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Pennsylvania


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looking for a Mentor

Bill Wenger
  • Carnegie, PA
  • Allegheny County
  • I am currently monitoring 8 active purple martin colonies, 1 in Allegheny County and 7 in Crawford County, around the Pymatuning Reservoir. My martins fledged about 310 young in 2012. I am happy to say that I was able to provide them a safe environment to raise their young. The weather played a large part as well, since it was fairly consistent througout the nesting season. We\'re definitely looking to have a better year in 2013.
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  • Posted: March 2013

Eugene Chianelli
  • Huddleston, VA
  • Bedford County
  • I was given a 12 unit purple martin house about 10 years ago. The first year we erected the house we had martins. I knew very little about them but I learned very quickly about predators. It is discouriging to watch a sharp shinned hawk reach in and grab one your birds. I have been adding gourds each year and now have 15 gourds and a colony of 30 birds. I try to make improvements each year. Next year I will double the size of my apartments but cut the number in half. I should be able to increase the fledging rate. I have accumulated purple knowledge over the past 10 years and now wish to share it with others.
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  • Posted: May 2011

Jeffrey Powers
  • Swanton, OH
  • Lucas County
  • Currently, we are entering our 20th year of attracting Martins. We have had 14 years of failed attempts and heartbreak. However, after having tried everything a person could imagine we have finally established a colony. If you are out there in a similar situation, we feel your pain. Do not hesitate to contact us if you want to share in our Martin experience. It can be easy for some people to get a colony started. Good luck is great, but we do not always learn as much from immediate success. For those of us not so fortunate, don\'t lose heart! It can be done!
  • 5155 Fulton-Lucas Rd.
    Swanton, OH  43558
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  • 419-345-1959
  • Posted: December 2010

Henry Schilling
  • Lavalette, NJ
  • Ocean County
  • Have been a lucky Martin Landlord for 8 years. Now have 40 Northern Sky\'s wooden nests. Thanks to Bob Buskas answering my questions. If anyone needs help to what little I know,I would be glad to help.
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  • Posted: February 2009

BECKY PICCOLIN
  • Greenville, PA
  • Mercer County
  • Through MK Goddard State Park, I have been the monitor of their colony for 4 years now. Whether it is luck, or study of the subject, the colonies have been very successful so far, and are getting bigger every year. I would be happy to help anyone in my general area.
  • 852 Beatty School Rd.
    Greenville, PA  
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  • 724-588-1708

LES KECK
  • Carlisle, PA
  • PMCA member for ten years, Martin landlord nine years. I am located in central Cumberland County. I always have time to talk about Purple Martins!
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BRUCE CHILDS
  • Boothwyn, PA
  • I put up a single 8 room cedar martin house with 4 natural gourds with I grew myself 4 years ago and was unsuccessful in my first year. I was very dedicated in attracting these birds that I was always fascinated with since I was a child. I played the Dawnsong tape for months in hopes of attracting them. However, in my second year I was rewarded for my efforts and attracted one nesting pair. My male was an ASY and the female was an SY. They laid four eggs in their first attempt, and they were all broken by probably a sparrow or starling. After this I terminated quite a few of them. They renested in a second gourd and were successful in raising and fledging four young. I felt like I had won the lotto. Only martin lovers would understand this, right? Last year I had 10 adults and fledged 27 young of 28. 12 adults and subs have arrived so far this season (5/12), and three pairs have already begun nest building. Looking forward to more success this season. Please contact me if you think I can help you. I'd be happy to.
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lu ann walter
  • leeper, PA
  • clarion County
  • I just put up my martin house. I have plenty of gardens, gravel and a water pond near by on my property. excited to see what happens
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  • Posted: April 2014

Julie Dell
  • Edinboro, PA
  • Erie County
  • I would like to start a colony (Spring 2013). A neighbor has martins and they fly over our 10 acres all summer, so I think I'll have good luck attracting birds. I need input as to the type of box/gourds to buy, when open housing etc. Our location has lots of open space so location is not a problem. I have been a birder for many years and will be a good landlord!
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  • Posted: February 2013

Tara Wisniewski
  • Collegeville, PA
  • Montgomery County
  • This is my first year as a landlord. I would like some assitance with checking the nests. I\'m not sure when to begin the weekly checks and if there is a particular time of day this should be done. I would appreciate any advice I can get. My Purple Martins just arrived last week. Thank you.
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  • Posted: May 2011

Jenn Hile
  • Bellefonte, PA
  • Centre County
  • I would like some advice about possibly starting a colony in central PA. Thanks!
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  • Posted: April 2011

Nancy Hahn
  • Carlisle, PA
  • Cumberland County
  • I work at a nursing home and we seem to have the perfect environment on grounds for a purple martin population. We are interested in putting up housing to see if we can do so.
  • Claremont Nsg and Rehab Ctr
    1000 Claremont Road
    Carlisle, PA  17013
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  • 717-240-1937
  • Posted: March 2010

Rhonda Wells

CLAY LEOPOLD
  • PRINCETON, NJ
  • MERCER County
  • Set up a house late last year in August-- did not get any birds. Would like to attract birds this year. Will try the Dawnsong on a CD player outside by the bird-house.
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  • Posted: April 2009

craig poff
  • west chester, PA
  • chester County
  • i\'ve had a house up for 3-4 years and seem to end up getting sparrows & starlings with a few tree swallows around.
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  • Posted: March 2009

Maria Moch
  • Whitehouse Station, NJ
  • Hunterdon County
  • We had a Purple Martin structure on our Corporate site, but it was not managed properly and did not have any Purple Martins nesting, only Tree Swallows. The wooden parts of the structure fell down this winter, so I am now trying to learn what needs to be done for a successful site and mainteance program. I would appreciate any and all help with this.
  • Merck & Co., Inc.
    Two Merck Drive
    Whitehouse Station, NJ  08889
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  • 908-423-1552
  • Posted: February 2009

Carol Kettle

Joel Bacon

Greg Tritten
  • Oil City, PA
  • Venango County
  • I have been trying to attract purple martins for 20 years in various nearby locations and havent attracted any yet.
  • 807east4thst
    Oil City, PA  16301
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  • (814)676-1362
  • Posted: March 2006

Ruthie Wolfe
  • womelsdorf, PA
  • Berks County
  • I am a 9th grade agriculture student at Conrad Weiser High School, which is located in Berks County (outside of Reading,Pa). The Agricultural Department put up housing for the Purple Martin but no one was running it. Three other students (not including myself) are also interested in starting a colony. We are looking for some help to begin this project. Please e-mail me if anyone is interested on helping us. Thanks!
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  • Posted: September 2005

Bill Wenger
  • Carnegie, PA
  • Allegheny County
  • I put up a Coates Purple Martin Suite with (SREH) on May 1st of this year. This is located at our Cottage in Espyville, PA, so I can only check the activity every week or every other week. On May 15th, I believe I noticed a martin checking it out, it went from floor to floor and entered each suite, but I never did see that one return. I recently purchased a decoy, so will put that up shortly. Hopefully some young from around the area will check it out and return next year.
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  • Posted: June 2005

sherri rapp
  • Cranesville, PA
  • ERIE County
  • The other day I had 13.....yes 13 Purple Martin's in my driveway........I'm pretty sure they were all pretty young (according to pictures of young P.M.'s) they were so gorgeous! We have 75 acres here in Cranesville, PA and the birds were on my gravel driveway just sitting huddled up! It was chilly the other night.......I don't know as I'm new to this! They could all fly.....there were males and females. I have always wanted to place housing up for these gorgeous birds but have no idea how to get started. We have pasture and horses and wide open areas............. I would appreciate any help you can offer. Sherri
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  • Posted: June 2005

Brian/Donna McNally
  • Collegeville, PA
  • Montgomery County
  • This is our second year as a landlord. The first successful year. We have a couple nesting now and I am hoping for the best. I am unsure as to when to start checkin our nest. Is it ever too early? Right now they look like they are still working on the nest. Our female is still flying in and out with grass etc. Our male is beautiful and lets me get close to him for pictures. He stands guard on our fence post and has tried to mate with her several times in the last couple of days. I guess we are getting close. Does the female disappear for a while while she lays? Will I hear the babies? How long does it take to hatch?
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  • Posted: May 2005

Brent Nelson
  • Corova, NC
  • Currituck County
  • Recently purchased a beach house (Pelican's Perch) on North Carolina's Outer Banks near Corova. Access is 4WD only and 7.5 miles up the beach from the paved road in Carolla. Our neighbors to the south of us have two active PM houses with many birds. Being a PM landlord always interested me and this beach setting got me motivated. Spring of 2005, Kathy, Christine and I erected two houses (last week in April) and immediately had martins peeping in and entering the houses. We all live in Maryland so we are unable to see our martins on a regular basis. This just kills me, but I know they will be an interesting addition to our cottage for our renter's from April - July. Our PM houses sit approx. 30 feet from our hot tub and pool. Great way to view the birds and we love hearing their soft chirping sounds, gliding and soaring in the early moring beach sunlight. Evenings find the birds swooping down near the eves of our roof on the top deck, gathering dragonflys and nats, only a few feet away. Without sounding like an advertisement, our house sleeps 15 and is a great place to spend a week on a remote Atlantic ocean beach in the midst of many purple martins. Hope to hook up with other landlords in NC Thanks and good luck, Brent Look us up online.
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  • Posted: September 2005

Ken Noto
  • Westminster, MD
  • Carroll County
  • Read up on PMs for years. Recently moved into new home on 1.4 acres in the country. Purchased a Coates 8 room Suite PM house with Heavy Duty Telescoping pole. Pole installed on May 2, 2005 and house installed on May 3, 2005. I know it's late but this spring has been so cold. Barn Swallows just started appearing en masse these past few days. My home is 4 miles north of Westminster, 2 miles south of Manchester Maryland. We're off of State Road 27. I haven't seen any other PM housing in my area, but I know they have to be around; it's ideal habitat for them. I'd like a mentor who might be able to use their experience to give me advice and also to check out my PM house. For next year I think I'll be adding a gourd rack next to the Coates Suite house. Also, just joined the PMCA today. Thanks, Ken
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  • Posted: May 2005

William Seifried
  • Layton, NJ
  • Sussex County
  • I bought a PM house, I think I have the perfect location. Looking for info on best time to put up the house and what to expect.
  • PO Box 11
    Layton, NJ  07851
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  • Posted: May 2005

Catherine M. Fitch
  • Fairview, WV
  • Monongalia County
  • I have sent for a house and telescoping pole. They should be here soon. I have also sent for a decoy, and two CDs of PMs chattering. We are located out in the country, sort of between Morgantown and Fairmont. We are not too far from the Pennsylvania border near Waynesburg. I would very much like to see what other people have done. Thanks. Catherine Fitch
  • 111 County Line Drive
    Fairview, WV  26570
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  • Posted: April 2005

LARRY ARNER

Mike Kimler

Guy & mary Ellen Marlette
  • Elicottville, NY
  • Cattaraugus County
  • I want to start a Martin House, but have no real experience. I want to do right from the beginning. Proper House, etc. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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  • Posted: December 2004

JUDITH D MITCHELL
  • Union City, PA
  • Crawford County
  • My family gave me a purple martin house and put it up last June (2003). I left it up in an effort to make it appear as part of the landscape and part of the environment. This May I have seen Martens and Barn Swallows standing on the railings of the house and there is a nosy little sparrow there once in awhile. We can see nest material sticking out of one of the cavities so I am going to lower the house this weekend to check out the residents. I have a telescoping pole.
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JULIA HOLLABAUGH
  • Cochranton, PA
  • Crawford County
  • This is the first year we have put up a house-getting a lot of activity from unwanted birds and frequently need to remove sparrow nests. Just 3 days ago we saw our first martins perched on the house. So far it doesn't appear they are starting to nest but we would like to encourage them to stay and could use some advice from someone who has done this before.
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MICHAEL KOFFENBERGER
  • PA
  • York County
  • In my first year of having housing, I had one breeding pair (5 eggs, 4 fledged). This is my second year. I have seen and heard single scouts and adults this year but no luck yet. Would like hints/tricks for the area not already listed on this website.
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JESS HAHN

ROBERT MOTHERSBAUGH
  • Centre Hall, PA
  • Centre County
  • Seeking advice on when to open first-time martin house in Central Pennsylvania?
  • 117 Dennis Alan Circle
    Centre Hall, PA  
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JOHN TREMBA
  • Connellsville, PA
  • Fayette County
  • [email protected]
  • I am interested in sharing this activity with my high school gifted classes with respect to their ongoing study of insects, macroinvertebrates, and the West Nile Virus. We are looking for grant sources to fund a small project of practical and educational values with respect to the Purple Martin. John Tremba, teacher of the gifted at Connellsville Area High School.
  • 404 Stadium Rd.
    Connellsville, PA  
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MELINDA (Mindy) MATHIAS
  • Oley, PA
  • (near Reading), PA: I have an aluminum house which I will modify as soon as the resident Bluebirds finish raising their young. Hopefully I can attract some martins when they migrate later this summer so they will return next year.
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MARY LAWRENCE
  • Jeannette, PA
  • [email protected] (home/eve)
  • Southwestern PA, Jeannette, PA (near Greensburg, southeast of Pittsburgh) My husband bought me a 12-room cedar martin house for my 50th birthday as a surprise. I checked out the web, found the PMCA?s web site, and started communicating with Jamie. Very quickly I learned that it needed modified if we were to keep it. The size of the holes are OK (2 1/4 in, one inch above the floor) and it had porch dividers, so we kept it and modified it to six double compartments of 5 X 12. We painted it white, made plugs for the holes, and mounted it on a telescoping pole using the guidelines of placement from the web site articles. It is in an open area, not too far from the house, far enough from tall trees, no ground shrubs around it, etc. I live on 3 acres in a rural, farm area with a small stream nearby. Before I get into gourds, dawn songs, waterproof speakers, timers and more modifications, I want to know if there are even any martins in SW Pennsylvania?
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JOHN LONCHER

RANDY BROWN
  • Mechanicsburg, PA
  • I joined the PMCA a few years ago and quickly found out why I had been failing to attract Martins for the previous ten years, but despite very sound advice and help, I am still Martin-less. I understand that I am in a 'Bad Neighborhood' as the result of Hurricane Agnes, but that only makes me more determined to try and help the birds reestablish themselves in this area. Perhaps some personal assistance from a successful landlord would help.
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JOYCE M HOLTON
  • Landenberg, PA
  • (Southeastern PA, five miles north of Newark, DE) I am very interested in becoming a mentee. Last year was my first attempt trying to attract martins. We had many lookers and a few stayed around for a month or so, but none nested. I would like to find anyone who is willing to help me get martins to stay here. I will be extremely dedicated to these birds and anything I can do to help them.
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DAVID M. SERENY

BILL KEMMERER

SUSAN MURRAY
  • Glenmoore, PA
  • This will be my first year of trying to attract martins. I put up an Alamo martin house last year, but it was too late in the season to attract martins. I plan on adding some gourds to it this year. I think I have it set up according to the recommendations that I've read on the PMCA website.
  • 1801 Little Conestoga Rd.
    Glenmoore, PA  
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JOY SCHAWALDER
  • Portersville, PA
  • This is my first year of trying to attract Purple Martins. I am looking for any advice from anyone in doing so.
  • 295 West Park Rd.
    Portersville, PA  
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VICKY CHLEBOWSKI
  • Greencastle, PA
  • A few Purple Martins sighted in the last 2 seasons. This is the year I would like to start. Already purchased 8 big plastic gourds.
  • 12998 Grant Shook Rd.
    Greencastle, PA  
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  • 717-597-4969

NICK VERES
  • Bangor, PA
  • This is my second year with my martin house. I live on a small farm in N.E.P.A. We have Barn Swallows and Tree Swallows, but I have yet to attract any martins. Maybe this year I'll have some luck. I would appreciate any help I could get. Thanks.
  • 6814 Franklin Hill Rd.
    Bangor, PA  
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MARK ROSE
  • South Coventry, PA
  • Received housing for fathers day. Put it up in mid June, a little late for this season, thought I might attract a straggler. Simple wooden house (painted white) with 6 compartments on a telescoping pole with a baffle. Played dawn song for about 2 weeks. No luck so far.
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BOB BURKARD
  • Douglassville, PA
  • I live near in Yellow House, PA (My mailing address is Douglassville which is east of Reading) and I plan on putting up a Martin House this spring. I have tried unsuccessfully in the past to attract Purple Martins, but have moved to a new location. I have a number of questions to ask, and I would like to talk with an experienced Martin manager. I would also like to see some of the Martin houses and gourds before I make a housing purchase.
  • 10 Miller Dr.
    Douglassville, PA  
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