Search found 88 matches

by randyM
Sat Oct 26, 2019 12:16 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: My Purple Martins Obviously Like Gourds!
Replies: 10
Views: 2889

Re: My Purple Martins Obviously Like Gourds!

The martins at my colony overwhelmingly have chosen wooden houses over plastic gourds over the past 4 years (although I did not have a nesting pair of martins until I added gourds to my setup). Many of the larger colonies within 50 miles of my site offer mostly plastic gourds. I designed and built m...
by randyM
Sat Sep 21, 2019 11:09 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Does Offering Different Types Of Cavities Help Attract Martins ?
Replies: 3
Views: 2326

Re: Does Offering Different Types Of Cavities Help Attract Martins ?

Before you add any additional housing to your site, make sure you have open flyways to your existing housing, with any existing trees in the area as far from your housing as possible. As these variables will likely have more of an effect on birds selecting your site to nest than what type of housing...
by randyM
Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:32 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Advice for wanna be landlord
Replies: 21
Views: 10578

Re: Advice for wanna be landlord

I play my chatter CD until about Sept. 15 each year at my site in northern South Dakota. The latest I've ever seen a martin at my site is Sept. 12. Yesterday I had at least 8 martins visit my site (6 HY and 2 SY birds). I was gone most of the day today, but had the chatter CD playing until I got hom...
by randyM
Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:56 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Numbering Gourds
Replies: 5
Views: 2810

Re: Numbering Gourds

Have you ever thought of just numbering the fixed location from which you hang your gourds? I have a schematic of each combined house and gourd system at my colony for each of 10 house/gourd systems, and that works very well for me. I don't have to physically mark or number each one of my nesting ca...
by randyM
Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:39 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: going south for the winter
Replies: 2
Views: 2362

Re: going south for the winter

I've had migrating birds visit my colony in South Dakota each year until about Sept. 15. I still have a family of 6 hanging around my site that fledged on Aug. 15. I play the daytime chatter CD each day during migration and have about 3-8 visitors each day (including some ASY birds). I'd suggest to ...
by randyM
Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:48 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Any body still have PM to fledge
Replies: 7
Views: 3134

Re: Any body still have PM to fledge

I have one more pair of SY matins that have 4 nestlings that will be 29 days old tomorrow. Two of them fledged today, but it was cold (65 F) and windy (25 mph) all day long. Both sat on a perch on an adjacent martin house for a few hours but flew back into their nest cavity to join their siblings to...
by randyM
Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:03 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Satan's pet bird
Replies: 9
Views: 2473

Re: Satan's pet bird

Nearly every year I have western and eastern kingbirds nest in the trees about 20 yards from my closest martin housing. They seem to get along with other birds unless another birds gets too close to their nest. I've seen feathers fly before when a grackle got too close to a Eastern's nest. This year...
by randyM
Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:08 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Do SY's return to their birth colony?
Replies: 20
Views: 6599

Re: Do SY's return to their birth colony?

Barbiejoe - Most martins that are banded have 2 bands (one on each leg). One band is a standard US Fish and Wildlife silver colored aluminum band that has a 8 or 9 digit number stamped into the band. The other band is also aluminum, but is painted a different color (red, yellow, green, blue, etc.). ...
by randyM
Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:15 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: tree swallows
Replies: 5
Views: 2772

Re: tree swallows

Gray fox, Dave is correct in that inviting tree swallows to nest on your property prior to martins establishing a colony will make it that much more difficult to establish a martin colony....I learned this the hard way. It took me over a decade to get my martin colony started even though the nesting...
by randyM
Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:02 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Do SY's return to their birth colony?
Replies: 20
Views: 6599

Re: Do SY's return to their birth colony?

I have crunched a few numbers in some hypothetical examples to hopefully help some folks better understand the complexity and dynamics of the composition of members in a martin colony. Hopefully this is not too confusing, as I tend to get kind of wordy in my examples :grin: If you consider a hypothe...
by randyM
Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:05 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Updates from north of Toronto, Canada
Replies: 9
Views: 3799

Re: Updates from north of Toronto, Canada

I typically play the dawn song in the spring and chatter CD in the late summer. If you have any martin decoys, I'd put those out near your speaker or on your housing as well.
by randyM
Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:43 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Updates from north of Toronto, Canada
Replies: 9
Views: 3799

Re: Updates from north of Toronto, Canada

I am a few degrees Latitude north of you, but quite a way to the west of you in northern South Dakota. I still have 2 nests to fledge: one any day now and the other at least a week from now. Landlords north of me are still indicating they have nests yet to fledge. Newly fledged families typically re...
by randyM
Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:54 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Late brood
Replies: 5
Views: 3318

Re: Late brood

I also live much farther north than you and have two broods that aren't scheduled to fledge for another 10 days or so. Thus, the young in your late nest should have as good or better chance to fledge and survive the southward migration than those later nests north of you.
by randyM
Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:59 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Do SY's return to their birth colony?
Replies: 20
Views: 6599

Re: Do SY's return to their birth colony?

Ed...you indicated that two banded nestmates returned to your colony the year after banding. Last year I had two banded male nestmates (#975 & #977) from my colony return as SY birds (#977 found a mate and successfully nested and #975 stayed a few weeks then left). Both birds came back as ASYM in 20...
by randyM
Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:47 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Three puzzles
Replies: 4
Views: 853

Re: Three puzzles

malachy cleary - Nests are abandoned for many reasons (death of 1 or more adults, infertile eggs, some type of major disturbance, eviction from cavity due to another bird, etc). Some nestlings may hatch with internal abnormalities and may not beg for food as intensively as nest mates, and parents wi...
by randyM
Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:36 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Mysterious Predator
Replies: 20
Views: 2609

Re: Mysterious Predator

jhcox...In the northern prairie areas where martins nest we have very few large snakes that inhabit these areas that would take nestlings from an elevated nest. We have a few bull snakes up here but they are not common at all...I've only seen 3 my entire life in the Dakota's, and I spend a lot of ti...
by randyM
Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:51 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Mysterious Predator
Replies: 20
Views: 2609

Re: Mysterious Predator

What type of poles do you have on our T-14's? My guess is that it is a raccoon(s). I recently had a similar bad experience with some tree swallow nest that were close to fledging. I have some plastic gourds and wooden nest boxes up along the length of a 4-strand barbed wire fence, with the nest stru...
by randyM
Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:35 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Can't believe it, but I have one hanging around
Replies: 36
Views: 17957

Re: Can't believe it, but I have one hanging around

Your SYM is behaving the same as the one that started my colony. He was at my site alone for most of June then left in early July, not to be seen again at my place for a long 10 months until the following May as a male in full adult plumage. He found a mate that next year, successfully nested, fledg...
by randyM
Fri Jun 28, 2019 11:29 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Wooden 8-room PM House
Replies: 32
Views: 8914

Re: Wooden 8-room PM House

Looks good! You'll have to keep us posted as to how next year's occupancy goes!

Best of luck to you!
by randyM
Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:47 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Wooden 8-room PM House
Replies: 32
Views: 8914

Re: Wooden 8-room PM House

I have built 10 of my own 4-level, 20 compartment wooden houses, all with round entrance holes (I live out in the country and shoot 10-20 starlings and sparrows each spring, so I use round holes). Each level has 5 compartments (three that are 6"x12"x5.5" and two that are 6"x9"x5.5"). On each level 2...

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