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looking for a Mentor

Tim Millard -Purple Martin Ridge
  • Lockridge, IA
  • IA County
  • stared this colony in 2003 with 2 pair and in 2014 had 88 pair which fledged 270. member of Pmca, Iowa purple martin org.,also Citizens Assistance for Purple Martins in Griggsville, IL.Also a mentor of Jefferson County. I am willing to help anyone in any possible way.Feel free to contact me. Martins are my passion.
  • 2338 Unicorn Ave.
    Lockridge, IA  52635
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  • 3199313321
  • Posted: February 2015

Dave Duit
  • Nevada, IA
  • Story County
  • Started in 2003, first pair in 2007, in 2014 I had 52 nesting pair with a 95% successful fledge rate. 72 compartments= 48 gourds and 24 extended modified metal compartments. Colony is located on a 12 acre lake in central Iowa. I'm the President of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit the website and become a member at
  • Dave Duit
    10 Maple Avenue #135
    Nevada, IA  50201
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  • Posted: January 2015

Rick Fisher
  • New Hartford, IA
  • Butler County
  • I have had purple martins at this address for about 25 yrs and would be very happy to help anyone with martins or questions about martins. Please refer to PURPLE MARTINS in your info box if you e-mail me. I hope to here from you soon, and I hope I will be of some help to you. Don\'t be shy-- contact a mentor! As Red Green would say \"We\'re all in this together\"
  • 28616 temple ave
    28616 Temple Ave.
    New Hartford, IA  50660
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  • 3194642541
  • Posted: March 2013

Yale Jarvis
  • Washington, IA
  • Washington County
  • Been working with martin housing for approx. 20yrs. Moved 3yrs ago and had to re-establish at a new location. 12 gords & 2 modified houses last yr. no houses & 20 gords this year.
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  • Posted: February 2012

Wendell Hansen
  • Spirit Lake, IA
  • Dickenson County
  • 76 breeding pairs in 09. And have been giveing lectures on Purple Martins now for the last four years. I have been a Mentor to six outher landlords in the past ( all have breeding pairs ) and have two for this year so far and am looking for more to help.
  • 1655 225th PL
    Spirit Lake, IA  51360
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  • 712 336 2473
  • Posted: April 2010

  • Ames, IA
  • I have lived at 3 separate addresses in Ames over the past 27 yrs. and have attracted breeding pairs to each site each year. I have been at my current site for 22 years and have averaged approx. 20 to 25 pairs for the last 2 to 3 years. I have 2 houses with 16 and 14 compartments which are monitored 1 to 2 times weekly throughout the breeding season. I would look forward to sharing whatever knowledge I have gained with interested beginners or veterans.
  • 2054 Prairieview E
    Ames, IA  
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  • 515-232-2807

David M. Steil
  • Keystone, IA
  • Benton County
  • Trying since 2002. Have 6 Super Gourds/6 Troyer Gourds and a T-14 House. Still waiting & praying for 1st nesting pair. We moved out to a farm in 2011. The farm is 18 acres and has a 1 acre pond. I have had lots of SY & ASY visitors; but no permenant PMs. I think a lot of ASYs are just migrating through. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Cheers David
  • 1143 71st Street
    Keystone, IA  52249
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  • 319-431-9739
  • Posted: January 2015

Kristeen Asleson
  • North Mankato, MN
  • Nicollet County
  • I have been trying to attract the purple martin for 5 years now with no luck. I think I need to put up a speaker and get a programmable cd players so that the scouts can hear the Dawnsong, but I'm not sure of all the technically of this. The last two years I have gotten up at 4AM and turned my CD player on so it is not like I have not been trying. Please give me any help or advice. Thank you!
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  • Posted: April 2014

Peter Alberda
  • Zeeland, MI
  • Ottawa County
  • Last year we put up a twelve unit house with four gourds below. The house has starling resistant holes, but the gourds have round holes. We do have a pond nearby that is approximately 100 feet wide by 200 feet long, though it does have trees around three sides. We live on a small farm and have several small open fields and pastures adjacent to the house. The house is about 70 feet from our home, but only 20 feet from one of our small outbuildings. Is that too close? I trap sparrows religeously so they are not a problem. I also eliminate any starlings which try to nest in the gourds. My biggest concern is site locaton. We have lots of trees on our property, though there is a different potential site adjacent to a 15 acre cornfield I could use if that would be better (It\'s about 150 feet from our home and hard to veiw from the house.) Is there anyone who could stop by and evaluate our site? The number one problem I have is that I don\'t know if our site is any good. It\'s not easy being a newbie!
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  • 616-283-8547
  • Posted: February 2011

Gary McGlashing
  • Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Linn County
  • I have no experience. Read a article in \"Our Iowa\" magazine (April/May 2010 issue). About attracting Martins. This has \"peaked\" my interest. I recall as a boy a Purple Martin colony in our neighborhood, and loved to watch them in the evening.
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  • Posted: May 2010


  • Fayette, IA
  • Fayette County
  • I have a martin house, but am not sure what the \"choice\" spot is to place it. I am totally new with this, but want to be successful with my Martins! Any help in any way would be most appreciated, thank you
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  • Posted: April 2009

Carlos Licona
  • West Des Moines, IA
  • Polk County
  • I set up a Trio \"Grandpa\" July 2006. I checked the house weekly only to find and repeatedly remove Sparrow nests. Now I am looking forward to attracting Purple Martins this year. I have added a decoy to the house and am currently playing the Daytime Chatter CD on external speakers to attract birds. I see many Starlings and even more Sparrows already but have not spotted any Purple Martin Scouts. I am concerned that I should not be feeding other birds with seed in feeders as it is only attracting the sparrows?
  • 1677 Burr Oaks Dr
    West Des Moines, IA  50266-6612
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  • Posted: April 2007

Dave Stoecker
  • clinton, IA
  • clinton County
  • I live along the mississippi river and have put up 12 pods on a 16 ft. pole. This will be my first year trying to attract purple martins and any tips would be appreciated !! thanks
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  • Posted: March 2007

michelle brooke
  • Numa, IA
  • Appanoose County
  • I am considering setting up a martin colony but have heard that I should not attempt this if I don't have the time to do it right. How much time should I plan on devoting to the colony? An estimate of time required and a general idea of what setting up a colony consists of would help me decide if this is somthing I can do at this point.
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  • Posted: March 2006

Samuel Aronson
  • Albert City, IA
  • Buena Vista County
  • I had one breeding subadult pair this summer. They fledged three young. What a fascinating summer. I am looking forward to next summer. I had a martin house that had 18 apartments I made a hole between apartments so that I had nine 2-room apartments.
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  • Posted: August 2005

Leslie Honeycutt
  • Fremont, NE
  • Dodge County
  • I have had an active colony, but the wind blew down my housing. I need help setting it back up. I may add a new one here at my home area too.
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  • Posted: March 2005

Pete Westby
  • Waconia, MN
  • Carver County
  • My wife and I purchased a metal Martin house - 12 rooms - away from trees and about 30 feet from the house. We put up the house mid August of 2004. Several days later, we had PM visitors 3 days in a row in late afternoon, early evening. In Sept. I closed the unit and now waiting. I am hoping to contact a mentor in my local area to assist in the development of my first colony. Thanks, Pete and Elise
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  • Posted: March 2005

Thomas Carmody
  • Eau Claire, WI
  • Eau Claire County
  • My father and brother have active colonies in Michigan and Florida respectively. I just purchased a 24 gourd housing with pole. I plan on raising it up the first week in May for the subadults that are predicted to show up then thru mid June. I am not aware of any PM enthusiasts in my area and trying to locate someone that could share some helpful info with me.
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  • Posted: March 2005

  • South Amana, IA
  • Iowa County
  • I had an abandoned house too close to trees with lilacs growing under it. I took it down, cleaned it up and put it back up. I think I have enough space between the trees, but am planning to cut some branches off a big locust to make sure. It is a Trio Pioneer. I put it up a couple weeks ago. I have come across a Trio Grandpa as well. Since I've moved the other house, a tree near it was lost to wind, so thought I would put this one up over in that general area. Is it too late? Should I forget it for a year? I was at a golf outing in Story City a couple weeks ago and heard some martins there. Haven't heard a peep here, so wondering if timing bad.
  • 408 Q
    South Amana, IA  
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  • 319-622-3550

  • Burlington, IA
  • Have house purchased/assembled, waiting for ground to thaw before I purchase a pole and erect it.
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  • Albert City, IA
  • I have two 6 compartment houses and 2 plastic gourds that I'm trying to attract martins with. I've been trying for 5 years to attract a pair of martins to start a colony. Last year I had a subadult male that spent 3 days on the power lines behind my housing within 10 feet of the martin house, but never visited the housing itself. My hope is that he will return this year. I would like any help anyone could give me so I may become a landlord.
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  • Low Moor, IA
  • We have recently installed a 12 unit of plastic/alum. before we did suffucuent research. Have interest in attracting and fortifying the Purple Martins in my rural town of pop. 300. Advice welcome.
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