Getting the martins to land

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I had a female this morning circling low over my house near my gourds while the dawn song was playing then she just took off. Should I be paying more attention to the sub adults soon to arrive?

I am anxious and disappointed when they just stop then go without even landing.
James Strickland FL
Posts: 2249
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 8:04 pm
Location: Reidsville NC
Martin Colony History: 2017 Had a lot visitors no Matins nesting, hoping 2018 will be different.
2018 Had 1 pair
2019 had 30 pair

I last year would play the dawnsong and when they were near I would lower the sound and they would land. As for this year I have not had a single martin come in or have I seen but one martin. I hope that the sy's show up soon.
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I just had another female diving at the decoy but wouldn't land. I think I need a male to entice these girls down.
Dennis D
Posts: 396
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:49 am
Location: Illinois/Swansea

I would just keep playing it. When they are interested enough, they will land and look around. Are you sure it was not a sub male you saw?
Dennis D
T Seber
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 10:23 am
Location: Tennessee/Liberty

I tried playing Dawnsong a few years back. That is exactly what I saw. They may even light on the housing and even check it out.
I know many here swear by Dawnsong, but count me among those who don't. I believe the largest benefit of Dawnsong goes to those who sell it. :lol:

I strongly believe that it seldom, if in fact ever, has influenced a martin to build a nest, that wouldn't have built one there anyway.

They will certainly come to the sound of Dawnsong playing. I believe that martins are aware of all the housing in an area, Dawnsong, or no Dawnsong. :roll:

Now please don't be too rough on me for challenging what I believe to be a sacred cow :-(
T. Seber
Guest

Well I am sure it was a female because they were both silent. The sub adult male I attracted last year at my dads house would always fly in calling back to the recording. Even adult single males would zoom in calling out. Female were always silent.
Todd Wright
Posts: 222
Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 12:16 pm
Location: Kilgore(Liberty City),Texas

I had 6 flying around my houses this evening and the males were very vocal (the last week there had been only 3 feeding each day) so I was wondering the same thing. Should I cut the dawnsong off for a day, cut the volume down, or leave it as it as been playing. I have a songbird magnet on a timer, it plays for 2 hours-off an hour-and back on for 2 throughout the day.
Todd Wright
Todd Wright
Posts: 222
Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 12:16 pm
Location: Kilgore(Liberty City),Texas

OK we newbies need more input from the experienced landlords out there.
Todd Wright
Dennis D
Posts: 396
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:49 am
Location: Illinois/Swansea

For the 7 years I was a "trying" landlord, I drew Martins in every single season with the dawnsong. 99% of the time they were male martins. Those of you trying to start a new colony, that is the bird you want to draw in, a committed to your site male. I had that for several years, it was the females that would not stay. Nobody has ever claimed on this site the dawnsong will "make a Martin build a nest".

At any given time during those summers without Martins in residence I could turn on the dawnsong and in a matter of minutes have a Martin or two at my site. For those trying to attract, I would play it as loud as I can starting abut an hour before daylight and play it as long as you can stand it (or your neighbors).

In my particular case, the last two years before I had Martins stay and breed, I had a ASY/M committed to starting a new colony at my site. He would stay there every night, bringing by females during the day. Finally he talked a female into staying.

When you have a bird staying, or when you have a male bringing a female by for a look I would turn the dawnsong off or way down. That male will do the work for the CD.

All other things being right at your site, use the dawnsong as an attractant tool. Martins cannot resist that call of all those Martins on the CD, and they will come by and check it out. Good luck to you! :grin:
Dennis D
Dennis D
Posts: 396
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:49 am
Location: Illinois/Swansea

Todd Wright wrote:OK we newbies need more input from the experienced landlords out there.
They know where your site is so turn it off for a couple days. If they do not come in and investagate I would turn it back on.
Dennis D
T Seber
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 10:23 am
Location: Tennessee/Liberty

Dennis:
To the best of my knowledge, you are correct. I have never read such a claim made on this site or any other site, nor did I say I had read it here. :wink:

Neither do I wish to claim for sure and certain that Dawnsong is not an aide in getting nesting martins. I was, and am, offering my opinion that they are of very little help, probably none, in getting martins to stay and nest at a site. This is nothing more, and nothing less, than my honest opinion on the matter, for whatever it might be worth to anyone. :lol:

I understand how it is, and do not blame any person for trying whatever they think may help them to get martins at their site. Perhaps Dawnsong is of more value than I realize. I hope so. It would be good if I am wrong about this and it will help.
T. Seber
Dawn~KS
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 2:24 pm
Location: Kansas

This was my experience with the Dawnsong. I used it faithfully and the DTChatter for 3 seasons. 2004 was my first year trying. I had lots and lots of visits by mostly males. They would go out and lure a female back and the females rarely ever even landed let alone check any cavities out. There were a few times that I did not have it on and I still had visitors at my site. I knew then that the martins did not have trouble finding a site that was not blaring the Dawnsong. I did on a couple occasions have visits from a Hawk shortly after turning it on. Even had a Barn Owl wanting in my bedroom window at 4:00 a.m. within a couple minutes of turing it on. Yikes, that was fun!! :shock: :shock:

Last year, I decided that I was just going to let the martins find my place without the aid of the DS or DTC. I had ruined 2 boomboxes and I spent a lot of time running out to turn it off or down when they arrived as I never knew what was best. Basically, I was driving myself crazy (you get that way when you want martins real bad!) :wink: Mid-April I had an ASY pair show up and immediately claim a cavity. Within days I had 3 ASY pairs and before season's end I had 14 pairs stay and nest and some bachelors to boot.

There is no doubt that Dawnsong and Daytime Chatter are strong tools for *attracting* martins but what after that?? I never knew..............shut if off, turn it down, keep it the same?? I say to each his own. I tried it and just because they nested the year I wasn't playing it doesn't mean that is the reason. It was apparently my time to get them. I do strongly believe that it is a lot easier to get a male to stay than a female. I had plenty of male visitors over the years and until I had a female commit............I had no colony. Thanks goodness I got an original pair.......................they did the attracting better than anything else. All I had to do with it was have the housing available and the rest is history!!

Good luck to everyone trying..................I've been in your shoes and completely understand. There are dissapointments and anxiety but hopefully if you are following the good information in the archives here at the PMCA and the *tried and true* advice from our wonderful, seasoned landlords, you will be on your way to having a martin colony!! Hang in there..............the birds need you!! :)
Brad-AL
Posts: 566
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 2:00 pm
Location: North AL

I have often wondered just what a Martin thinks when it is called in to a empty site with the Dawnsong blaring. Decoys or not, I imagine they can tell it's lifeless. I think that's why they often buzz the site, looking and not landing. I think they are trying to figure out where all the birds are.

I agree with Thurman. I tried it at my old site, I have told my story before and won't bore you guys with it again. In my experience it didn't work. It will attract Martins, hawks and other critters too. I don't think it's needed to start a colony and sure don't think it's needed to attract more Martins to an established colony. Martins attract Martins. Good housing and a good location attract the first pair, they will handle the rest. I do have no doubt that my next door neighbor to the south, who has up four cheap Martin houses, could call my whole colony over to his house which is 1/4 mile from mine. His next door neighbor, just a 100 feet south of him, could call my Martins to his house with either CD. He has a gourd rack with nice sized round holed gourds, but has no Martins. His gourd rack is located about 20 feet from a large bushy white pine tree. They could both call my birds in, but I am pretty certain that none of them would stay. The new Martins that started my colony here, without dawnsong or DTC, saw both his houses and the other neighbors gourds when they chose mine. Both neighbors to the south had housing up before I did, mine are in a more open spot, and in my opinion better quality. I can see both sites from my house so I know the birds can. Last year this colony grew to over 100 pair in it's fourth season, sadly neither neighbor to the south has any Martins. My neighbor on the north side started a colony last year with 8 pair, in his first year of trying. He has a great location and uses good quality tunnelled WDC entrance gourds like I do.
Donnie Hurdt MN
Posts: 1717
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 11:14 pm
Location: North Prairie, MN

As all of you older people on this forum know I have been trying for martins for many years now with no luck. I have been faithfully playing the Dawnsong and Daytime Chatter C/d's for many years and yes they do bring martins in, but they dont stay. :-( Yes I know my site is less than ideal but I have greatly improved my site since I has started trying for them.
Last year a neighbor of mine a mile away from me got martins (two pair of subbies, he thought they were four females) and he dosent know what Dawnsong or Daytime chatter is. He has been trying for martins longer than I have. His site is more open than mine but not by much.
Last year my cousin Ray got two pair also, he quit playing dawnsong years ago, he claimes it dosent work.
I am not sure what to think. Maby I will cut back on the playing of the Dawnsong/Daytime C/d and see what happens. A hard decision to make after all these years believing that Dawnsong is the sure fire thing to get martins.
PMCA member and Martin fanatic....
2011 A pair of subbies fledged three young but none returned in 2012 :-(
2015 One Pair of subbies came and stayed a few nits but got chased away by Bluebirds and Tree swallows. :-(
2017 0ne pair of subbies nested and fledged 4 young
2018 Tree Swallows AGAIN chased away any martins that wanted to nest :evil:
2019 Same old story................ :-(
Guest

I must say that the dawn song not only worked for me, but also for a friend whom I helped get started in landlording.

For two years I couldn't attract a martin to stay even with a super colony
500 yds away from me. The third year I bought the dawnsong and daytime chatter cd, along with decoys. I mounted a speaker at the top of my gourd rack, ran a wire inside to my cd player, and played it religiously
every day.

It took me about two weeks to get a martin to stay, But luckly it was a pair of asy's.

As far as the volume when the martins are around I personaly watched this asy male sit on top of my speaker with it blairing.

The next year I loned my speaker and cds to a friend who had tried the previous year with no luck. Guess what, He is now a second year landlord!!

The only drawback to using the dawnsong that I can see is getting up at 4:30 A.M. to push play!! I got lucky and talked my wife into doing it since the cd player was on her side of the bed. :lol:

The best of luck to you,
Adam
Dennis D
Posts: 396
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:49 am
Location: Illinois/Swansea

I think you guys with the large colonies are missing the point completely. Why would you even be concerned about the Dawnsong working or not when you already have large colonies of over 100 pairs of birds! Are you saying you used it while you had Martins in residence already. I don't understand why you would do that.

Not all of us have access to that many Martins and do well to see Martins at a new site/beginning site. All we are saying is the Dawnsong will attract Martins to a site because the birds will be curious when they hear it.

If you are trying to establish a site why not use all the attractant you can? Nobody is saying that the Dawnsong will make that bird stay, or it will make a female stay, or you will get 50 pairs. But the Dawnsong will attract any Martins in the area it can be heard. It will identify a previously unknown site to Martins in the area. I have never seen a Martin panic because of the song. As a matter of fact, when the Martin is there checking out the site or looking for the other Martins as someone says, they are at least at your site! This, as for the title of the thread is the whole point, to get them to land. Once you can get them to land they may become more comfortable at your site, and this could lead to the next step.
Dennis D
Guest

I think that there are interesting theories going both ways - for and against playing Dawnsong and for how long and often. As others pointed out we wanna-bes want so badly to start a colony that we often chase different ideas of what make the ideal housing and site conditions trying to find one that works. Then, those that eventually are successful and finally get a colony going take a 'snapshot' in time of the conditions of their site and housing at the time the colony started and hold that up as the magic bullet. Statements like 'I tried for years and never got martins until I..... are common and given with the best of intentions.

I have chased many different concepts and theories for nine years and don't have a colony yet to show for it. I have come to agree with the statement that Dawn made - "It was apparently my time to get them." Once I do (hopefully) get a colony going I will probably look at the overall site at that moment as being what was right for me. It will be fine for me to offer that information as something that worked for me, but I would be wrong in implying that the circumstances at the moment the colony started represented a 'make it or break it' watershed moment.

In some ways I think all these variables are part of what adds to the martin mystique. One can try make their site as appealing as possible, but there will always be a certain martin lottery factor determining who and when a colony results.

Good luck to everyone this year!

Jeff
T Seber
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 10:23 am
Location: Tennessee/Liberty

Dennis:
Friend I seem to pick up a little bit of upset toward ol' Thurman :-(
I wish you wouldn't be. I don't really care how many people buy and play dawnsong. As I said, I am not even certain they don't help. I stated an opinion to be considered by those thinking of spending some money for one.

No Dennis, I didn't try one after I had a large colony. I bought both the Dawnsong and Daytime Chatter when I was getting back into hosting martins following a move. This was eight or nine years back and Dawnsong was a new thing (or at least I think it was new). I tried them both for one season with no luck at all in attracting nesting martins.

I watched their reactions very closely and compared what I saw with my observations from past years when I had martins at other sites. The martins sure would come and fly around my gourds when I played it.
Rightly or wrongly, I concluded that I had wasted my money on both the Dawnsong and Daytime Chatter, but it wasn't that much and was worth a try. I then moved my housing to a more open location, where I knew all the time it needed to be, and got 23 pairs the next year.

Please, everybody, don't hear me wrong. I DON"T CARE who uses Dawnsong or who doesn't. This Forum is for discussion and I guess I assumed it was OK for me to offer the opinion I offered :wink:
Last edited by T Seber on Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
T. Seber
Donnie Hurdt MN
Posts: 1717
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 11:14 pm
Location: North Prairie, MN

You are right Thurman, that is what this forum is for. As a man with a vast expirence in martins (and in human nature) your opinion is always respected in my book. :)
PMCA member and Martin fanatic....
2011 A pair of subbies fledged three young but none returned in 2012 :-(
2015 One Pair of subbies came and stayed a few nits but got chased away by Bluebirds and Tree swallows. :-(
2017 0ne pair of subbies nested and fledged 4 young
2018 Tree Swallows AGAIN chased away any martins that wanted to nest :evil:
2019 Same old story................ :-(
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