First birds

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Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:11 am
Location: Darlington,SC

Newbie to birds in Darlington SC and I put up a pole with gourds March 22nd. I figured, build it and they will come. Had a pair check it out a couple of weeks later and thought I had some takers, but they left. Same thing a few weeks later and they left. Then yesterday ( April 30th ) a pair was checking it out and actually went in the house and I think they are staying. Reading here, I guess I should have put straw in the houses or something to make them look lived in. There have only been 2 birds at the time. Anyway, I hope these stay as I think these are some interesting critters.
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Posts: 278
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:40 pm
Location: Palm City, FL
Martin Colony History: 2018 will be my first try. 6 S&K B09s. 29 eggs - 8 fledged
2019 - 12 Troyer Horizontals with tunnels, 6 S&K B09s and 12 B011s all with tunnels. 43 eggs - 36 fledged
2020 - Rack 1 - 6 B011s, Rack 2 - 24 B011s, and Rack 3 - 24 Troyer Horizontals. All gourds have tunnels, porches and crescent/Conley 11 entrances; racks have predator guards. 161 eggs - 88 fledged

PWYA (pdubya), Might think about predator guard for your pole. Martins are very interesting critters. If you decide to "landlord" you'll be amazed at how interesting the species is. You'll need to get a winch for your very attractive rack so you can lower and raise your gourds and participate in weekly checks on your colony's progress. Maybe next season. Best of luck for this season; I hope you have some nesting and produce fledglings. Keep up with the forum. Lots of experienced martin folks have great advice.
Happy Martining, Mike
Posts: 3134
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Do you have starlings in your area? The round holes can be a magnet for them and they will cause problems. You might look into starling resistant entry holes (SREH). Starlings are thick where I live and would not try to have a colony without them.
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: 4
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:11 am
Location: Darlington,SC

Thanks for the replies, I probably should do something for predators, as a buddy that got me interested in the birds brother, who also has a birds a few miles from me, had this yellow rat snake on his setup the other day. It was 16 feet straight up the pole and had already gorged itself by the time he saw it. These snakes are common around here and good climbers.
And there are starlings and house sparrows here but luckily nothing had nested in my gourds in the 6 weeks or so that they have been up, other than a couple of martins. I have a bunch of bluebirds around as I put up houses for them but none of them seemed to have been interested in the gourds.
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Posts: 672
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

It's not too late to prenest, pine needles might be your best ootion as they will dry out if they get wet. Are you using any other attractants such as dawnsong or decoys? A predator guard should be something you add. It would be a shame if you got some to nest and then a snake ate eggs or hatchlings and your colony is lost.
Jeff Dean
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:11 am
Location: Darlington,SC

Looks like I have 2 pair taking up. This pole is at a hobby farm 15 miles from my house where I have honeybees. I went over today and there were 2 birds at first putting on an air show flying around. I was so excited to see them and another pair came up before I left. I was walking in the woods and there was about a 5 foot yellow rat snake just relaxing in the tree line. The martin pole is out in the middle of a field. I had about a 30 inch piece of stove pipe I tried to rig for a guard temporarily.
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