Had Martins again but no breeding. Looking for some advice

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MY FYN 79
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:58 pm
Location: Chilton Wisconsin

Hi All,

Looking for some advice if possible. This was our second year having gourds out, and again we had Martins visiting. I couldn't ID whether this years were male or female, but they were Martins and the song is obviously not mistakable. Over a 2 day span we had a pair messing around popping in and out of multiple gourds. Both before and after those couple days it was only one at a time though. And now I havent seen any Martins for over a week.

So this makes the 2nd year we've had Martins here, but no luck with mating. In everyones experience, is it harder to draw them in, or to get them to stick around and mate? Hoping for some advice before I make any big changes, maybe I'm just not patient enough.

I would gladly get pictures of my setup if it helped. Currently have 6 BO9s with all the bells and whistles added on.

Thanks!!!
Dave Duit
Posts: 1932
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.

Hi MY FYN,
It can take years before a martin pair might make a nest and have nestlings. I waited 6 years until my first pair, other landlords wait even longer. I suggest going on this website under the "Purple Martins" heading and pull down to "attracting". There you will see a great deal of info on assisting you in starting a new colony. Make sure your housing is deep enough, 12 inches and it is located away from tall trees and shrubs near the ground. There are other techiniques such as playing the dawnsong on CD player or smearing a little mud on the outside entrances to make it appear as if there was a successful nest prior. Prenesting with soft white pine needles, offering crushed egg shells on a feeding tray, and a few other tactics can be found in the website. The hardest thing about attrracting a martins to our location is the waiting game.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Black Jack
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon May 06, 2019 4:37 pm
Location: NC

I had your same gourds for 2 yrs and had visitors but never took to the gourds. This season i grew my own gourds and have attracted 12 nesting pr. Last season i had 1 nesting pr of ASY which came back from the year before. They nested in a heath gourd which i have since taken down and put up my home grown gourds. You might find they work for you. Be sure to paint them white and cure them. You can go on line and find out all the details.
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3134
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

To answer your other question, in most parts of the US that have normal martin populations it is easy to get them to visit, not as easy to get them to stay. Some part north into Canada it is hard to even draw them in because there are very few martins in some of those areas. Some members on here have only seen a couple martins in 15-20 years.
202160 nests with 187 eggs (6-3-20) HOSP count-9
2020 Currently 42 nest, Fledged approx 164 HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair last count 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional lone SY's
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.
Ed Svetich-WI
Posts: 809
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:05 pm
Location: Brooks, Wi (McGinnis Lake)
Martin Colony History: 24 Super and Excluder Gourds on two gourd racks, all SREH. Full occupancy. My philosophy is to maximize fledge % with existing cavities rather than adding gourds to grow colony, thus providing opportunities for new colony expansion. Fledge over 100 nestlings yearly from 24 gourds. Band nestlings in cooperation with state university. 2019 Adendum: Reduced colony size to 12 gourds to focus on more intensive management regimen.

Google the Wisconsin Purple Martin Association and you will find some groups to contact. Realistically, it can take a long time to attract martins. Location is the most important criteria. There are quite a few martin colonies within a short drive from you. Being between Lake Michigan and Lake Winnebago puts you in an ideal location if you have a good site and housing.

Search out an active colony and ask for assistance. We do not have as many martins here as other parts of the country, but I know of at least a dozen near me down by the Wisconsin Dell's. A good location has a good chance to attract a pair. Two years is not a long time to wait. Patience.

Good luck.

Ed
MY FYN 79
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:58 pm
Location: Chilton Wisconsin

Thanks for the advice everyone.

I'll continue doing some research and be more patient. Just tough seeing them hang around and not hook up. :)
Cjs180
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu May 28, 2020 8:17 pm
Location: Oshkosh WI

You should have plenty of martins around you. I just bought my used T14 from a guy in Chilton quiet a ways away from the lake. If you take a drive by boat on the east shore of Winnebago there are houses all over. Most probably have no idea of this organization.

On the west shore where my parents live on the lake, in the bay they live in I bet there are at least 10-15 landlords and all have birds.

It took us 4 years to get a nesting pair. I am on the west shore between Oshkosh and Neenah about 2 miles from the lake. Putting gourds up last year I think really helped.

We had 5 eggs but only one hatched. Hopefully that one makes it and the couple return next year.

Good luck. Chris
Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1940
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:35 pm
Location: Little Hocking, Oh.
Martin Colony History: 2018 Success at my Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”.
2019 Success at my home Site "Little Hocking, Ohio".

,,,,,,,,,,,, I hate to start with the old line,, " Just hang in there"" I did and I can't tell you how many years I have tried. But about every two or three years I moved my houses to a different spot in my yard.. Finally last year I got a pair to stay and they had 5 babies.. This year they came back and have four babies at the moment, and they will fledge around the end of this month.. So keep on trying different things from year to year, and hopefully they will return and nest..

Dave
Home Site “Little Hocking, Ohio”
2010 / 2018 -- Lots of Visitors
2019 — 1 Pair, 5 Eggs, 5 Babies, 5 fledged. :wink:
2020 — 1 Pair, 4 Eggs, 4 Babies, 4 fledged. :wink:
2021 — 6 Pair, 23 Eggs, So far. :wink:

Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”
2018 -- 15 Pair, 58 Eggs, 38 Hatched and 36 Fledged :wink:
2019 — 26 Pair, 128 Eggs, 99 Babies and 97 Fledged. :wink:
2020 — 30 Pair, 156 Eggs, 137 Babies and 137 Fledged. :wink:
2021 — 26 Pair, 100 Eggs, So far.. :wink:
PMCA Member
maddaug
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon May 18, 2020 7:30 am
Location: central Illinois

MY FYN 79 wrote:
Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:06 am
Hi All,

Looking for some advice if possible. This was our second year having gourds out, and again we had Martins visiting. I couldn't ID whether this years were male or female, but they were Martins and the song is obviously not mistakable. Over a 2 day span we had a pair messing around popping in and out of multiple gourds. Both before and after those couple days it was only one at a time though. And now I havent seen any Martins for over a week.

So this makes the 2nd year we've had Martins here, but no luck with mating. In everyones experience, is it harder to draw them in, or to get them to stick around and mate? Hoping for some advice before I make any big changes, maybe I'm just not patient enough.

I would gladly get pictures of my setup if it helped. Currently have 6 BO9s with all the bells and whistles added on.

Thanks!!!
My two thoughts, were these PM's just recently going in and out of your gourds? Here's how our season has played out. First year and have one pair in gourds and one pair in the house both with nestlings.
Within the last two weeks we've had SY and some ASY birds coming and going probably because of our babies I imagine. The ASY have been going in and out the gourds and singing the mating song. We did look this up and it's said that they are looking for next years sites and claiming ownership to those gourds. If true then we will have many more hopefully coupling up. It is too late for them now to breed.
Don't know if this helps but I do hope yours were shopping for next year!!!
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