attention...they proved a liability with the wind and were banging around so since they were not chosen by the martins took them off and eventually mounted a 4x excluder gourd rack nearby. I was desperate I think...stick to the principles (location, predator guards, pest control (sevin dust/SREH), location, location, location, enlarged rooms) and you will be good to go.
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
Fuzzmeister
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:02 pm
Location: Saskatchewan Canada

I made my rooms 6 inches x 6 inches and 6 high I found out after I made it that they like the rooms even bigger but to late now, so I have no other alternative but to try it thanks every one for the advice.
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!

Location, location, location! Put it in the right spot and you'll get them! Good luck! :)
Sharon from southern Illinois
ToyinPA
Posts: 2153
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:07 pm
Location: PA/Avis
Martin Colony History: The 1972 St. Agnes flood wiped out all the Martins in my area. One day, in 1997-98, 5 or 6 Martins landed on the power wires crossing my back yard. I had no house for them. They kept coming back day after day. We got a martin house a few weeks later & they have been coming back every year since. I average 12-15 pair per year.

Fuzzmeister wrote:Hi I am attempting to attract a colony of purple martins, I am in the process of building a 16 room house and hope to have it done soon all though I think I have until April of 2018 to have it in place. I was wondering if all you purple Martin landlords could give me some tips on attracting them I should mention that my neighbor has a martin house and is full of purple martins.
Your rooms are too small, so it may take longer to attract some & keep them coming back. Since you are still building your house I would highly suggest you make them larger (deeper) if possible. 10-12 inches deep would be better. Removable nest trays would also make it easier to do nest changes & clean out. The PMCA sells them in their store or you can build them yourself.

I would make your housing look used. Smear a little mud around the entrances & just inside. Pre-nest using dried white pine needles. Gather extra pine needles to use through-out the season for nest changes. A big hand full or so in each cavity. This helps them have a dry warm place when they first arrive.

Height should be the same or close to what your neighbor has. Average is 15-18 feet in the air. Place your housing as far away from trees as possible. Once you have a colony established they will accept a tree growing nearby. Also a pole with a winch would work best. If possible use Stainless Steel Cable, as it will last a long time. Here we can buy it at Lowe's. It's in the section with all the nails, screws, etc. They will cut it to size for you.

Since there is a colony very close to you, your chances are very good of getting a colony started. If your neighbor supplement feeds then you will probably need to as well.

Also offer crushed eggs shells to help with egg laying. The martins will also eat them & feed them to their chicks as a source of calcium. Egg shells should be well rinsed & baked at 250 degrees for 20-30 minutes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Then cool & crush to about 1/4 inch in size. I think you can also microwave them, but I haven't tried that method yet.

Another thing you should do, since you are so far north, is to check for trapped martins. Often several will cram into one cavity to stay warm on a very cold night & they get trapped inside. Sadly many will die. So keep an eye on your housing during those really cold nights & check to see if they are leaving in the morning. If not you may need to lower your house & open the door to get them out.

Open a few rooms when your neighbor opens his. To start I would only open rooms facing your house, so you can see which rooms they are using. As more arrive then open more rooms. Save a few rooms for the SY males. If you aren't getting any ASY Males, once your neighbor is full up, then open the rooms & let the SY's fill it up. Next year they will return as ASY males :).

If possible take some time & read, read, read the posts on here. There is a ton if info that will help you attract & maintain a colony.

Best wishes,
Toy in PA
PMCA Member
Fuzzmeister
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:02 pm
Location: Saskatchewan Canada

Toy
Thanks for the info sounds like you have been doing this for quite some time, I won't be able to change the size of my rooms the house is pretty well completed so I will have to wait and see what happens I found this particular plan on the internet so I presumed it was up to the standards for what purple martins like ,oh well I can make another one if they don't like this one, what is the recommended size?
ToyinPA
Posts: 2153
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:07 pm
Location: PA/Avis
Martin Colony History: The 1972 St. Agnes flood wiped out all the Martins in my area. One day, in 1997-98, 5 or 6 Martins landed on the power wires crossing my back yard. I had no house for them. They kept coming back day after day. We got a martin house a few weeks later & they have been coming back every year since. I average 12-15 pair per year.

Fuzzmeister wrote:Toy
Thanks for the info sounds like you have been doing this for quite some time, I won't be able to change the size of my rooms the house is pretty well completed so I will have to wait and see what happens I found this particular plan on the internet so I presumed it was up to the standards for what purple martins like ,oh well I can make another one if they don't like this one, what is the recommended size?

Yep. I've had Martins least 20 years now. I started with the S&K barns on stationary poles back in 1997. Climbed a 17 foot ladder many times doing nest checks, etc. That got old real quick. Switched to tri-tel poles, but they also were a pain. I now have two T-10 houses, with removable nest trays on 3 inch square poles/winches. They not only are much easier to work with, but the martins like them better than my old housing.

Deeper rooms are best. Most are 6 inches wide x 6 inches high x 11 inches deep. They allow the nest to be built larger, be back further from the entrance & keep predators from reaching the nest. The PMCA store has plans you can buy. https://www.purplemartin.org/shop/produ ... use-plans/

This site also has free plans: http://www.chuckspurplemartinpage.com/buildt14.htm

I will suggest you limit your housing to how many pairs you can care for long term. Once you get a colony they will return for many years & grow in size. I had 3 - 16 rooms barns, downsized to 2-10 room houses. I have health issues, so I figured it wouldn't be fair to the martins if I couldn't care for them properly.

Many start small & build their housing as their colony grows, changing to better housing & poles, etc. Since you have a colony practically next door I'm sure you will get Martins. You may consider starting out better & bigger. It will save you money in the long run.

Best wishes,
Toy in PA
PMCA Member
Fuzzmeister
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:02 pm
Location: Saskatchewan Canada

Toy
The house I built has 16 rooms I got the plan off of the internet it looked simple to build, it was probably one of the earlier ones built and they didn't realize at the time that martins needed more room to survive it has a ventilation shaft in it for air flow which I understand is a important feature for the birds to stay cool. From what I have been hearing white is the color to paint these houses, does it matter what color the roof is ?
ToyinPA
Posts: 2153
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:07 pm
Location: PA/Avis
Martin Colony History: The 1972 St. Agnes flood wiped out all the Martins in my area. One day, in 1997-98, 5 or 6 Martins landed on the power wires crossing my back yard. I had no house for them. They kept coming back day after day. We got a martin house a few weeks later & they have been coming back every year since. I average 12-15 pair per year.

Fuzz:

Martin house roofs vary in color, but most are either white, green or silver. Like our homes the darker the roof, the more heat is absorbed, & the hotter the attic area is. The lighter the roof the less heat is absorbed. Some do a light roof with the peak trimmed in a darker color. I don't think the Martins care what color it is. Their main objective is locating a desirable site & building a nest.

I don't know what your summers are like in Canada, but here in central PA it can get very hot & humid. With my old housing I would see chicks hanging out panting. This is not good, because they are dehydrating. Even tho the rooms had small holes drilled to let the heat out, it wasn't enough. When I purchased the T-10 houses they had no vent holes. We added two 2 inch round vents to each room. I have no knowledge how the ventilation shaft works in your housing. Perhaps other Canadian landlords may help you with that.

Toy in PA
PMCA Member
Fuzzmeister
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:02 pm
Location: Saskatchewan Canada

Toy
Thanks for sharing all your valuable information I am looking forward to finding some purple martins this spring thanks to every one for the info.
ToyinPA
Posts: 2153
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:07 pm
Location: PA/Avis
Martin Colony History: The 1972 St. Agnes flood wiped out all the Martins in my area. One day, in 1997-98, 5 or 6 Martins landed on the power wires crossing my back yard. I had no house for them. They kept coming back day after day. We got a martin house a few weeks later & they have been coming back every year since. I average 12-15 pair per year.

Fuzzmeister wrote:Toy
Thanks for sharing all your valuable information I am looking forward to finding some purple martins this spring thanks to every one for the info.
Fuzz:

You are very welcome. Glad I could help. We are looking forward to your posts come spring telling us you have Martins :).

Toy in PA
PMCA Member
Fuzzmeister
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:02 pm
Location: Saskatchewan Canada

Toy
I sure will let you know what's going on I can't wait to see that first pair of martins carrying straw into that house to make a nest. Thanks again.
Anthony Neira
Posts: 1317
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:12 pm
Location: San Antonio /Texas
Martin Colony History: Started in 1992 From neighbors old 1950-60's colonies. Have 8 Trio 6 Room Houses, 4 MPP Poles, 1 Heath Deluxe Gourd with Troyer Porch, 8 NatureLine Gourds with Troyer Porches, 5 Troyer Horizontals ,& 2 S&K 11" WITH Troyer Porches ready for 2019 Season !

:grin: Does your new house have porch/s ? Every 6 x 6 room/s would benefit from having the extra space of a porch !
Sounds good that you are willing to work on that for 2019 !! :grin: Best of luck on 2018 !
PMCA Member, 8 Trio 6 Room Houses, 1 Heath Deluxe Gourd with Troyer Porch, 8 NatureLine Gourds with Troyer Porches, 5 Troyer Horizontals + Tunnels, & 2 S&K Bo 11"s WITH Troyer Porches ! 4 MPPs, For 2019 Season !! :grin: Started in 1992 from Older '50-'60s Colonies.
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

Where in Sask are you located?
Adam
Fifth Year Landlord
Fuzzmeister
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:02 pm
Location: Saskatchewan Canada

Hi I'm southwest of you I am in leader
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