Wait of 18 years is finally over

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Posts: 85
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2003 7:13 pm
Location: Iowa/Keystone
Martin Colony History: 2020 - First nesting pair.
2002 - 2019 - Trying

My wait of 18 years is over – I have my first nesting pair.

I waited until all the eggs hatched before I decided to let everyone know. I had a bad event in 2007 where the female died during egg laying so I wanted to make sure nothing bad was going to happen this time. I was concerned this year was going to be bad also. The first egg the martin laid was pecked by a wren and thrown out of the nest that same day. It happened so fast I didn’t realize what had happened. After that event, anytime I saw the wren anywhere close, I ran outside to scare it off. Any sparrows that come anywhere close to house are dispatched quickly. I was glad to see the Martins stayed at my site and laid three more eggs. As of this morning all three eggs have hatched and everyone is doing fine. Including me - :grin:

To all those who are still trying - please don't give up.

My mentor told me to keep making changes to your site each year until you attract them. This last change look like it did the trick. I added 4 gourds below my T-14 house and the my first nesting pair is in one of those gourds.

Enjoy the picture. I know I enjoying watching on the video camera I have setup.

Cheers David
PM Babies -06-29-2020.JPG
PM Babies -06-29-2020.JPG (57.74 KiB) Viewed 1200 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
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.

I wanted to be the first to congratulate you. That is a long wait and it finally came true. I hope that they all fldge and a few make it back to your newly started colony. I have been praying for you all these years to get some martins. Nice picture too.
Dave Duit
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Peter Alberda
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:09 pm
Location: Michigan, Zeeland
Martin Colony History: Started with Amish copy of Trendsetter 12 room house, added Trio Grandpa with expanded rooms, and North Star 8. Taking Trendsetter down this spring and adding gourd rack.

Congratulations! We have a pair this year also. Eggs should hatch in a couple days. I hope the heat isn’t a problem. Good luck!
2020 - A pair of SY birds with three nice chicks. Lots of visitors all year long.
2015-2019 - A few lookers.
2014 - ASY male and SY female fledged four chicks.
2013 - Several visitors but none stayed to nest.
2012 - Lots of visitors all season long. We had a pair of sys but no chicks survived.
2011 - New location - A few visitors
2010 - First year – Poor house location.
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:58 pm
Location: Moneta, Virginia

I’m digging the nest cam photo!!
Posts: 167
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:17 pm
Location: Topeka, KS
Martin Colony History: 2015 1 SY pair, 2 eggs destroyed by house sparrow
2016 1 ASY pair, 5 eggs, 2 hatchlings, 2 fledged
2017 1 ASY pair, 5 eggs, 5 hatchlings, 5 fledged; 1 SY pair, 4 eggs not incubated
2018 daily visitors but no takers
2019 1 SY pair, 4 eggs, 2 destroyed by House Wren, 2 hatchlings, 2 fledged
2020 1ASY pair, 5 eggs, 5 hatchlings, 5 fledged


Prayers for your continued success this season. We have been lucky to have one pair nesting all but one year over the last 6 years, , but how disheartening to see a house wren destroy eggs, or the dreaded house sparrow do the same (we've watched both). It's stressful but still so rewarding as you know, to be able to host and observe these amazing birds.

We have a ASY pair nesting now with 5 babies that could fledge around July 9. Today I noticed mites on the outside of the gourd (constant watching with binoculars!) so we will treat those with Sevin this afternoon.

We do have bluebirds nesting and luckily, they do not compete with the martins. Bluebirds are great for running off house wrens and house sparrows, I swear that they herd the house sparrows back to the trap house fitted with Spare-O-Doors! We've eliminated 16 sparrows in our little neighborhood so far this season, Yay!

Loved the photo of your 3 babies, congrats, and best to you this season!!!
Michelle in Topeka
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