Supplemental feeders

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Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:10 pm
Location: Flatonia, TX

Supplemental feeders

Postby ydnicnahanam » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:50 pm

In the past we've made our own tray feeder and mounted above our gourd rack and below the perch..........the martins will eat from it eventually but it also attracts sparrows and blue birds to the gourd rack and then the sparrows become a nuisance. I have several regular bird feeders about 50 yards that keep the sparrows and blue birds distracted somewhat until I put out crickets in the PM feeder. I also have a sparrow trap to aid in their removal. Is there anything else one could do to reduce the other bird traffic? I would appreciate your advice or suggestions.

Doug Martin - PA
Posts: 1875
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.

Re: Supplemental feeders

Postby Doug Martin - PA » Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:38 pm

Personally I found that feeding all the wild birds at a feeder was a disadvantage when hosting Purple Martins for a few reasons.

1. Attracts too many nest competitors such as starlings and sparrows and others to the area.
2. Attracts hawks that use the birdfeeder visitors as their source of food and they establish it as their hunting territory.
3. May also attract other small rodents that are hunted by owls. Owls may stumble upon your Martin colony too as a result.

If you would like to continue to feed the wild birds regardless I could suggest the following.

1. Place the other bird feeders as far away from, or on the other side of your house from the Martin housing if possible.
2. Place your Martin platform for supplemental feeding as close to human activity where you can sit and monitor it if possible.

Sorry there is no easy answer for doing both. This has been my experience in the north however. Your area in TX may be different.

Hope this helps somewhat.

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.

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