Replacement Housing

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Thomabear
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:10 am
Location: Cut Off, Louisiana

Hi All,
I'm seeking opinions on doing an "in place" swap of housing. My current 12 compartment Lone Star Goliad had 10 active nests this year and I want to expand to offer 24 compartments for 2022. I have already purchased a Troyer K-24 gourd rack which is totally different in design. My question is, since my colony is established and growing do you think I would cause the martins to abandon my site by swapping out the setup? I plan on using the 12 compartment Goliad to "hopefully" start up a 2nd colony on our property about 3-1/2 hours away. If possible I would like to do that next year rather than waiting until 2023. Also, by placing the new setup in the same spot it would save the trouble of digging and cementing a new pole. What do you think my chances are of my martins overcoming the confusion and moving into the new housing verses looking elsewhere? Thanks!
2019- 6 Pair, 31 Hatched, 30 Fledged
2020- 8 Pair, 38 Hatched, 32 Fledged
2021- 10 Pair, 51 Hatched, 39 Fledged
2021- HOSP (Repeating Trap/Mararder Pellet Rifle) count to date 126, Starlings 2

PMCA Member
C.C.Martins
Posts: 1309
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- Visitors.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021- 28 pair. 118 fledged
Home colony: mix natural, super and excluder gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satellite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mini castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021: 10 pair, 30 fledged
PMCA member

Hey! Well look at it like this, you have martins at the primary site. You run a risk of them abandoning if it totally changed....maybe not all will go, but some will for sure. Have to weigh that.
Does your new site have martins? Just hopeful? May be a while before they are attracted.
Is it worth it? Its already purchased....id put the new one up at the hopeful site...just to be safe.
It all could work in your favor had a friend change out his house some years back. ASY male did not like it at all and took 3 or 4 pairs with him when he left. But subsequent martins eventually filled the gaps.
So I'm no help....me id err on the side of caution unless you have a compelling reason to make the adjustment...remember the martins expect everything the same.
I do hope iv helped!
Tom
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1959
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:35 pm
Location: Little Hocking, Oh.
Martin Colony History: 2017 Visitors
Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”.
2018 - 15 Pair, 58 Eggs, 36 Fledged
2019 - 26 Pair, 128 Eggs, 97 Fledged
2020 - 30 Pair, 156 Eggs, 137 Fledged
2021 - 30 Pair, 162 Eggs, 144 Fledged

Home Site "Little Hocking, Ohio".
2019 - 1 Pair, 5 Eggs, 5 Fledged
2020 - 1 Pair, 4 Eggs, 4 Fledged
2021 - 8 Pair, 39 Eggs, 36 Fledged

... I'm kind of in the same position.. Thomabear .. I have a two level 16 gourd rack.. 8 pair this year... I want to expand, but I have learned from others not to take down the house that the Martins are used to.. A friend of my took down three of his old houses and replaced them with one brand new T-14.. He lost his colony. I remember going over to his place and watching the Martins fly all around the area where the old houses were... They didn't want anything to do with the new T-14.. He has not had Martins now for three years.. I'm going to put up another gourd rack, about 10 or 12 feet away from my existing old gourd rack.. Once the Martins get used to looking at the new rack from the old rack, they may move into the new rack.. That's just my opinion.. Good luck, and hopefully some other landlords will chime in on this question..

Dave
PMCA Member
Little Hocking, Ohio
C.C.Martins
Posts: 1309
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- Visitors.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021- 28 pair. 118 fledged
Home colony: mix natural, super and excluder gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satellite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mini castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021: 10 pair, 30 fledged
PMCA member

I have an old heath I refurbished. Its quite different from any heath you can buy on the market. Its in its spot its been in for 5 years, martins love it. However, when I do nest checks its a real pain. Its the dang pole, and ladder. All the more reason to stay in shape I suppose.
But it stays, I'm afraid of what happens when I take it down. ASYs really like it. There are gourds to choose from but....
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
Thomabear
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:10 am
Location: Cut Off, Louisiana

Yea I think I definitely need to put more thought into this. I attracted martins the first year I started as a landlord but I need to consider that I might not be so lucky next time. My thoughts were to expand at home where its needed and start fresh at the new place so it made sense to put the K-24 here and the Goliad 12 there. Either that or just spring for another house... My goal is to gradually increase the size of my colonies until I find my comfort zone where I can still take good care of them.

Yes Tom, I have martin activity currently at our other place and that is a story in itself. We have a 28 foot windmill to aerate a 2 acre pond and I was surprised that a pair nested in the rather large cavity that houses the compressor bellows. So much for orientation because this mill switches direction as needed and it didn't seem to bother them. Maybe they figured their new home was safe from predators with the moving blades. They even fledged young this year but I was unable to check their nest because of no latter access. Immediately after fledging I counted 7 total including the parents. How they accomplished navigating away from the blades is beyond me because they are 6 feet across. :shock:
2019- 6 Pair, 31 Hatched, 30 Fledged
2020- 8 Pair, 38 Hatched, 32 Fledged
2021- 10 Pair, 51 Hatched, 39 Fledged
2021- HOSP (Repeating Trap/Mararder Pellet Rifle) count to date 126, Starlings 2

PMCA Member
Dave Duit
Posts: 1963
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.

The PMCA website has the following in which I cut and paste below. Hopefully this will assist you in your decision.
" I NEED TO REPLACE OLD HOUSING, WILL MY MARTINS ABANDON?
If you are replacing the house with an identical house (or gourd rack) there shouldn’t be any problem. A drastic change to a completely different style of house (i.e. from a house to a gourd rack) could disrupt the colony site. If possible, leave the old housing alongside the new housing up for one season. "
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Thomabear
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:10 am
Location: Cut Off, Louisiana

Thanks Dave!
My searches didn't return much information until I copied and pasted what you recommended. Now I have plenty to read and then some. I think I will just purchase a new setup for our other location. We have a lot of martins down here and I'm sure I would be able to attract a new colony but I don't want to put my loyal martins through the confusion.
Take Care
Tom
2019- 6 Pair, 31 Hatched, 30 Fledged
2020- 8 Pair, 38 Hatched, 32 Fledged
2021- 10 Pair, 51 Hatched, 39 Fledged
2021- HOSP (Repeating Trap/Mararder Pellet Rifle) count to date 126, Starlings 2

PMCA Member
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