Help with Purple Martin House Location (New)

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ChickenMan
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:03 am
Location: Lexington, KY

Hi everyone, I'm new here. I tried getting into Martins about 10 years ago in NC (without much luck, but I didn't have a good setup there honestly and there were few known birds in my specific area). Now I am in KY just south of Lexington and there are Martin houses everywhere. Soooo, I figured it is time to try again!

Here is a map of my land with what I think "visually" are the best house locations. I know in theory Martins are best near your home, but there are a lot of farms around me and they have them out in the fields, near the roads, etc. etc. I also have some great "in-the-field-and-by-the-pond spots" but wanted to get input from the experts.

For reference, the pond in this image is about 4 acres and the driveway about 1/4 mile. Please ask any questions about any data points I may have missed.

Any help/suggestions are greatly appreciated!
PMHousePlacement.jpg
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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.

Hi Chicken Man,
Welcome to the world of purple martins. You will get many differing opinions as to the best location. The two locations nearest the pond are my vote. If I had to narrow it down to a single spot, I would go for the location just to the lower left of the 445" by the pond.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
ChickenMan
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:03 am
Location: Lexington, KY

Dave Duit wrote:
Mon Dec 14, 2020 10:58 am
Hi Chicken Man,
Welcome to the world of purple martins. You will get many differing opinions as to the best location. The two locations nearest the pond are my vote. If I had to narrow it down to a single spot, I would go for the location just to the lower left of the 445" by the pond.
Thank you. I think that will be a nice looking spot in the front as well- and they will have a lot of flying space. Curious to see other opinions too.

I'm attaching another picture of the view of the pond from the house to show where the ones by the lake would be visually.
MartinHouseFrontView.jpg
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rrmartins
Posts: 1435
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

I’d do 445 or 630, beautiful place you have.
Good luck!!!
2020
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
deancamp
Posts: 639
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

If it were me, I would keep it closer to my house so they could be seen and enjoyed easier. For instance if you have a deck on the back of your house and set out there much there is a lot of open space on the back side of your house as well. Any potential locations you have are plenty close to your lake that they will utilize the water it provides. My 2 cents.
No Regrets
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.

Chicken Man,
Wow !!! That is a scene from heaven. You have a beautiful place and the martins will really enjoy your accomodations. I live on a pond too, but your location is much better.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
ChickenMan
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:03 am
Location: Lexington, KY

Thank you all for your help. Based on the fact that we'd like to see the PM's (and I plan to build an awesome Taverner-style house for them as a winter project) I am going to go with the 230' location. It will be much closer to the house so we can see them and enjoy them- but still plenty of openness and access to the pond.

Now I'm going to start a thread about building the Taverner-style house!!!
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.

You really can't go wrong with any of the available locations. I'm glad you have made your decision. It is a good feeling to know in your mind were you will place it. The martins will love the pond and the proximity to your house will offer great viewing and you will laso be able to keep a closer watch on them.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
ryan_thomas
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:17 pm
Location: San Angelo, Tx
Martin Colony History: 2020: 3 Pairs

Howdy!

I personally think all of the locations are great potential sites. As mentioned above, you should consider how visible from your house you'd like the colony to be. Another option would be to place housing at multiple of these locations. Perhaps one at 230 and one at 630, or any combination really. Good luck in the upcoming year!
2020: 3 Pairs
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3101
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

I wouldn't worry one bit about closeness to the pond. I would pick an open spot within eye shot of where you spend the most time in your house. Your overall property is plenty open so if you spend most of your time in a certain room of the house I would go to that side, someplace that is within view of your window(s) and 60-100 feet away from the nearest trees. Martins will travel for miles to get to water, while it helps to have it near by, all things equal you will have as good of a shot with a house 600 feet away from that body of water as you will a house that is 50 feet from that body of water. To me pick the spot that will be easiest for you. Consider viewing from the house, carrying gourds/housing in the winter, easy to get to for nest checks etc.

When I picked my spot I chose the side of my house outside my living room window even though there are more trees and I am glad I did. Not being able to peak out during the day would take a lot of the joy out of it.
2021.................HOSP count-8
2020 Currently 42 nest, 110 babies, 64 eggs left to hatch(6-22-20) 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 SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
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.
Whippy
Posts: 841
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: See Signature

Chicken Man.

Holy crap. Are you kidding me? My wife would divorce me but I'd do it any way.

I'd get 4 to 5 24 gourd racks and place them in a semicircle on the outside of the fence in the back 15 feet apart about 10 feet outside the fence. Then I'd put two more in the inside of the fence 15 apart from each and the others. Then I'd put 2 or 3 in the front around the pond.

Overhead pictures do expand available space a bit but man what a great place you have for Martins. Once you get your first house up and occupied you'r gonna be toast. Give it 3 years and you may end up on my plan above. :lol:

I can't wait to hear of your success. Good luck to you.

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
ChickenMan
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:03 am
Location: Lexington, KY

Whippy wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 11:47 am
Chicken Man.

Holy crap. Are you kidding me? My wife would divorce me but I'd do it any way.

I'd get 4 to 5 24 gourd racks and place them in a semicircle on the outside of the fence in the back 15 feet apart about 10 feet outside the fence. Then I'd put two more in the inside of the fence 15 apart from each and the others. Then I'd put 2 or 3 in the front around the pond.

Overhead pictures do expand available space a bit but man what a great place you have for Martins. Once you get your first house up and occupied you'r gonna be toast. Give it 3 years and you may end up on my plan above. :lol:

I can't wait to hear of your success. Good luck to you.

Coolwhips

I think my wife would divorce me as well if I end up with 100+ gourds out there! If I can figure out the double Traverner house I plan to build, I will probably leave room for gourds on that one too... and if things get out of hand well, who knows!

I know there are plentiful Martins in the area. One guy down the road about a mile had 5 houses up and said they would all fill up. He said he had starling problems and a run in with a screech owl... but otherwise lots and lots of birds. So I'm hopeful!
Black Jack
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon May 06, 2019 4:37 pm
Location: NC

Chicken man,

I would put it in the upper right side by your house as one member said you would be able to see what is going on with predators more and you get to see them also and hear them more. They would fill more at ease around people .
Pretty place!
Good luck.
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