Help with house design

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Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:15 am
Location: Potomac, Maryland

PM home 2B.jpg
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PM home 3B.jpg
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Last year I built a PM home.
I have not had luck yet attracting my desired guests.
It is located near my home, near water and far from trees.
I am wondering if you think the design of the doors is an issue - I built a small deck and roof over the opening.
Please see attached photos.
thank you.
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

not sure if you have maintained the minimal compartment size of 6x6x6, better 6x6x12 :?:
crescent entrance should be no less than 1 3/16 high
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

Great looking house. As stated by Kegger deeper compartments are more attractive to martins, but I see you have gourds too. I would just keep trying are you playing dawnsong?
Posts: 3137
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Even in ideal conditions with ideal housing it often times takes several years to get a colony established. Usually the further north you are the less likely you are to get martins staying the first year or two. Martins love to nest in colonies and they have strong site fidelity. So barring something out of the ordinary martins will return to the site they nested at last year. Martins born last year will be looking for new housing this year. Many times if an SY martin has a choice between your (empty) house and a nearby colony with martins they would prefer to be with other martins. Eventually a pair will prefer your site over the others and draw in more martins.
Both colonies I started took 5 years to get established with returnees. Both places were wide open, quality housing, nearby colonies, and near large bodies of water.
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.
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:15 am
Location: Potomac, Maryland

Thank you all for your replies.
Regarding the size of the rooms (see photo) - they are roughly 6x6x10.
I am playing the dawn song every day.
I have decoys.

Does anybody think the deck and roof I put at the opening to the doors are an issue?
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Matt F.
Posts: 3922
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

Hi Mcetta,
That is a gorgeous Martin house! It has the look of the more vintage houses, while incorporating the starling resistant entrances, deep cavities, and easy raising/lowering.
The decks and roofs you added (which in my opinion are a nice detail that really adds to the overall appearance) should not be any deterrent - with one possible exception - if it altered the entrance height.
Like Kegger mentioned - the only real deterrent would be if the crescent, starling resistant entrances were smaller than the minimum 1 3/16" (1.1875") height. That could make them too small for the Martins to enter and exit from.
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


Flyin-Lowes reply is spot on.

Your house is stylish and vintage looking. I hope a SY will take notice to your place soon. 8)
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 and join.

Great design. The best remedy is lots of waiting for the first martin. It took six years to get my first pair and I had ideal conditions for martins. Continue all of your martin attraction techniques and understnad that they will come when they come. I wish you the best.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Posts: 1123
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:10 pm
Location: Iowa/West Des Moines
Martin Colony History: Home Site: 2017- 0
2016 - 1st pair, fledged 5
Satellite Site: 2017 (3rd season)
34 pair
Fledged- 102

I don't believe the roof and/or porches will hurt anything. Stay the course and pray! But I also recommend measuring the height of the entrance openings. This means measuring from the top of the floor to the top of the crescent opening to make sure they're at least 1-3/16inches. Photos can be deceiving but they do look slightly shallow. Best of luck and I hope Purple Martins find you and the sooner the better now!
PMCA Member
Home Site: 2012-15 visitors
2016 - 1st pair, fledged 5
2017-18 Zero
2019- 3 Successful Pr
2020- 21pr, fledged 76
Satellite Site: 2014 - visitors
2015 - 2 pair fledged 9
2016 - 13 pair fledged 44
2017 - 31 pair fledged 118
2018 - 44 pair 163 fledged
2019- 49 pr 219 fledged
2020- 47 pr 209 fledged
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