Early Dawn Activity

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
ltwalsh
Posts: 198
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:25 pm
Location: Sun City Center, FL

Attempting to start a new colony down here in Florida. Have had many visitors every day but did not seem to get over overnight guest yet. This morning I was up before dawn in the dark Enjoying my first cuppa coffee. It was dark I could hear martins but could not pinpoint the exact location. At times it sounded like it was coming from the New Martin house. I figured when dawn broke I’ll be able to see them. However I could not locate them once I was able to see. The Martin’s I heard was a consistent chirping not the normal sound you hear when they’re flying during the day. It sounds like they might have been in the house. My previous colonies my houses were too far away to witness anything like this in the morning. I am thinking I might have some takers. Fingers crossed
2009 = 1 pair 4 fledged
2010 = 1 pair and 5 fledged
2011= 3 pair and 13 fledged
2012 = 4 pair and 12 fledged
2013 = 7 pair and 21 fledged
2014 = 9 pair and 34 fledged
2015 = 9 Pair and 30 fledged
deancamp
Posts: 672
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

They are sneaky, watch for them at dusk all the way until dark when you can no longer see. Watch intently because they can slip in easily without being detected.
Jeff Dean
ltwalsh
Posts: 198
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:25 pm
Location: Sun City Center, FL

I will be watching tonight!!!
2009 = 1 pair 4 fledged
2010 = 1 pair and 5 fledged
2011= 3 pair and 13 fledged
2012 = 4 pair and 12 fledged
2013 = 7 pair and 21 fledged
2014 = 9 pair and 34 fledged
2015 = 9 Pair and 30 fledged
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3134
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Have you pre-nested the cavities? If not add some pine straw and you will be able to tell if they have been in there. They won't make a nest so to speak right now but you can definitely tell if they are sleeping in there. If you have them pre nested drop the housing down and take a look.
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.
brent
Posts: 450
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

I get up early to help guard from hawks. I can hear them, too. They're inside having coffee.🙂 Seriously, the previous posts are right on.
Brent
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

ditto Brent! 8)
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.

Itwalsh ,I get up and am out in the dark everyday seven days a week. I hear my martins every morning. Yes you are without doubt hearing martins doing their little morning chirping wake up talk in the houses. They are sneaking in at dark and you just been missing them. Go watch the sky from an hour before dark until pitch black,gaurenteed to see your birds. I’ve got around 30 and there are 3-4 that dive in when it’s so dark if you blink you miss em,the rest have been in for 30 minutes. Watch close and you can see em,but you are hearing birds in the house. Good luck this season.
David
Jmmaly
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:39 pm
Location: Port O'Connor, TX

I have set up my first gord housing with starling proof entry holes. Each morning around 9 I have birds that perch and peek into the gords but never have seen them enter. It seems as if they can't get thru the opening. Then they leave and I see them flying most of the day over the water but don't return at dusk. Anyone else have problems with the SP openings being too small? I'm wondering if I had round if they would enter?
SSMartin
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

They are not to small the martins will enter when they are ready. Many new landlords go through this same situation you just have to be patient. The safety from starlings is well worth it. I put up an old super gourd this year with a round hole and it was one of the last gourds to be chosen. Be patient and they’ll enter with no problem when they are ready and they’ll make it look easy in no time.
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Last edited by SSMartin on Sun Mar 21, 2021 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ltwalsh
Posts: 198
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:25 pm
Location: Sun City Center, FL

I agree they will figure out the SREH when they are ready. If starlings are an issue the SREH will pay longer term benefits
2009 = 1 pair 4 fledged
2010 = 1 pair and 5 fledged
2011= 3 pair and 13 fledged
2012 = 4 pair and 12 fledged
2013 = 7 pair and 21 fledged
2014 = 9 pair and 34 fledged
2015 = 9 Pair and 30 fledged
Jmmaly
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:39 pm
Location: Port O'Connor, TX

Well here it is mid April and even though I had about 12 martins that hung out every morning for over a month, none ever entered my 12 gord unit with SREH and perches both inside and out. They tried and I watched them struggle to get in but couldn't. They have all now gone elsewhere. A friend close by has many houses and the ones with SREH are also empty with all of the old style opening being used. The SREH may work in areas where there are more martins that houses, but we have proven that if they have a choice, they go round. Now I have to figure out how to modify or replace with the old tried and proven round style.
ltwalsh
Posts: 198
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:25 pm
Location: Sun City Center, FL

I am sorry to hear that. Makes me wonder if I could have had more Martin’s without the SREH? I do know if starlings get in (and I had issues with them at my former colony) it’s not pretty what they do to Martin eggs and babies.

It’s a tough call.
2009 = 1 pair 4 fledged
2010 = 1 pair and 5 fledged
2011= 3 pair and 13 fledged
2012 = 4 pair and 12 fledged
2013 = 7 pair and 21 fledged
2014 = 9 pair and 34 fledged
2015 = 9 Pair and 30 fledged
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

Just my opinion but its not a tough call at all. To keep them safe from starlings, there needs to be some type of SREH. I know its a personal decision.
Martins will adjust. Last night I watched a SY male try and try to get into an excluder entrance at our satellite site, one of the most restrictive there are, he was trying to go in sideways. Just one gourd over was a sub adult pair going into the same entrances easily. One more gourd over same thing. The SY left. I suspect he never saw a SREH in his life. But ill say that the martins out there are safe from starlings.
My opinion, but with 200 million starlings in the US, why not.
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
deancamp
Posts: 672
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Jm, what sreh do you have? It is strang that 12 martins for a month couldn't figure out how to navigate the sreh. I have seen them struggle trying off and on for 10 to 15 minutes but figure it out. Just last night I had what appeared to be a new asy male at my colony trying to get in a Conley ll and getting chastised by other pairs as he tried to enter their gourd. All the while there is a Duracraft trio castle within 20 ft that has round holes and he never gave it a look. There are only a couple residents in the house at this time so no competition there. He eventually found an unoccupied gourd and worked his way in the Conley ll. I'm asking the obvious here so don't take offense. Are you sure they were martins?
Last edited by deancamp on Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jeff Dean
Jmmaly
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:39 pm
Location: Port O'Connor, TX

I have the crescent openings with a perch both inside and out. I have photos on phone of the birds but can't figure out how to post them here. I'll work on it. Thanks for your response. Yes, definitely martins.
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deancamp
Posts: 672
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

I think I heard the crescent is the least restrictive of the sreh. I still think it is something other than the crescent entrance. Maybe they were visiting from a neighbor and they are now into nest building and no longer come by. No way to know for sure. Another thing that seems odd is that you had 12 birds at a non established colony before any one bird claimed the site. What I have experienced and heard is that a single bird chooses your site and gets a mate. Then they attract more birds to your housing. On posting pictures you have to reduce the size to around 200 kb or smaller. I hope this helps.
Jeff Dean
Jmmaly
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:39 pm
Location: Port O'Connor, TX

Thanks for the comments. It seemed strange to me but being my first year at setting up housing I just didn't really know what to expect. My mother always had a martin house but I didn't pay that much attention. We used to raise endangered species parrots so I'm somewhat knowledgeable about bird activity. What I watched led me to believe they were ready to nest but then one day they were gone. I'll keep watching and post what I conclude. Thanks again..
randyM
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:30 pm
Location: Long Lake SD
Martin Colony History: 2006 - SY pair, unsuccessful nest attempt, 3 houses = 52 cavities

2010 - ASYM + SYF pair - male disappeared after storm, female fledged all 4 young.

2015 - Lone SYM stayed month of June...added 8 gourds = 60 cavities

2016 - 1 nesting pair (ASYM + SYF) 2/3 eggs hatched 2 young fledged.

2017 - 4 nesting pairs, 16/17 eggs hatched, 16 fledged, 16 banded - 2 banded SY returned in 2018 (12.5%), added housing: 11 houses w/gourds, 4 gourd poles = 376 cavities

2018 - 10 nesting pairs, 46/52 eggs hatched, 45 fledged, 29 banded - 3 banded SY returned in 2019 (10.3%)

2019 - 32 nesting pairs, 145/160 eggs hatched, 139 fledged - 87 banded - 12 banded SY returned in 2020 (13.8%).

2020 - 35 nesting pairs, 180/199 eggs hatched, 178 fledged - 150 banded.

Jmmaly - I have all round holes in my martin housing and have plenty of starlings around. However I work from home and live in a rural setting and can shoot starlings with a shotgun. I typically shoot about 3 dozen starlings each spring (I've got about 24 so far, so might exceed that number this year). The martins at my site are used to the shotgun blasts and occasionally dive-bomb a dead starling on the ground immediately after I have shot it from one of the elevated perching rods among my bird housing. Sparrows are not a problem with my martin housing, as they try to nest in the bluebird boxes on my property and are easily trapped and eliminated. If you have good starling control options, perhaps you can offer a few new gourds with round holes to see if any martins will take to these gourds. If you attract a pair to a round holed gourd, perhaps other pairs will then occupy your SREH gourds. Once your colony is started you could then modify your round holed gourds to SREH and not have to worry about controlling starlings in the future.
Jmmaly
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:39 pm
Location: Port O'Connor, TX

What a difference a day makes! The martins must have been reading our posts. After seeing no birds for almost 10 days, yesterday evening 7 birds showed up and hung around until dusk. This morning 15 birds were all over the gourds and perches. Within about 2 hours they had figured out how to get in through the crescent SREH openings. Both male and female are going in one after the other. They look like a different group and all look like younger birds based on coloring. Maybe the others were scouts. Have pics but haven't figured out how to downsize them. It keeps telling me the file is too large to post. Happy camper now! My pellet gun is ready to dispatch starlings if they show up. We have many here, probably like everywhere. Thanks for everyone's comments and encouragement.
Jmmaly
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:39 pm
Location: Port O'Connor, TX

This is what was there this AM. Hope it is viewable bc this program is difficult to attach files to.
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