Possibly the last ASY "POST" in Missouri

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Posts: 418
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:45 pm
Location: Missouri/Ava
Martin Colony History: 85 pair in 2020. Seems fairly consistent the last few years.

I have noticed that in past years the end of April is when the last ASY martins are commonly reported in Missouri. I feel very lucky to report a pair back on the 25th since I have been without Martins the last two years. I posted a few weeks ago that in 2006 my 18 pair colony was raided by raccoons and have been punished by not having Martins since then. I am well prepared this time and have had this one pair here for almost a week now and they are building a nest in earnest. We sure hope they stay and will be the start of a new colony. I can't help but be a little uneasy about just one pair staying since martins seem to enjoy the company of other martins. Maybe this pair will soon attract an SY pair or two. Sure hope so.

Keith Pellham
Posts: 3522
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

Hi Neighbor!

I had 1 single SY pair my first year and they raised and fledged 3 babies. Seems like we always had visitors from other sites and when it was time to fledge the babies there was lots of "help" around.

I now have 18 ASY pair and 1 SY pair so far this year. Can't wait to see what the next month brings in!

I'm sorry to hear about your losses to racoons....did you have pole guards up? What kind of house? I put up this guard this year and am hoping it will deter the 2 racoons I have in my tree about 250' from the martin house. :roll: I'm very nervous about them and am trying to decide if I should 'relocate' them. I'm having trouble catching them in my 'live animal' trap.

http://purplemartin.org/shop/product_in ... 9787e5f5f0
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6743
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)
Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

If I was nervous about what might climb the pole, I would put an electric fence wire around the pole. I have an underground electric single strand wire going to all of my poles, starting at a shed. The electric fence will keep away snakes, racoons, dogs, children, anything that touches it. I also have 4ft of pvc around the poles, so I have double protection. The electric fence is at the top of the 4ft of pvc so the children and pets don't touch it.
John Miller
Posts: 4776
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO


You are right about the new reports of "scouts"...but I think some ASY birds still find their housing well into May in Missouri -- along with sub adults into June. (I have not seen a sub adult yet.)

I recall that the first year we had housing in the park in St. Louis, we got several ASY pairs in late April, and then a new ASY male selected a cavity in mid May. I thought maybe he was displaced...but if some of these guys are just two years old (probably a big chunck of the population) and did not nest as subbies, they may uncomitted to any particular house perhaps roam the countryside for several weeks looking for a good site. At least that's my "speculation" and I'm sticking to it!

John M

my first year was 2006 and had one asy pair come in on june the 1st. they fledged 3 .
2007 ,8 birds came in in late march and dissapeared during the 10 day april freeze, after the freeze an asy pair came in and 2 sy pair. the asy female built a beautiful nest but never layed an egg. too old i guess.
The 2 sy pair built nests and layed eggs,one sy female was lost , and the male couldnt raise the one baby that hatched. the other sy pair fledged 3 baby's.
In 2008 the 2 male off spring from the year before came back but never found mates and on father's day they hung around most of the day and left that evening ,never to be seen again.
So far this year i have had 6 migrant asy's stay over night and one asy male check the gourds,but so far no keepers.
I'll continue to play the dawn song untill june before kissing the year off as a loss.
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:31 pm
Location: kansas/tonganoxie

Keith, you can't blame yourself for any predation on any colony, if you took the time to put up housing and try to keep it hosp & starling free,(which is a never ending battle.) Drive around and see all the so called "martin houses" that are full of hosp and starlings,I wonder if racoons get any of these birds , no one knows because no one cares.You can only do so much because you can't protect against wind, lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes and so on.I sure hope your pair stays and you get many more. Remember two things, hindsight is 20/20 and you don't mess with Mother Nature!!! Good luck!
Posts: 418
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:45 pm
Location: Missouri/Ava
Martin Colony History: 85 pair in 2020. Seems fairly consistent the last few years.

Hello Kathy,

Thanks to you and everyone else for the comments. Back in 2006 when I had the problem we didn't have guards on the poles. Guess I thought it was unnecessary just because no problems existed for the 20 yrs prior.
That was certainly a mistake. With help from the Forum and the PMCA I have learned a great deal and have since installed the stove pipe guards on all my poles. Presently I have in place two modified trio houses, one 12 room S&K house, one wooden 12 room hexagon house which I built, and a rack with only four gourds. I only have the one ASY pair at this time but I'm ready whenever the martins are ready.

Keith Pellham
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