KS Landlords--Question about Migration

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cchild03
Posts: 412
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 12:03 pm
Location: Kansas/Leavenworth

This is directed to all of the experienced KS landlords, but I'd love to hear from anyone from any state who has any input.

This is my second year with a colony. Last year, I had one SY pair and one SY bachelor. I had an ASY pair return last week, but now I'm down to just the ASY male. I'm not sure what happened to his mate.

He seems like the only martin around. He sticks close to the house to feed, never vocalizes, and spends a lot of time just sitting on the powerline or the house looking forlorn and lonely.

I've driven by other established colonies in town, and they seem to have very few birds, if any at all.

My question is this ... is ASY migration still under way in KS, or is it possible that something happened to a lot of "our" birds and that they won't be returning in the same numbers as last year?

I know SY migration for us is still several weeks away, but I thought I'd see more ASY birds around here by now.
Candace
kimball911
Posts: 180
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 6:33 pm
Location: Kansas/Iola

I live in SE Kansas and have 9 so far and no ASY. They seem to be a little later than last year, but it has been a lot chillier than last year. We will have a day or two with 65-70 degrees then it is back down in the 30-40's. I had to feed two days last week. Don't get too discouraged, I think they know when to stop and hang over somewhere warmer and wait, before continuing to advance. I haven't seen near as many at other sites yet, but it is still early for Kansas. Hang in there and I will post when my ASY show up.
tonyg
Posts: 1520
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:16 pm
Location: Olpe, KS
Martin Colony History: 22 year landlord, 14 at current residence..offering 9 racks and a homemade T-8 for 166 total cavities. 160 Pair in 2018 Racks consist of a Deluxe 12, AAA 16, Starburst 16, 2 K-18 Series, Super 24, 2 Gemini, Multi-purpose/two trio’s/4gourds and a T-8..Great hobby to be involved in..

Candace I live in Olpe {10 miles s of Emporia} and i started out with 5 as of April 3rd and now have 12 at tonights roost, so I believe they are still trickling in. We had 10 pair last yr. I had to start all over last year as a snake wiped me out the previous yr while we were on vacation. So this yrs ASY birds are last yrs SY's and they showed up the second week of April last yr. I was told by Louise Chambers that they are a little late this yr due to the weather patterns...so hang in there, i believe they will show...Keep us informed...Tony
Joe Creason KY
Posts: 101
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:09 am
Location: GREENSBURG, KY

Hi Candace,

Don't be discouraged. I was getting worried about my birds as well, earlier in the year. About three weeks ago, I had seen 3 birds early one Sunday morning before church. They stayed only a few minutes and left. Several days went by and no birds. I had changed my gourd racks to winch type systems and was concerned about the changes. I had placed some THG's on the racks as well as some of my Big Bo gourds. The folks on here were very assuring that the birds would come back as long as the rack systems was very near the previous location. Two weeks ago they began to trickle in and they are about two weeks later at my place than in the past few years. I counted 32 yesterday afternoon and probably had some in the gourds that were un-counted for. So the subbies are still to come. So hang in there, I think you will be just fine. :lol:


Good Luck and keep us posted.
Joe
You can please some of the martins some of the time, but you can't please all the martins all of the time.
cchild03
Posts: 412
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 12:03 pm
Location: Kansas/Leavenworth

Thanks so much, everyone! Since this is only my second year (and my first where I can hope to get some ASYs back), I didn't really know what to expect. My lone ASY male is still sticking with me. This morning, he had a female with him. He never could get her to land on the house, but he's working on it! I drove by the other sites in town yesterday, and they're still empty, too. In a way, I'm glad that they're not back in numbers since we've had such a cold couple of weeks. Maybe some warmer weather will bring them in.

I'll keep you posted!
Candace
Guest

I'm in NE Kansas near the town of Perry. I've got no martins at all so far this year. I've seen them at martin houses in Perry.
cchild03
Posts: 412
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 12:03 pm
Location: Kansas/Leavenworth

Hey there, Steve! I remember chatting with you in the past about my frustrations in attracting martins to my site. You are just down the road from me. Maybe they're just late this year. This weather has been the pits! Please let me know when your birds begin arriving. I'll do the same.

Is this later than usual for you?

(I'll keep my fingers crossed for both of us!)
Candace
jimnks
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:31 pm
Location: kansas/tonganoxie

Hello Candace, my name is Jim, I live 5 miles north of Tonganoxie, I have only had 1 male, about a week ago, then Saturday I had another 1, but both have left. I have had them here for 4
years, so I am hoping its just the weather. I have about 10 tree swallows that have been here for about 2 weeks, but they leave at times when the weather gets cold,like it's not cold today! I am hoping that they are just late due to weather, good luck!

Jim
jimnks
cchild03
Posts: 412
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 12:03 pm
Location: Kansas/Leavenworth

Thanks, Jim!

It's so good to hear from an experienced landlord who lives so close. It's reassuring to know that I'm not the only one still looking for birds, though I don't wish birdlessness on anyone! ;)

Let's hope for some warmer weather that actually sticks around long enough to draw in some martins! Keep me posted, and I'll do the same!
Candace
Guest

Candace,

Yes, this is a little late. I'll certainly let you know if/when I get any martins. I'm sick of gray, windy, rainy weather.

-Steve-
razman
Posts: 563
Joined: Sun May 09, 2004 3:14 pm
Location: wichita ks

i am in wichita kansas......i have never had martins before, but have really stepped up my efforts this year, and i am very hopeful! i have yet to see one bird around my site. i do think they are a bit later than usual this year. i have a buddy with MANY houses about 3 miles from me. i drove by last weekend and he now has alot of ASY birds at his site. but they were also a bit later than usual. i just think that the weather has prevented any bird in the area from getting out and looking around much. i usually have a few curious lookers by now that probably alreay have homes, but not this year yet. hopefully the SY birds will show up soon, and i will be fortunate enough to snag a few of them! rick
cchild03
Posts: 412
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 12:03 pm
Location: Kansas/Leavenworth

Hey there, Rick! It's great to hear from another KS landlord. I wish you the best of luck in starting your colony this year.

Steve, definitely keep me posted. I know you've been doing this for awhile and have had a lot of success with your established colony.

I think the ASY male who stayed with me for a week has left. I haven't seen him for a few days now. I really thought he was committed since he stayed so long. Maybe when he lost his mate, he decided to try his luck elsewhere. So it looks like I'm back to square one. I really hoped my colony would grow this year since I had a successful nesting pair last year. I guess that would be too easy. Ugh!
Candace
cchild03
Posts: 412
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 12:03 pm
Location: Kansas/Leavenworth

Just wanted to provide a quick update for my fellow KS friends. I am seeing more ASYs here in town. The largest colony in town, where I wasn't seeing any birds at all as late as last week, now has at least 10-15 ASYs. I first saw them there yesterday morning, and today, they're swarming all over the lady's housing and checking out compartments.

I had three ASY visitors at my site. I got very excited thinking they might be my three SYs from last year (2 males and a female). They landed all over my house like the owned the place and stuck close by all day. But they didn't come back last night, and I haven't seen them at all today. Maybe they were just passing through.

I've started playing Dawnsong again, but I'm beginning to think that's not such a good idea. I think it's drawing in Cooper's hawks. Every time I start it up, I have Cooper's doing low fly-bys within 5 minutes ... like they hear it and want to know what all the noise is about. That scares me!

I hope you all are beginning to see more birds, too. Keep me posted, and I'll do the same! :)
Candace
jimnks
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:31 pm
Location: kansas/tonganoxie

Candace,i have seen about 6or7 in the last 4 days all checking out the housing, all have lit on them, but i have not seen any come in at dark to roost. i had 1 pair yesterday morning sitting on 1 house for quite a while , thought maybe they was going to stay, no luck! i have only seen the 1 female, all others males, still hoping they are on their way.



jim
jimnks
J and J
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri May 28, 2004 8:07 am
Location: Kansas City, Missouri

We are just east of you Candace, in north KC and got our first pair yesterday. They are both adults (male and female). We are originally from Omaha, NE and this is our first year trying for martins in Missouri. Hopefully they are just waiting for better weather.
cchild03
Posts: 412
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 12:03 pm
Location: Kansas/Leavenworth

Jim,

I'm still new enough to this to be totally baffled by these birds behavior! It seems so cut-and-dry for a lot of landlords. The birds come back, they fly around, they land on the houses, they pick a compartment, they roost at night, they nest build, etc. For me, it seems I can never get my hopes up about any of that. I get plenty of visitors, and some who even stay a few nights, but then none who are willing to commit. I was hoping it would be a little easier this year since I had a successful SY nesting pair last year and lots of visitors throughout the season. That's what I get for hoping! ;) I'm keeping my fingers crossed for both of us!

J and J,

It's great hearing from you! You're right ... N K.C. is very close to us. Congratulations on your first visitors! I hope you get your colony started this year! Keep me posted if you see any new birds in your area. I love hearing from "local" people.
Candace
GeneP
Posts: 523
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2007 7:35 am
Location: Kansas, Lawrence
Martin Colony History: 1 gourd rack with 24 gourd capacity. 2018, my 11th year hosting martins.
18 pair in 2017.

Last year was my first successful year. The male arrived April 26 and convinced a female to stay a week later they successfully raised 6 young.

April 1 my ASY male returned and has been here by himself ever since. He is just now bringing females by during the day. So far no takers.

I don't know if last years female survived or whether she will arrive later. After all, it was May before she decided to to stay last year. I'm hoping for more than just a single pair.

Gene
cchild03
Posts: 412
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 12:03 pm
Location: Kansas/Leavenworth

Hey there, Gene! It's great to hear from you. My husband and I lived in Lawrence from 1998 to 2002. I love that town!

That's so neat that your ASY male came back to you this year. I'm a bit jealous! Like you, I had a single pair last year. "My guy" showed up May 16, and it took him three days to get himself a girl. But once he did, they were committed to my site. They raised three young. I also had a bachelor male stay all season. He tried his darndest to get a girl but never could.

This year, I had an ASY couple show up on April 04. I was really hoping that it was my pair from last year. They stayed for three days, and then the female disappeared. I'm assuming she was taken by a hawk. The male stuck around for four more days and nights, but I haven't seen him in over a week.

It's very depressing. I don't know if I'm doing something wrong. If I am, I don't know what it is. I see birds "here and there," but I'm beginning to think I'm out of luck this year unless I can get an SY to stay when they get here in May.

Best of luck to you! You're obviously doing something right! Keep those updates coming! I'll live vicariously through you and the other KS landlords. :)
Candace
billb
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:22 pm
Location: Texas/Katy

Hi Candace:
I'm new to this forum and not living in your region, but will offer a ray of hope.

I live near Houston, +/- 600 miles south of Leavenworth. I am restarting a PM colony after 12 years overseas. I set my house up in what appeared to be an ideal location. ASY male visited 2 days later (mid Feb.), then up to 4 dropped by for a few minutes daily. Thought I was back in business and amazed at how easy it was.

Neighbors planted a 10 ft tall clump of bamboo near our fence, and within 6 feet of the PM house, which was about 12' high. I could swear those birds were practicing landing approaches from that direction for 2 days. I prepared to move the house, but didn't want to lose the birds I had. Two days later - 1 bird, a week later - no birds at all. I moved the house 10 feet away during night! Note that birds had never stayed more than an hour and were not over-nighting.

New location - no birds for +/- 10 days. I was miserable, but know the migration lasts well into May here. I sort of gave up and started focussing on other stuff around the house. About 2-3 weeks ago, 1 ASY pair started hanging out a little. Within a week, added 3 pair SY birds and single or 2 (really hard to determine). All are nesting and fighting. Life is good!

Actually, I am not sure the new landscaping or moving the house had anything to do with the period of inactivity I experienced. An established landlord told me his birds were not around during the same period either.

BOTTOM LINE: Let it ride! No benefit to giving up - wouldn't take down the house would you?
1) You were successful last year - the setup must be good.
2) Appears things are behind schedule this year due to cold weather, and Kansas has had it much worse than the Texas Gulf Coast (this year).
3) 600 miles north of here = 2 - 4 weeks behind? Get ready! SY birds must be there soon.
4) Things happen fast when to time is right.

Hope this gives you some hope. Sorry about the long winded reply!

Good Luck!

Bill
cchild03
Posts: 412
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 12:03 pm
Location: Kansas/Leavenworth

Thanks so much, Bill, for sharing your story and your words of encouragement! If I remember correctly, my SY showed up last year after I had "walked away" and quit focusing so much energy on this hobby. I need to keep that in mind this year. And I need to be patient.

I'm definitely not taking my houses down, and I'm trapping HOSPs as they show up. I was playing Dawnsong, too, but I think I'm going to stop that until the hawk activity slows down a little. Other than that, I need to to just relax and see what happens.

I think I was overly excited this year because I had some success last year. I figured my colony would grow a little and that I wouldn't be starting out at square one again, relying on snagging an SY or two. But the rational part of my brain always knew that the chances of my one pair making it back were slim. The odds are against the birds with all that can go wrong out there.

I'm not seeing barn swallows or chimney swifts back yet, either, and we uaually have a ton of those feeding around our horse pastures. Maybe the martins are out there with them somwhere and just now heading back this way.

I'm not going to say I'll be watching the skies. Because that seems to be just a waste of time. (I can't tell you how much time I've spent staring at that martin house the past two weeks wondering if the visitors were going to return. I could've gotten a lot of important stuff accomplished during that time!) Either they'll come back or they won't. I've done the best I can by providing them with good housing, in an open area, free of HOSPs and starlings.
Candace
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