Screech Owl house good idea or bad

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jhcox
Posts: 545
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 9:23 am
Location: tennesse
Martin Colony History: Started colony in 2014. 0 pairs
2015 0 pairs
2016 0 pairs
2017 0 pairs but visitors
2018 1 pair fledged 5
2019 10 pair
2020 25 pair

I was wondering if screech owls bother martin colonies. I was thinking about putting one along the wood line of my property. But I wanted to know if they would try to feed on martins. They are such a small owl wasn’t sure if they could even catch or kill a martin.
pmlover
Posts: 806
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:30 pm
Location: OH/New Concord

bad idea
2015 69 pairs 418 eggs 396 fledged
2019 I have 148 openings now
2016 100 pairs 600 babies fledged added another t-14 and have 126 openings now
2015 Jun 24 360 babies and 58 eggs also found one that had died
2017 632 babies 11died and 20 were killed by hawks
2015 74 pairs and 9 eggs 5/14
2010 3pairss
]JOINED PMCA JUNE 6,2018
2018 651 babies 5 hawk kills 11 floater kills 25 died in houses and 610 fledged

2014 80 pairs 283 babies 282 fledged one died
Dave Duit
Posts: 1912
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: Iowa / Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2020, 60 pair with 285 fledged youngsters. 83 total cavities available, 58 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified deep trio metal house units, 1 fallout shelter, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President and founder of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit www.iamartin.org and join.

Here is a previous post by PMCA's Louise Chamber.
" I think you can house both, but would advise use of 100% SREH, to keep the screech owls from raiding nests. And I would want some space between their locations on your property. The screech owls would be fine in a more treed in area. We have had numerous reports, often from FL or the deep south, of screech owls nesting in martin houses and gourds, as well as some of screech owl predation - but not nearly as often as larger owls raid martin houses."
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
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 have a Kestrel house on my property that over the winter months a screech owl usually roosts in it. I was surprised to find cardinal and blue jay feathers in house during my spring cleaning of the house.

If a screech owl can take down cardinals and blue jays I think it would have no problems with a martin.

Cheers David
Attachments
Kestrel House 2019 Reduced.jpg
Kestrel House 2019 Reduced.jpg (173.65 KiB) Viewed 4870 times
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
jhcox
Posts: 545
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 9:23 am
Location: tennesse
Martin Colony History: Started colony in 2014. 0 pairs
2015 0 pairs
2016 0 pairs
2017 0 pairs but visitors
2018 1 pair fledged 5
2019 10 pair
2020 25 pair

Hey Dave Duet I was thinking of putting the houses 3 to 4 hundred yards away from the Martin racks up near the woods. I have all STEH and the racks at near my house. As far as the owls getting into the houses they have the tunnels. Sdsteil-IA I would think that the feathers found in your Kestral house those types of birds just roost in trees at night not in gourds right? Or could the Kestral have killed them?
Spiderman
Posts: 818
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

I have Screech Owls that nest & have young in my front yard & tons of Martins in the back yard. Never had any Fledglings or adults come up missing from those owls.

Usually they go to the street light on the street at the end of the driveway and catch insects all night.

Barred Owls and Great Northern Owls will kill the Screech Owls if they catch them out at night.
2008 - 33 PAIR - FLEDGED 96 YOUNG
2009 - 51 PAIR - FLEDGED 166 YOUNG
2010 - 45 PAIR - FLEDGED 146 YOUNG
2011 - 33 PAIR - 128 HATCHED, 97 FLEDGED
2012 - 37 PAIR - 119 HATCHED, 101 FLEDGED
mjfog
Posts: 268
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:40 pm
Location: Palm City, FL
Martin Colony History: 2018 will be my first try. 6 S&K B09s. 29 eggs - 8 fledged
2019 - 12 Troyer Horizontals with tunnels, 6 S&K B09s and 12 B011s all with tunnels. 43 eggs - 36 fledged
2020 - Rack 1 - 6 B011s, Rack 2 - 24 B011s, and Rack 3 - 24 Troyer Horizontals. All gourds have tunnels, porches and crescent/Conley 11 entrances; racks have predator guards. 161 eggs - 88 fledged

Screech Owls are sporty dudes. I have two martin colones in my front yard and a wood duck nesting box on the pond in my back yard. Some years woodies win out; this year, as in others, the box belongs to screech owls. My owls and martins get along just fine.
As a retired wildlife biologist my mantra remains, "all God's creatures gotta eat." Sometimes martins get eaten. Martins like to eat dragonflies. We Southerners call them "mosquito hawks". Is there a Mosquito Hawk Conservation Association out there that recommends Purple Martin control? This is a little nutty but to you see my point?

All landlords are doing a wonderful service for purple martin conservation. Don't go berserk over losing birds to predators; it's just part of nature. But do your best do install predator control devices recommended by the Association. The colonies we all erect and maintain are very beneficial to the total population of martins and far offsets the few we lose to hawks, owls and snakes. House sparrows and starlings are a far greater threat. Trap, shoot and pinch the heads off these exotic pests.

Mike
jhcox
Posts: 545
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 9:23 am
Location: tennesse
Martin Colony History: Started colony in 2014. 0 pairs
2015 0 pairs
2016 0 pairs
2017 0 pairs but visitors
2018 1 pair fledged 5
2019 10 pair
2020 25 pair

Amen mjfog all gods creatures have a purpose and got to eat. On that note I believe I’ll get started on a couple Screech Owl boxes for the little fellows. I saw all kinds of birds of prey today at Dollywood’s wings over America birds of prey including a Screech Owl the average height of a Screech Owl is around 8 inches and weight is 5 ounces. And like someone on here stated that by the time the little Screech Owl gets out at night the PM are tucked away in there houses.
mjfog
Posts: 268
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:40 pm
Location: Palm City, FL
Martin Colony History: 2018 will be my first try. 6 S&K B09s. 29 eggs - 8 fledged
2019 - 12 Troyer Horizontals with tunnels, 6 S&K B09s and 12 B011s all with tunnels. 43 eggs - 36 fledged
2020 - Rack 1 - 6 B011s, Rack 2 - 24 B011s, and Rack 3 - 24 Troyer Horizontals. All gourds have tunnels, porches and crescent/Conley 11 entrances; racks have predator guards. 161 eggs - 88 fledged

sdsteil-IA - You're assuming the owl killed the cardinal and blue jay, brought the kills to the box, devoured the prey and left a few feathers of both species thereby confirming guilt. To me that's quite a stretch. Personally, I believe a blue jay could take down a screech owl, man to man or bird to bird. Screech owls are more likely to take small rodents and bugs. I think the feathers in the box have an origin other than from a screech owl kill. Discuss this with the Iowa wildlife biologist in your area. Keep in touch. Would like to hear what he or she has to say.

Mike
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

Mike,

All I can do is report what I see and you are right I am assuming that the screech owl killed the birds. I clean the box out in the fall after the Kestrels leave and in the spring after the screech owl leaves. The feathers were not there when I cleaned the box out in the fall. If you look closely in the photo there is a cardinal beak there also, so something is eating the birds in the box. I will talk with a wildlife biologist to see what they say.

I am not condemning the screech owl, he/she has to eat also. I love all birds (except starlings & House sparrows) including birds of prey that is why I put up the kestrel house. The kestrel house was actually a wood duck house that I had by the pond; but the kestrels started nesting in it and since it was close the martin houses I moved it later in the year after the kestrels fledged. I didn't want the kestrel house close to the martins. I was happy that the kestrels found it the following spring and nested in it again. The kestrel house is next to a gravel road and power lines and the house is more than 750ft from my martin houses.

I have attached a picture of the female kestrel when I tried to do a nest check. I was surprised she stayed in the box. No idea how many eggs she has. Last year she had 4 eggs and they all hatched and fledged.


Cheers David
Attachments
Kestrel 2019.jpg
Kestrel 2019.jpg (178.71 KiB) Viewed 4688 times
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
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