Martin Head Games

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Kegger
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:58 am
Location: Awesome Florida
Martin Colony History: Newbie in 2020: 2 pair of SY with 4 eggs each in Troyer Horizontals
fledged a total of 7 Martins

I think a new batch of Martins have landed in my area the last week. They seem
to be interested in my new 11 cavity setup. The problem is a male sparrow has
decided to try to defend 11 cavities. The Martins high pitch squeak on
approach makes the sparrow leave his cavity on a sparrow filled S&S red barn and go to the
Martin house about 60 ft away. Martins land around him but if they get within
2 ft he goes berserk. The odds are 6 martins (appears to be a mixture of large male
and female ASY and SY to 1 male sparrow. Since the sparrow refuses to yield, the SY have been landing
on top of the red barn,chattering away, creating panick while older ASY fly overhead chattering.
Poor sparrow gets tired off flying back and forth. I asked hun which birds go?
THE SPARROW OF COURSE!! She said let nature take its course. I make
it tougher for the sparrows. Any ideas? 8) I have a cool video
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Fuzzmeister
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:02 pm
Location: Saskatchewan Canada

My thoughts are this! Nature can take its course and you might have more sparrows then purple martins Over time! If you allow them! Sparrows are a invasive species that invade a lot of other birds that are protected and do not deserve to be here. My neighbor has a purple Martin house and he never managed the sparrows, and they have taken over the house. I would get rid of the sparrow after all it is a purple Martin house not a sparrow house.
Kegger
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:58 am
Location: Awesome Florida
Martin Colony History: Newbie in 2020: 2 pair of SY with 4 eggs each in Troyer Horizontals
fledged a total of 7 Martins

i agree with you Fuzzmeister, so does my wife and she feeds them.
Since this am a SY pair seem to have gotten cozy in 1 of the gourds.
So far 4 others have done some cavity inspections, 2 seem to be ASY
males. This all started at todays sunrise or a little later. They have been
flying here for the past few days. I have only 4 cavities open on the house.
Do you think closing what the Martins do not pick help? Perhaps make it worse? I
have a plan to
eliminate some of the problem very soon.
PMDavid
Posts: 534
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 8:50 pm
Location: Boyce,Louisiana
Martin Colony History: 2018 1 lone nut and lots of visitors
2019 6 pair -21fledged
2020 18 pair -60 fledged
2021......to be seen.
24 natural gourds on a satellite rack,9 other gourds scattered around
2-12 compartment trio houses
Rarely see a sparrow or starling,but when I do they don’t last long!
Will have a second satellite rack for the 2022 season and phase out the houses,the martins here strongly prefer natural gourds.

Kegger ,unless you want sparrows instead of martins there is only one answer to the question......totally eliminate the rat birds. They will peck your Martin eggs and/or kill the baby martins or drag em out of the house. At any rate,do you want martins or sparrows? The sparrows have to go and stop feeding them.
C.C.Martins
Posts: 1118
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

Shoot the sparrow
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
Kegger
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:58 am
Location: Awesome Florida
Martin Colony History: Newbie in 2020: 2 pair of SY with 4 eggs each in Troyer Horizontals
fledged a total of 7 Martins

Been trying to shoot these things for a month and a half. Hun stopped
feeding all birds 2 weeks ago. I built a trap from plans I got on this site
which has not caught a 100 birds in a day. :idea:
deancamp
Posts: 672
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

If the sparrows are living in the house can you use a nest cavity trap? When they go into their nest they will be trapped one at a time. Be persistent and keep working the numbers down.
Jeff Dean
PMDavid
Posts: 534
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 8:50 pm
Location: Boyce,Louisiana
Martin Colony History: 2018 1 lone nut and lots of visitors
2019 6 pair -21fledged
2020 18 pair -60 fledged
2021......to be seen.
24 natural gourds on a satellite rack,9 other gourds scattered around
2-12 compartment trio houses
Rarely see a sparrow or starling,but when I do they don’t last long!
Will have a second satellite rack for the 2022 season and phase out the houses,the martins here strongly prefer natural gourds.

Kegger is there anyway you could post a pic of the trap you built?
Kegger
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:58 am
Location: Awesome Florida
Martin Colony History: Newbie in 2020: 2 pair of SY with 4 eggs each in Troyer Horizontals
fledged a total of 7 Martins

Took my repeating bait trap(see-saw type) apart yesterday. I have read
not to use green coated wire material . i used 1/2 x 1/2 mesh green
coated of course . Changing it over today.

a pair of SY in a Troyer horizontal gourd pointing south have spent 3 nights.
a single male SY has spent at least 1 night in a house cavity facing east.
Yesterday while 3 Martins were perched 8 flew over the house some
appeared to be larger and darker, a lot of martin chattering.
No sparrow lives in my house ever. A couple males tried but I evicted. Closed the
cavity and opened another. 3 or 4 times over 2 months and opening
and closing randomly recently. 3 facing east now open. I never saw
a sparrow enter either gourd with Conley 2. My crescent house doors measure 1.2

I am sure i can find a trap that would fit my house build.
I did find a dead sparrow the last 2 days on the S&K barn. Both killed and left
behind. Seems to be more male Sparrow then female.Constant male battling.

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Kegger
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:58 am
Location: Awesome Florida
Martin Colony History: Newbie in 2020: 2 pair of SY with 4 eggs each in Troyer Horizontals
fledged a total of 7 Martins

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Kegger
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:58 am
Location: Awesome Florida
Martin Colony History: Newbie in 2020: 2 pair of SY with 4 eggs each in Troyer Horizontals
fledged a total of 7 Martins

8) a dozen or so martin visitors yesterday ,some asy and sy ,prompted
me to open all house cavities. i observed some asy entering a conley2
door for the 1st time. The sy couple,back in their south gourd, started
adding to the prenesting material yesterday morning. took me too many shots,
but I finally got rid of mr. sparrow only to get a replacement. My martin
count up to 6 this am. all SY
Spiderman
Posts: 822
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

Your dealing with limited time to get new Martins this year, so I would be persistent in eliminating the Sparrows.
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
Kegger
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:58 am
Location: Awesome Florida
Martin Colony History: Newbie in 2020: 2 pair of SY with 4 eggs each in Troyer Horizontals
fledged a total of 7 Martins

your right Spiderman, finished reassembling my seesaw trap today so
tomorrow I will set it up again with some kind of snack for them. I'm
hoping I can eliminate most just to make it a little easier for the
Martins.
Kegger
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:58 am
Location: Awesome Florida
Martin Colony History: Newbie in 2020: 2 pair of SY with 4 eggs each in Troyer Horizontals
fledged a total of 7 Martins

found a Moscovy duck w/ a broken wing and a squirrel yesterday next to
my repeating rat birds trap, only bait left in holding pen. Must have been
kinky.
Jschneider
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:37 pm
Location: Beaufort, NC

I’m having more trouble trapping sparrrow this year than past years. Each time I place a trap in where sparrows are building nest then they chose an alternate. The Martins are fighting them off currently, but exhausting me and probably the Martins. Any ideas on trapping. Once I catch one can usual use my larger recurring trap to get the rest
Kegger
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:58 am
Location: Awesome Florida
Martin Colony History: Newbie in 2020: 2 pair of SY with 4 eggs each in Troyer Horizontals
fledged a total of 7 Martins

welcome back all!
after managing to eliminate 3 older male sparrows via cavity trap
the young sparrows decided to pay more attention to their own spot.
My repeating trap has caught a blue jay which I released and a
couple sparrows where starting to become more interested in it.
They still have not been tricked, but after removing it because of
recent winds and rain, they have been looking for the seed I was
using for bait. I noticed a behavior change in the 4 Martins since
Saturday morning. Momma staying close, dad extra protective.
I did a nest check Monday and found 4 eggs. Some pine straw
missing from other gourd which I also replaced.

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Kegger
Posts: 213
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:58 am
Location: Awesome Florida
Martin Colony History: Newbie in 2020: 2 pair of SY with 4 eggs each in Troyer Horizontals
fledged a total of 7 Martins

I read here that fledglings will stay with parents for up to 2 weeks. Should
nesting material be removed then to make more room in a gourd? So far I
have eliminated most of the older HOSP ( about 15) that were giving my Martins trouble
early on, but still the Martins ( 2 pair in their horizontal gourds) are chasing
younger HOSP away from my closed up 9 cavity house. Question: Should I try to
open any house cavities for the Martin fledglings ( about 6) after the parents
kick them out? HOSP are still actively pairing up and trying to nest elsewhere.
Gourd 1 will start to fledge the end of May. Gourd 2 are about ready to hatch.
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