The 2020 Martin Season has begun!

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
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Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 1:16 pm
Location: Erie, PA

We've had our first Purple Martin sightings in Florida and Louisiana! Keep track of the martin arrivals and report your own by visiting the PMCA's Scout-Arrival Study at ... val-study/
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Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:32 pm
Location: Victoria, Texas

I live in Victoria, TX on 71/2 acres with an ideal location for a martin house. Away from trees, water nearby and power lines available for perching. I had a really beat up plastic house with 8 pairs last year. I replaced it with a 12 apartment aluminum job, put it up in early February and I now have NO tenants, none. I haven't even had a problem with sparrows this year which I almost always have. It seems the bird population in my spot is down except for the buzzards. Does anyone have any ideas as to why I had no returns this year? Is the problem aluminum? Comments anybody?
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:50 pm
Location: Amherst, Ohio

I am in Amherst, Ohio. Put a 8 gourd system up last year and did not have any Martins. This year I finally see a Martin flying in the yard. But he is ignoring the gourds and keeps trying to enter a small cedar birdhouse nearby that is 5 feet off the ground. I am confused. Maybe he is too?
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:06 pm
Location: fredericksburg, va
Martin Colony History: 2016 bought 6 gourds. Pole put up late in June due to HOA approval. Had visitor birds but no pairs that stayed.
2017 12 gourds- Pole up 3/1 and had male and females visit but didn’t pair up.
2018 upgraded to 2 inch sq pole/winch and will have 24 gourds. Many solo visitors but seem to be passing by. Will trim trees and check fly ways.
2019 saw only one or two martins all summer. Brothers Martins didn’t show up at all.
2020 3 pairs, 1st- 5 eggs/ 2nd hatched 2 fledged, 2 - 5 eggs/ 2-5 hatched fledging 7/20-8/1, 3rd formed late July and no nest built.

It might be a Tree Swallow. Tree swallows have a very white belly and the males have a greenish to them and are about 1/4 smaller. It took me a few days to persuade a pair from my martin pole. I'm sure my neighbors thought I was crazy waving my broom around but I had to keep them from nesting. I closed off as many holes as I could. I had one pair of martins arrive this year. My first, and I wanted to defend the pole while they are out feeding. Now the Martins drive them away if they get close and that's a good thing. Its a chore to fend of the tree swallows once they nest. You pretty much have to slowing move that gourd away from the pole over a few days and get it far enough away they dont chase the martins away. I do hope that the martins come for you. Plenty of time left. Good luck.
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:34 am
Location: Climax, MI

Now that the 2020 season is over, I'm wondering if PMCA gathers data on purple martin nesting activity and fledging at landlords' colonies. I have reported scouts, but haven't found a way to report my 2020 nesting stats. Any information on reporting stats would be appreciated.

Laurie Hanson
Mike Dingman
Posts: 176
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2003 7:03 pm
Location: Florida/Melbourne

Hi Laurie, did you ever get your answer about the Martin Data Sheets and your desire to record and send in the nesting results of 2020?
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:25 pm
Location: Texas/San Antonio

Help! My neighbor bought a new PM house last year and gave me his old house. However, I am in need of a 1 3/4" galvanized pole that will be cemented into the ground to slide the house/pole into this sleeve. I can't find anybody that actually sells this size. Any suggestions? I would prefer a brand new house, but really can't afford it at this time.
2011 - first year landlord with 1 pair, 5 hatched, 3 fledged.
2012 - 2 pairs, 12 eggs.
2013 - 2 pairs, 4 fledged
2014 - 1 pair, 6 eggs, 5 about to fledge
Posts: 241
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:35 pm
Location: Marlboro County, SC
Martin Colony History: Capacity: 72 Troyers on 3 X Super-24 racks

Just looked at the scout map. I need to get busy. Not too much work left. Just getting pine needles in the gourds. A little bit of work on the gourds as well as I went ahead and water-proofed all the Troyers (pipe sleeve through the gourds).

Let the fun begin.
Location: Marlboro County, SC

2021: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/22
2020: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/11 - 71 pair - 298 fledged
2019: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/22 - 70 pair - 315 fledged
2018: Capacity: 70 - First Scouts: 2/18 - 60 pair - 270 fledged
2017: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 2/25 - 39 pair
2016: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 3/10 - 32 pair
2015: Capacity: 24 - First Scouts: 3/23 - 4 pair

Purple Martins Of South Carolina
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:43 pm
Location: OH/Athens
Martin Colony History: I have had my martin colony on the dam of one of my ponds for nine years. The colony has grown each year, but I am now concentrating on helping friends and acquaintances who have shown interests in martins. My colony consists of three T-14's with 8 Troyer gourds attatched to each T-14, a Troyer gourd rack with 12 gourds, and another gourd rack with 18 Troyer gourds for a total of 96 nest cavities. I am having serious predation issues with hawks and owls and am experimenting with various hawk guards and "screens". Established successful supplemental feeding the last few seasons and have had a blast flipping mostly meal worms and some crickets. Faculty from Ohio University are using my colony as a research site to study parasites that target cavity nesting birds. In exchange for access to my bird trail nest boxes and martin housing, they are banding all birds involved in their study.

Once again I have waited until winter to get my martin housing cleaned up and ready to go for this spring! It sure is cold with this power washer going!!

Have a great season!

Mike "Bird" Wren
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:26 pm
Location: Miami, FL

The scouts arrived January 13. Still hanging out at altitude and singing. We are in southern Dade County in Miami, FL
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:31 pm
Location: Gainesville, fl

Saw some here in Gainesville, FL this morning at my neighbors martin house down the street. Hope a few land on my houses lol.
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