Purple Martins are arriving in northwest PA

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bwenger
Posts: 1048
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:24 pm
Location: Pennsylvania/Espyville/Pymatuning Reservoir Area
Martin Colony History: Taking care of 11 active public colonies and trying to start two more in northwestern PA. Also attempting to restart another one in southwestern PA, in Collier Township's Hilltop Park. In 2017, not sure what happened but the ASY male returned and then a couple of weeks later he was gone. It could have been weather related. No other birds showed up. I had a starling nesting at the Public site that I had trouble getting rid of.
In 2018, we fledged 629 martins at all of the sites.

Hello everyone,

We now have multiple purple martin sites in northwestern PA that have martins back. Colonies in Espyville, Hartstown, Cochranton and the Troyer's of Conneautville have returning martins. It's a cold day here at 30 degrees, but with the wind chill, if feels like 20. Tomorrow the high is 38. but then it will get to 53 on Saturday. I had a male and a female show up yesterday around 1pm and it warmed up enough at 49-50 degrees for them to feed in the protected bays of the lake. I did not see them come in last night nor have I seen them today as of yet. I have crickets thawed out and ready for them. They may have traveled to some other larger colonies here for some communal nesting. I fed our colony for several days last May when the weather turned cold so I would assume that these will take crickets as soon as the appear. Good luck to everyone.

32 nesting pairs last year!!!
Bill Wenger

Building the Purple Martin population one bird at a time!
ToyinPA
Posts: 2174
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:07 pm
Location: PA/Avis
Martin Colony History: The 1972 St. Agnes flood wiped out all the Martins in my area. One day, in 1997-98, 5 or 6 Martins landed on the power wires crossing my back yard. I had no house for them. They kept coming back day after day. We got a martin house a few weeks later & they have been coming back every year since. I average 12-15 pair per year.

Watching & waiting in central PA. I have a few rooms open, but nothing yet.

Toy in PA
PMCA Member
bwenger
Posts: 1048
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:24 pm
Location: Pennsylvania/Espyville/Pymatuning Reservoir Area
Martin Colony History: Taking care of 11 active public colonies and trying to start two more in northwestern PA. Also attempting to restart another one in southwestern PA, in Collier Township's Hilltop Park. In 2017, not sure what happened but the ASY male returned and then a couple of weeks later he was gone. It could have been weather related. No other birds showed up. I had a starling nesting at the Public site that I had trouble getting rid of.
In 2018, we fledged 629 martins at all of the sites.

Hopefully you'll start seeing your returning martins any day now Toy. At least the weather appears to be safe for them at this time.
Bill Wenger

Building the Purple Martin population one bird at a time!
Doug Martin - PA
Posts: 1938
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:47 am
Location: Pennsylvania/Fombell
Martin Colony History: First pair in 2009 after 28 years of trying. 3 pairs 2010, 17 pairs 2011 and 35-45 pairs since. Many additional colonies are now springing up around mine in an area once completely void of Martins. I offer 50 compartments at my site consisting of primarily Excluder II gourds on Gemini racks. Also a wooden T-14. I utilize electric fence type predator guards on the base of the poles. Supplemental feeding is crucial in maintaining my colony. I platform feed throughout the season as needed. My site tends to be a stop over point for additional birds as they migrate further north.

No big wave yet here Bill. Just 5 here with a couple birds moving through as well. Should be a lot more coming in this week. They are a bit later this year.

Doug
Supplemental feeding plays a major role in western Pennsylvania. Finally got my 1st pair in 2009 after 28 years of effort. 3 pairs in 2010. 17 pairs in 2011. 35 pairs and 150 young in 2012 & 2013. Plus a new 22 pair colony right down the road from me.
RJM
Posts: 135
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: Pennsylvania/Mechanicsburg

I had one stop by last Tuesday 3/30, but did not stay. I haven’t seen any since. Seems slower than last few years
Trying since 2006, started hosting in 2012
T14 with 4 THG and 4 modified SG's
Gourd rack with 3 TVG's and 3 modified SG's
ToyinPA
Posts: 2174
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:07 pm
Location: PA/Avis
Martin Colony History: The 1972 St. Agnes flood wiped out all the Martins in my area. One day, in 1997-98, 5 or 6 Martins landed on the power wires crossing my back yard. I had no house for them. They kept coming back day after day. We got a martin house a few weeks later & they have been coming back every year since. I average 12-15 pair per year.

It's these darn north winds delaying them. Supposed to get southerly winds mid week for a few days. Hopefully that'll push them northward.

Actually we have very few birds here of any kind right now. We've seen several Robins, but only a couple each of HS, Starlings, Crows, Carolina Wrens & one male Cardinal are all we've seen so far.

Toy in PA
PMCA Member
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