Search found 498 matches

by Craig Dyer
Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:27 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: House sparrow control
Replies: 7
Views: 2727

Re: House sparrow control

I have a Beeman .177 cal. with a factory mounted scope. I think I paid about $400 for it ten years ago. In my opinion when it comes to air rifles and BB guns you most certainly get what you pay for. If you are willing and able to pay, buy a quality gun. Adjust your sites and practice with a target o...
by Craig Dyer
Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:44 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Hypothetical on returning Martins
Replies: 26
Views: 8405

Re: Hypothetical on returning Martins

I wonder to what degree survival statistical variances occur as they relate to geographic location. Are martins that return to breed in southern areas of the country generally healthier than those that continue on into the northern areas, where insect populations may be less abundant? Might this aff...
by Craig Dyer
Fri Apr 06, 2018 11:17 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: A sparrow state of mind!?
Replies: 9
Views: 2046

Re: A sparrow state of mind!?

I have been a martin landlord for many years. I share your house sparrow anxiety. I immediately go into action when I spot them on or near my martin housing. I break out my scope mounted Beeman air-rifle. If I can't get a clean shot I start setting traps. I don't relent until the SOB is history. I h...
by Craig Dyer
Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Hypothetical on returning Martins
Replies: 26
Views: 8405

Re: Hypothetical on returning Martins

The numbers & statistics are a little mind numbing. My present colony was established six years ago. I am relentless in my control of house sparrows, have all crescent entrances (so starlings are not a problem), and have an excellent open flyway in all directions. I have 28 compartments and utilize ...
by Craig Dyer
Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:38 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Hypothetical on returning Martins
Replies: 26
Views: 8405

Re: Hypothetical on returning Martins

Ed,
Do we know why ASY mortality rates are so high?
by Craig Dyer
Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:41 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Hypothetical on returning Martins
Replies: 26
Views: 8405

Re: Hypothetical on returning Martins

Great question! I'll be waiting for the response from someone much smarter than me.
by Craig Dyer
Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:54 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: So.......what has happened here?
Replies: 47
Views: 9754

Re: So.......what has happened here?

Purple martins are abundant in north east Texas, and desperate for housing. I've heard it said that one could hang an old shoe on a fence post here and attract a pair of martins.
by Craig Dyer
Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:55 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: So.......what has happened here?
Replies: 47
Views: 9754

Re: So.......what has happened here?

My first colony was seven years old and well established. I had forty nesting pairs. It was sad pulling down all the housing when I moved. It was late July that year so the martins were finished nesting for the season. There were other purple martin landlords nearby so I'm sure my old colony found n...
by Craig Dyer
Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:31 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: So.......what has happened here?
Replies: 47
Views: 9754

Re: So.......what has happened here?

I have enjoyed the Forum for 13 years. It's not near as active as it used to be. It is still a great place to share experiences and learn. I am still learning and loving every minute of it. I get a tremendous sense of joy and fulfillment out of hosting these beautiful song birds.
by Craig Dyer
Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:58 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Eurasian Tree Sparrow?
Replies: 4
Views: 1467

Re: Eurasian Tree Sparrow?

Hi David, You have a discerning eye. I would have identified your Eurasian Tree Sparrows as plain old English House Sparrows. i had to look that species up on the Audubon Field Guide website. I had never heard of it. This doesn't really answer your question about how this species affects purple mart...
by Craig Dyer
Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:45 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: The Blue Bird Couple
Replies: 17
Views: 4182

Re: The Blue Bird Couple

Beautiful couple! We too have a pair of resident bluebirds. When I checked the nest last week there were four eggs. This morning there are three eggs & a hatchling! For the last several years the bluebirds have raised three separate broods each season.
Best of luck to you this year.
by Craig Dyer
Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:03 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Blue Birds
Replies: 3
Views: 1141

Re: Blue Birds

I once witnessed a male house sparrow removing purple martin eggs from a nest cavity. He was pecking holes in the eggs. This enabled him to pick them up. I watched him fly off with one & drop it about fifty yards away.
by Craig Dyer
Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:38 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: My poles are moving in the wind
Replies: 3
Views: 1008

Re: My poles are moving in the wind

Purple martins are not bothered by a little sway from the wind. As already stated pole damage is the real concern. It seems counter intuitive, but martins appear quite unfazed by the height of their housing. I routinely lower mine to six or seven feet from the ground during thunderstorms. It does no...
by Craig Dyer
Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:34 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: So where would you go? Solved?
Replies: 16
Views: 3599

Re: So where would you go?

I have wondered if martins sometimes retreat and fly back south several hundred miles for a few days. Where the weather is warmer and flying insects may be more available?
by Craig Dyer
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:49 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Pest strips for sparrows
Replies: 6
Views: 1993

Re: Pest strips for sparrows

A cautionary tale... several years ago a pair of very wily houses sparrows were driving me crazy. They were avoiding the cavities where I had set insert traps. I could net get a clean shot at them with my air rifle. I used what I thought was appropriate due diligence and tried a glue trap. The resul...
by Craig Dyer
Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:52 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Weather
Replies: 11
Views: 3368

Re: Weather

I agree...as I recall it was much easier to get martins to accept flipped or tossed crickets when they were hungry. Now is probably the time to begin training, not in May or June.
by Craig Dyer
Sun Feb 25, 2018 12:00 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Weather
Replies: 11
Views: 3368

Re: Weather

I have about ten martins roosting. I too was very concerned about the extended period of cold rainy weather. Today was day four of temps between 35-50 degrees and rain. The sun popped out this afternoon. The temperature jumped into the 60s and all the martins look happy & healthy. That's a relief. A...
by Craig Dyer
Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:21 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: More martin arrivals
Replies: 8
Views: 2419

Re: More martin arrivals

Hang in there Coolwhips...they're back! I'm just east of Lake Lavon. This morning the first of my purple martins returned...an adult female. Best of luck to you this season.
by Craig Dyer
Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:32 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: egg shells for the martins
Replies: 8
Views: 2297

Re: egg shells for the martins

P.S. I have an elevated tray on a pole that I place the oyster shell in. The martins readily accept it, and will also feed it to their young.
by Craig Dyer
Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:28 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: egg shells for the martins
Replies: 8
Views: 2297

Re: egg shells for the martins

Hi Jerry,

I have never provided egg shells...too much trouble. I'm sure others will comment on the preparation. You might consider crushed oyster shell.
I have always used oyster shell. You can buy small bags of oyster shell at most feed stores. Just pour it out of the bag & be done with it.