What now...

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Planelivin
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:34 pm
Location: Campbellsville, KY

What now...

Postby Planelivin » Wed May 16, 2018 9:43 pm

I'm looking for advise to go from here so I don't mess it up.

Short story is: Bought a Lonestar Golliad Jr 8 with nesting boxes and placed cedar hamster type shavings in boxes. No mud and no green stuff or twigs and did not want to get caught taking compact mirrors from wifes makeup. Got the house up and mounted on April 20 in central KY. April 26 received from the PMCA the Dawnsong and second CD and 2 decoys. Have been very consistent, with at a minimum, playing the Dawnsong CD non stop when traveling and rotating the 2 CDs as recommended when home. Yes, I got up at 4 am several times to start the Dawnsong CD out in barnyard area. Wife has made many a joke about it to our friends especially the decoys. LOL

Anyway, after truly going at this, by the book, for the last 4 weeks or so today several subadults have taken to the house. Pretty much staying very close to it or on it and have mostly accepted me being near them as the house is near garden activity but placed according to literature on this site.

Now what?

BTW, glad to be here and thanks for any advise moving forward. If anyone wants to put in a subadult report for me in Campbellsville, KY 42718 I can attest they are here. Not sure how to do that. Too new... Thanks.

ToyinPA
Posts: 1931
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.

Re: What now...

Postby ToyinPA » Thu May 17, 2018 3:16 am

Congrats on getting SY's. If they stay, find mates, fledge chicks you'll have your colony started :).

Put your wife's compact mirror back ;) & go to the auto parts store & buy a telescoping mechanics mirror. Get a notebook or a clip board & some paper to record everything. Some number the cavities, some do not. Record which ones have martins, nests, eggs, hatched, fledged & the dates.

A little mud smeared around the entrance & on the floor just inside gives them the impression the cavity was used before & is safe.

Most use dried white pine needles (also known as pine straw) as pre-nesting material, as it doesn't absorb water. If you have a lot of natural areas near by they will find dried grasses, dried leaves, wheat straw, dried twigs, dried anything to make a nest. You will need dried pine needles and/or dried wheat straw to use for nest changes. Pay close attention to them. If you see them nest building watch for them to bring in green leaves. That's a sign egg laying will start. Do nest checks & record how many in each cavity & the dates. Around day 26 they will start to hatch. 6-10 days after they hatch you should change the nest out to prevent mites & blow-fly larva from attacking the chicks. When that time comes there is info on here how to do that or you can ask & someone will tell you how to do it.

Offer crushed eggs shells. They need the calcium for good egg laying & will later feed it to the chicks.

To do a Sub-Adult report (males only).....go to the Scout Arrival Study page https://www.purplemartin.org/research/8 ... val-study/

Under the map on the right click on "Submit Scout Reports" . You have to register there with a different password.

Best wishes for a great start.

Toy in PA
PMCA Member

flyin-lowe
Posts: 2311
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Re: What now...

Postby flyin-lowe » Thu May 17, 2018 8:43 am

Since you have martins that are staying around you can stop getting up and turning on the dawnsong. The martins you have will do a better job then the CD will at attracting more martins. Plus it can confuse them too, playing constantly and not birds around.
2018- 15 pair last count 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
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.

BillieJR
Posts: 517
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:39 am
Location: Monroe, WI

Re: What now...

Postby BillieJR » Thu May 17, 2018 10:12 am

Welcome to the group, Planelivin! Congrats on your success at getting purple martins! It won't be long and your wife will be no longer making fun of you. lol! Your persistence paid off. Good luck with your season! I look forward to your updates.
Billie from southern Wisonsin

BillieJR
Posts: 517
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:39 am
Location: Monroe, WI

Re: What now...

Postby BillieJR » Thu May 17, 2018 11:10 am

BTW - where is Campbellsville at? What state?
Billie from southern Wisonsin

Planelivin
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:34 pm
Location: Campbellsville, KY

Re: What now...

Postby Planelivin » Thu May 17, 2018 11:36 am

Thanks everyone so far for the comments and suggestions. Much appreciated. Should I keep the CDs playing and keep the same impression that stuff is going on or should I discontinue now?

Campbellsville is in Kentucky for the person that inquired.

Shannon

BillieJR
Posts: 517
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:39 am
Location: Monroe, WI

Re: What now...

Postby BillieJR » Thu May 17, 2018 1:12 pm

Hey, Shannon, Flyin-lowe, above, suggested to stop the CD and let the martins take it from here.
Billie from southern Wisonsin

Planelivin
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:34 pm
Location: Campbellsville, KY

Re: What now...

Postby Planelivin » Thu May 17, 2018 9:28 pm

BillieJR wrote:Hey, Shannon, Flyin-lowe, above, suggested to stop the CD and let the martins take it from here.
You are correct. That's what I get for attempting to read when I should have been sleeping. There's that good ol' KY public education showing up again... LOL

Should I also take down the decoys? And since the SY have only been around 2-3 full days now when should I check inside etc? I was mostly afraid to do anything other than just occasionally be in the garden from time to time until they really think this their new home.

I did notice another male hanging around today and he seems to be a more full bodied deep back/purple color so I am assuming he is not a SY but an adult male who for some reason seems attracted to my house now.

Planelivin
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:34 pm
Location: Campbellsville, KY

Re: What now...

Postby Planelivin » Fri May 18, 2018 8:49 am

Quick update: I went ahead and took the decoys off as I did my first nest check and had the house down and sure enough. Nest building in 1 cavity has commenced. There was a piece of fresh green blade/grass as well. Fingers crossed...

I have noticed not much activity during the mid morning to later in the afternoon. Almost no activity at all but then the two return in the late afternoon. Are they off eating, resting in a cool tree or at another colony during the day but come home to roost at night since they are the only two at this site? Still trying to learn the behaviral patterns.

Obviously, excited to have an initial nesting pair so just trying to answer those questions as ideas or situation arise till I get a better understanding of these unique birds.

TheSmiths
Posts: 260
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 1:02 pm
Location: Western KY
Martin Colony History: Trying to attract PMs since 2004; began a more ernest attempt in 2014. Modified Trio M12K at 15' w/3 gourds beneath; multi-rack w/8 gourds mounted at 20'.

2018 — finally have 1 ASY pair & 1 SY pair in the Trio & 1 SY pair in a supergourd on the multi-rack. :D

Re: What now...

Postby TheSmiths » Fri May 18, 2018 2:25 pm

Some people leave the decoys up in case a hawk comes around. If the hawk goes for the decoy it gives the real martins time to escape. My FILs decoy disappeared and he later found it dropped out in the middle of a field behind his house.

handyman315
Posts: 288
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 11:03 am
Location: SW Ohio
Martin Colony History: Colony established May 20, 2017 after three unsuccessful years. Persistent and aggressive Tree Swallows plagued the site, but beyond learning - and practicing - to control them, was the return in 2017 of a 2016-SY-M previously unable to find a mate. As a handsome ASY-M, he brought along two females and a swagger that soon put the Tree Swallow issue to rest. As the anchor pair, he and his mate hatched all six of their eggs into fat and healthy babies into what settled in to be a three-pair, flourishing new colony with up to 11 birds total, including 3 SY-M trouble makers.

Re: What now...

Postby handyman315 » Fri May 18, 2018 5:13 pm

Leave the decoy up, stop the CDs.

Congrats on getting a colony started . . . and you shouldn't need any round mirrors, the PMs will take it from here.

Keep them safe with some predator guards and stay out and around them as much as possible; they like it and it discourages predators.
2018-ASY-M Arrived April 6, Despite Snow & Cold, Joined Soon by Mate & Two Adult Pairs, All Hunkered in the Cold
2017-FIRST-YEAR LANDLORD! :grin: Resident SY-M from 2016 Returned (as ASY-M) on May 20. At Least 11 Resident PMs, with 13 Fledged from Three Nests . . . (And Operated a Daily Flying Circus) :grin:
2016-Several Visits, Late-Arriving SYs, Resident Lone SY-M, Unable to Find Mate, Entered ALL Cavities
2015 & 2014-Many Visits

Planelivin
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:34 pm
Location: Campbellsville, KY

Re: What now...

Postby Planelivin » Sat May 19, 2018 12:05 am

TheSmiths wrote:Some people leave the decoys up in case a hawk comes around. If the hawk goes for the decoy it gives the real martins time to escape.
Ah...great idea. Decoys going back up.

4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1260
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm
Location: TN/Collierville
Martin Colony History: I have been exposed to purple martin sounds in utero when my mother went out to get my father away from his martin colony.
I played around the martin colony every summer and watched as my father maintained his colony. In the late 50's until the 70's he did not notice European Starlings in south Texas.
When old enough, I helped maintain his colony. My primary task was eliminating English House Sparrows with a scoped Benjamin .177 pellet rifle.
When I settled into my own home, I started my first colony with an original Trio Castle and Trio Grandpa. When I moved again, I did not put up any martin houses. Frustration with European Starlings in the Southeast US was overwhelming.
Found PMCA Forum and learned about modern enlarged compartments and SREHs.
Inherited my father's last martin house, a Trio Grandma, modified it to modern specifications and have had good results since then.

Postby 4th Gen Martin Fan » Sat May 19, 2018 1:20 am

Your martins are feeding and getting their body stores replenished after their long trip north. Since you have seen green leaves in the nest, the female is preparing for egg laying in the next few days. The bug population should be more than adequate this time of year to get your martins healthy for the upcoming work of egg laying, incubation, feeding young hatchlings, etc. Since your martins are established at your house, there is no time for loitering in trees. In the process of feeding, your martins are interacting with other martins and are probably bringing them high overhead to inspect your housing during the day. Bottom line, the martins are very busy while you do not see them at the house.
If you can find some calcium carbonate granules at a farm supply store, then supply it on a platform (or less desirable spread on the ground) for the female to eat. She will lay thicker eggs and usually have healthier hatchlings. Some people have even noticed larger number of eggs and subsequently more fledglings. The calcium carbonate granules need to be crushed small enough for the female to swallow and digest.
As an alternate, boiled egg shells or egg shells baked in an oven can be offered on a platform (or ground) for the females. Crumble the boiled or baked egg shells in to small pieces for the female to eat.
You will need to expedite the calcium supplement since your female has placed green leaves in the nest.
I suspect the female will offer the calcium to her nestlings after they are big enough.
Mark.
Firm believer in Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, S&S Control, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.

Planelivin
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:34 pm
Location: Campbellsville, KY

Re:

Postby Planelivin » Sat May 19, 2018 11:01 am

4th Gen Martin Fan wrote:Your martins are feeding and getting their body stores replenished after their long trip north. Since you have seen green leaves in the nest, the female is preparing for egg laying in the next few days. The bug population should be more than adequate this time of year to get your martins healthy for the upcoming work of egg laying, incubation, feeding young hatchlings, etc. Since your martins are established at your house, there is no time for loitering in trees. In the process of feeding, your martins are interacting with other martins and are probably bringing them high overhead to inspect your housing during the day. Bottom line, the martins are very busy while you do not see them at the house.
If you can find some calcium carbonate granules at a farm supply store, then supply it on a platform (or less desirable spread on the ground) for the female to eat. She will lay thicker eggs and usually have healthier hatchlings. Some people have even noticed larger number of eggs and subsequently more fledglings. The calcium carbonate granules need to be crushed small enough for the female to swallow and digest.
As an alternate, boiled egg shells or egg shells baked in an oven can be offered on a platform (or ground) for the females. Crumble the boiled or baked egg shells in to small pieces for the female to eat.
You will need to expedite the calcium supplement since your female has placed green leaves in the nest.
I suspect the female will offer the calcium to her nestlings after they are big enough.
Great info. Thank you.

4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1260
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm
Location: TN/Collierville
Martin Colony History: I have been exposed to purple martin sounds in utero when my mother went out to get my father away from his martin colony.
I played around the martin colony every summer and watched as my father maintained his colony. In the late 50's until the 70's he did not notice European Starlings in south Texas.
When old enough, I helped maintain his colony. My primary task was eliminating English House Sparrows with a scoped Benjamin .177 pellet rifle.
When I settled into my own home, I started my first colony with an original Trio Castle and Trio Grandpa. When I moved again, I did not put up any martin houses. Frustration with European Starlings in the Southeast US was overwhelming.
Found PMCA Forum and learned about modern enlarged compartments and SREHs.
Inherited my father's last martin house, a Trio Grandma, modified it to modern specifications and have had good results since then.

TMI

Postby 4th Gen Martin Fan » Sat May 19, 2018 11:26 am

Do not be overwhelmed by too much information in the beginning. Many Forum members have had years of experience to share with new landlords. It can seem like too much.
Year after year, there are purple martins nesting in horrible conditions compared to your colony. You are providing superior living conditions compared to sparrow infested, 6 x 6 compartment houses that are ravaged by hawk, owls, snakes, raccoon, squirrels, etc.
The martins and nature will teach you many things. Forum members can fill in the gaps and help avoid many problems.

I like that you are interacting with your martins as you work in your garden. The martins will act as an early warning system while you are gardening and you will be a protector/guardian for them. Talk to them.
My father had the martin house right in the middle of his garden. They recognized him with his wide brimmed straw hat and work clothes. One day he walked out in his Sunday clothes without a hat. They dive bombed him as an intruder until he talked to them. Then they settled down and went about their normal business.

I announce my presence before I do a nest check. Some of the females incubating eggs will not leave their nest and I suspect they know my voice. The incubating female will still give the "don't mess with me look". There is a mutual understanding in that moment.
One day, I was dumb enough to reach into a compartment without looking. The incubating female wiggled and gave me a light peck on the hand. I jumped back so fast that I stumbled. I assumed that a snake was in the compartment but when I shone a pocket flashlight into the compartment, I was greeted by the irritated female martin look. I can laugh about it now but that incident really scared me.

As a final note, be sure to have a pole guard on your martin house pole. With a garden near your martin house, snakes are great for your garden but need to be kept out of your martin house.
Mark.
Firm believer in Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, S&S Control, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.

Planelivin
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:34 pm
Location: Campbellsville, KY

Re: What now...

Postby Planelivin » Sun May 20, 2018 6:01 am

I will order and add a pole guard for sure

Planelivin
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:34 pm
Location: Campbellsville, KY

Re: What now...

Postby Planelivin » Sun May 20, 2018 8:39 pm

I did a search of timeline but nothing specific.

Green in nest = eggs in 3-5 days.

Once eggs seen in nest what is the incubation period to hatching?

Once hatched what is the typical days in nest timeline for fledging?

I've also read if eggs seen minimize nest checks to once every 5 days unless an issue is suspected.

I'm off from work until June 15 so honestly coordinating my time to give this first attempt all the opportunity I can.

More and more Martins are clearly active around my house. Witnessed another female bringing straw and debris into another cavity today. I'll give her a couple days off nest building time to see hows she's coming along but for now Im fairly certain I have 2 nests being built. 1 for sure.

4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1260
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm
Location: TN/Collierville
Martin Colony History: I have been exposed to purple martin sounds in utero when my mother went out to get my father away from his martin colony.
I played around the martin colony every summer and watched as my father maintained his colony. In the late 50's until the 70's he did not notice European Starlings in south Texas.
When old enough, I helped maintain his colony. My primary task was eliminating English House Sparrows with a scoped Benjamin .177 pellet rifle.
When I settled into my own home, I started my first colony with an original Trio Castle and Trio Grandpa. When I moved again, I did not put up any martin houses. Frustration with European Starlings in the Southeast US was overwhelming.
Found PMCA Forum and learned about modern enlarged compartments and SREHs.
Inherited my father's last martin house, a Trio Grandma, modified it to modern specifications and have had good results since then.

Timeline

Postby 4th Gen Martin Fan » Sun May 20, 2018 9:59 pm

All of the information is available and very useful.
I assume that you have read the information booklet: "How to Attract and Manage Purple Martins" which is available through this PMCA website.
In the blue task bar above, click Education, then Download Center, then How to Manage and Attract Purple Martins Information Booklet.
In the PMCA Shop under Education Tools, click "Laminated Martin Photos and Prognosticator" These items are available for sale in the PMCA Shop for $19.95.
Mark.
Firm believer in Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, S&S Control, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.

TheSmiths
Posts: 260
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 1:02 pm
Location: Western KY
Martin Colony History: Trying to attract PMs since 2004; began a more ernest attempt in 2014. Modified Trio M12K at 15' w/3 gourds beneath; multi-rack w/8 gourds mounted at 20'.

2018 — finally have 1 ASY pair & 1 SY pair in the Trio & 1 SY pair in a supergourd on the multi-rack. :D

Re: What now...

Postby TheSmiths » Mon May 21, 2018 12:11 am

Incubation takes 15 – 18 days and brooding takes 28 – 29 days.

Planelivin
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:34 pm
Location: Campbellsville, KY

Re: What now...

Postby Planelivin » Tue May 22, 2018 9:27 pm

TheSmiths wrote:Incubation takes 15 – 18 days and brooding takes 28 – 29 days.
Thanks. I did read the literature and saw the incubation of roughly 16 days but could not find the time hatching to possible flight. I'm sure it's in there some where. So thanks again for the quick version. My issue is being an airline pilot and when I'm gone these babies will truly be on their own and no way for me to check on them. So if I get a few hatchings then I may trade my trip (s) to be off the entire time to babysit...LOL. BTW, we are Smith's as well.


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