Too late?

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Vixen55
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu May 06, 2021 9:53 pm
Location: Texas hill country

Hey y'all. I have such a newbie question! I put up my house every year at the end of Jan beginning of Feb. No takers. For years! This year I cut down a couple of trees I didn't like, added a wishing well but still never saw any!! I know they're in the area because I hear them early in the mornings. Well, on the 6th of May what looked like a male (darker) and a female (lighter with a creamer belly) came and looked like they were interested. I mean they perched, went in and out, left and came back in the evening and today too!! So my question, is it too late for nesting here? Aren't they supposed to be much earlier-like February?
Here's hoping!!
C.C.Martins
Posts: 1140
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA made adjustments and next year was successful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021:
Home colony: mix natural gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 gourds: PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021:
PMCA member

Welcome!!! Well sounds like what you did worked. No its not too late, lots and lots of martins around. What you described is a fantastic sign. Take a look at the scout reports for your area, give you an idea of when to open. Early Feb is good for Central Texas. Down here in corpus I keep the houses up until Sept or when a hurricane shows 🤔

Good luck hope they start your colony!
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
brent
Posts: 456
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Not too late at all. My birds are laying now and it's different from last year. Last year at this time I had birds fledging! I'm in S.E. Louisiana. Go figure. Good luck!
Brent
Vixen55
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu May 06, 2021 9:53 pm
Location: Texas hill country

They're bringing sticks!! I'm beyond excited.
deancamp
Posts: 677
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Congratulations on your pair starting to build a nest. Hopefully they will attract some more pairs as well.
Jeff Dean
Vixen55
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu May 06, 2021 9:53 pm
Location: Texas hill country

Bummer. I guess they're choosing not to stay. They fly around in the evening and early morning but don't stay. I guess they already have a colony somewhere else? I'm disappointed but will try again next year. Maybe I'll build a different house. And to top it off, dang sparrows moved in. At least I found the repeating trap I bought years ago when I first started trying to attract the martins. I haven't caught any yet but I'll keep trying.
brent
Posts: 456
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Wait! They generally leave during the day to feed. Are sparrows in the nest box? Don't let them stay. Chase them off or do what ever it takes.
Brent
Vixen55
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu May 06, 2021 9:53 pm
Location: Texas hill country

I pulled out all the straw and crap the sparrows had in there. I took it down again today and emptied it again. They're persistent. The martins did fly around again tonight but didn't stay. I hope I catch a sparrow tomorrow!
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3142
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

When you said they are bringing sticks in, did you literally mean sticks or are you just seeing nesting material. I have never found actual sticks in my martin nests. There are other birds that build nests with sticks. If you can post some pictures of your housing and your yard/property. We might help you identify something that is keeping you from getting martins. If you see a nest being built you might take a picture of it, or the birds that are building the nests just to make sure.
2021 Currently 62 nest 138 babies plus 110 eggs (6-317-21) HOSP count-9
2020 42 nest, Fledged 164 HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional lone SY's
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair 14 fledged.
Stacy B.
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:04 am
Location: Leroy, Louisiana
Martin Colony History: 2018- visitors only
2019- 8 pair, fledged 32
2020- 18 pair, fledged 91
2021-
Also host 1 pair of bluebirds and barn swallows
Every year. Avg. 3-5 fledglings each annually.

Brent is correct. Don't give up!
I've had SY martins show up in late may, go straight into best building, and lay eggs all within a 2 week period.( I'm in deep south La.). But, the sparrows gotta go and quickly, or the martins will not stay. They can't compete with the aggressive nature of the sparrows. You must eliminate the male sparrow. Nest tear outs will not solve the problem, and will anger the male sparrow(search sparrow revenge).
Shooting is the best and quickest way. Sounds to me like your visiting martins are attempting nest building at your place. They could be the founders of your colony. Don't let them get away!
Good luck to you!
Stacy B.
deancamp
Posts: 677
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

That's odd for them to start building a nest and then quit. Any insight into issues?
Jeff Dean
C.C.Martins
Posts: 1140
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA made adjustments and next year was successful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021:
Home colony: mix natural gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 gourds: PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021:
PMCA member

My guess would be the sparrows are keeping them at bay. Doesnt take long for the sparrows to build, but if its a subbie pair it will be easy for the sparrows to intimidate them and take over. Get rid of the sparrows quick or risk losing the martins that could start your colony.
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
Vixen55
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu May 06, 2021 9:53 pm
Location: Texas hill country

I think so too. Dang sparrows. I set the trap with cracked corn and bread pieces but they're smart and won't come near it. I can't shoot them or I sure would! I'd more than likely blow a hole in the birdhouse or pepper my neighbor's house as they're relatively close. I'm determined to catch them though. Thanks for the encouragement!
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