Search found 1539 matches

by Scully
Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:04 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: A failed attempt at a cross-country martin house transect
Replies: 29
Views: 7483

Have any close-calls with vehicles? My better-half wants to ride cross-country (you know, the old "dip your rear wheel in the Pacific, then dip the front in the Atlantic at the end of the adventure"). We enjoy biking, but I am borderline paranoid of vehicular kamikazes. On this thread over the next...
by Scully
Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:22 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Fire Ant Exterminators!
Replies: 15
Views: 2871

From the years we had our nest cam it became apparent that for our martins at least flying fire ants were a "hardship food", a prey item taken when other insects weren't available. Hardship years around here are invariably connected with a lack of rainfall, I don't know how this would apply to Texar...
by Scully
Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:56 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: A failed attempt at a cross-country martin house transect
Replies: 29
Views: 7483

Thanks Matt, Only amazing maybe in that I was 57 and trying this for the first time. This is how its done; you get on the bike in the morning and just ride. No rush, no straining, if you get tired or out of breath you are doing it wrong. Its important to have low enough gears on the bike so that you...
by Scully
Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:05 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: A failed attempt at a cross-country martin house transect
Replies: 29
Views: 7483

A failed attempt at a cross-country martin house transect

:???: Last summer I was able to complete an item long on my bucket list; a 2,000 mile bicycle ride from my own front door here in San Antonio to New York State.... http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v148/Sharpshin/btripvictory_zps597333a1.jpg 2,010 miles in thirty-three days, as it turned out not nea...
by Scully
Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:32 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Martin fortunes in our area
Replies: 5
Views: 1216

Martin fortunes in our area

Many here may recall that my students and I have been looking at area martin populations. We located more than 200 housing sites in our city within a four-mile radius of our campus. What we learned is almost none of this housing was maintained to any appreciable degree, and all of it was infested wi...
by Scully
Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:34 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: A great year for our school colony.
Replies: 3
Views: 741

A great year for our school colony.

My apologies for having been gone so long. I would like to step in though and report a banner year for our martin colony. March and April were unseasonably mild, with abundant rainfall, this trend continuing into May. Foraging has apparently been very good, only two runts were found among 195 nestli...
by Scully
Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:44 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Take down unoccupied houses now?
Replies: 18
Views: 3707

Here in San Antonio martins are pretty much done breeding except for a few isolated pairs by July, yet I have seen them descend upon area housing in groups in the middle of the day until mid-August when the last of them leave around here. It does seem as if these visits must have some function. I wo...
by Scully
Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:48 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Season Report
Replies: 2
Views: 982

Hi John, Good to talk to you again. This has now become a lower income area and I suppose is still in decline but most of these neighborhoods went in forty and fifty years ago and here close to the bases a great many houses were bought by Air Force and other military retirees, many of whom were from...
by Scully
Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:27 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Battling HOSP in BO9 Gourds - Recommendations Appreciated
Replies: 24
Views: 5226

Use duct tape to cover half the entrance hole, preventing any martins from entering but still admitting the sparrows. Then you can place a snap trap or piece of a glue trap inside the gourd. What we do at our colony is take down the invaded gourd and put up a Natureline with a shimmed-down trap entr...
by Scully
Tue Jun 03, 2014 2:17 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Season Report
Replies: 2
Views: 982

Season Report

I must apologize for being abent from the forum this year, in my own defense I can only claim "busy". Looking back three or four months, our local martins appear to have been largely unscathed by the series of repeated cold fronts, by the time fronts got this far south they were largely moderated an...
by Scully
Fri May 02, 2014 8:38 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: WWII German POWs & Purple Martins in Texas
Replies: 15
Views: 4335

I grew up in England until I was thirteen and I recall two species of familiar swallows around town. One was the Barn Swallow with its long forked tail, very similar to ours but whiter underneath. As they do here, barn swallows built cup nets of mud in barns and under porches. The other was the Hous...
by Scully
Fri May 02, 2014 7:49 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Very late this year (me, not the martins).
Replies: 3
Views: 1231

Very late this year (me, not the martins).

Apologies for my late segue into the forum this year. To briefly catch up, our school colony appears to have endured the late spring this year unscathed, although this far south we did not have the prolonged killing temperatures that must have been experienced further north. The big "event" this yea...
by Scully
Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:09 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Whistler gourds from S&K.
Replies: 4
Views: 1743

We tested all sorts of gourd types over several years here in San Antonio, including several S&K products. We never were able to determine that any one style was more productive than another. The martins used them all, and produced similar amounts of young. This goes from everything from S&K's own t...
by Scully
Sat Jun 15, 2013 9:59 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Ragged season finishing strong, but housing loss continuing.
Replies: 3
Views: 1242

DL, My theory is that martins seem to do better in neglected sites down here because our breeding season is longer, allowing more time for second breeding attempts. From what we saw the three years we were able to do nest checks on neglected houses, the biggest difference was martins in neglected ho...
by Scully
Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:12 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Ragged season finishing strong, but housing loss continuing.
Replies: 3
Views: 1242

Ragged season finishing strong, but housing loss continuing.

Closing out the season. 38 broods of fledglings out, 107 new martins. So, those nests that actually fledged young averaged 3.0 fledged young per nest. Five nests failed however, either losing eggs, eggs failing to hatch, or all young dead. Including these five zeros in the fledgling column gives us ...
by Scully
Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:26 am
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: The sidewalk colony lives on!
Replies: 5
Views: 2523

IMO eventually unmanaged housing falling apart will fail, sometimes it takes years and sometimes all sudden due to predators??? In my area much of this martin housing is an artifact of a passing generation, many of the present residents of these properties are not the people who put up the martin h...
by Scully
Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:13 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: The sidewalk colony lives on!
Replies: 5
Views: 2523

I'm thinking that, though these houses may be separated by hundreds of yards, there may in fact be a "colony effect". When a martin takes to the air, it would immediately see martins from neighboring sites not very far away. Studies of the Southwest Desert race of the purple martin have shown that i...
by Scully
Mon Jun 03, 2013 5:18 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Oops, a "non-believer" asked about my PMCA NB trap
Replies: 25
Views: 7404

Forgot to add, the latest wrinkle here is the gradual return of the Cooper's hawk as a breeding bird. One school colony we are trying to establish suffers regular overflights from a breeding pair of Cooper's and has remained vacant. I also saw one just last week not far from here, probably too late ...
by Scully
Mon Jun 03, 2013 5:07 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Oops, a "non-believer" asked about my PMCA NB trap
Replies: 25
Views: 7404

Thanks for the kind sentiments, we are on the same side after all 8) Interesting thing is, according to my own figures, our local martin population should be a whole lot more down in numbers than they actually are. I'm actually surprised that I'm still finding as many as I am. I will say that in thi...
by Scully
Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:02 pm
Forum: Purple Martin Forum
Topic: Oops, a "non-believer" asked about my PMCA NB trap
Replies: 25
Views: 7404

I have also seen private housing filled to the brim with trash, martins could never colonize those houses. What this really needs is systematic study, rather than anecdotes. I am unaware of anyone in academia who has actually looked at how martins survive in neglected sites, it seems all of the stu...