When do Martins leave Central Texas

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jeanf
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:35 pm
Location: Harker Heights, TX

Hi All,
I signed on here back in March when we bought a home with a PM house in the yard. I was delighted to sit in our new backyard and watch my new little tenants in the morning and evening when the heat wasn't so bad (we had 108 the first week we were here) and they are flying about.

I've been pretty busy unpacking but I haven't seen them the last couple of days. About when do they leave this area? I'm going to get up early tomorrow to see if I can see them out and I've noticed a lot of other birds on the house.

Thanks,
Jean
Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 643
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: So. Central TX
Martin Colony History: All Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

Jean,
Hi and glad to hear how much you enjoyed your martins at your new place.
Our martins left around the end of June. We are still getting occasional visitors which can be just about anytime of the day but they don't stay.
Depending on whether or not you had any late nesters or renesters, most of the martins should be gathering somewhere at a roost where they will stay until they leave for their long flight back to Brazil.
Last year we had some late nesters and renesters and the last birds didn't fledge until the first week in August. But that is pretty late and it was the first time it ever happened to us. The best way to tell is to do a nest check if you don't see any birds peeking out of their compartments or parents still feeding young. We did our last check yesterday and were relieved to see every gourd was completely empty. We were oncerned that we might find some dead young ones due to the extreme heat but thankfully we didn't.

Sharon
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

At least 95% will be gone by July 4th, and sometimes you will get a late next or two. The time depends upon the nestbuilding time. Ours got a late start in nest building, and thus they stayed a week or two longer, a coopers hawk was coming many times a day. A friend a few miles away had earlier nests, and all of his martins left in mid to late June.

They leave right after they fledge, from 1 or 2 days, to about 10 days after they fledge. If you have hawks or owls bothering them, they leave as soon as they can. If you don't have owls and hawks, they stay longer and tend to leave in bunches.
jeanf
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:35 pm
Location: Harker Heights, TX

I was out there this morning and did see a couple of them. Funny about them gathering up because about a week and a half ago there were a ton of them around our house. My husband commented that there's no way they all lived in our house because there were just too many. I'm glad I got to see them even if it was a short amount of time. I was so worried about them in the heat we had a couple of weeks ago, right when we moved in, and now it's going to be really hot again (like it ever isn't hot in Texas in the Summer, lol) over the next couple of days.

Peace,
Jean
JeanneDavison
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:10 am
Location: Texas

It is July 27th and My Purple Martins are still here I saw about 30 this morning
Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 643
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: So. Central TX
Martin Colony History: All Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

Wow, I got confused as to why a ten year old post made it back here until I noticed someone found it and replied yesterday. Our last nest this year fledged two days ago and a parent brought at least one back last night to their gourd.
The most interesting thing that has happened in the past week is that we have had what was beginning to look like a roost visiting several times a day. There were probably at least 200 or more martins flying around in waves around our property with many landing on our poles and some in the trees. We live in a somewhat rural neighborhood with large lots and don’t have any homes behind us so there is plenty of unhindered airspace for them. It was so unusual that several of our neighbors (some who host martins and others who don’t) checked with us saying they had noticed this phenomenon. There were also hundreds on the phone lines in the neighborhood.
We are not that far, as the martin flies, from the main roost in Round Rock. Possibly these birds were checking out the area for the future but we have never seen so many visitors day after day several times a day. I don’t know what made this year different. They were a real nuisance for the parents of the last nest. I was feeling sorry for them constantly fighting off the youngsters that were curious trying to look into it.
Our season is over although I did notice a few birds flying around today. But nothing compared to what we were seeing.
rrmartins
Posts: 1420
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

The Austin roost moved to Round Rock, it’s a mile from my house. We see thousands of them everyday. They haven’t left yet.
2019
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 643
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: So. Central TX
Martin Colony History: All Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

RR,
I’ve been to the roost by Sam’s Club and know they haven’t left yet. I am aware they moved from Austin to RR last year. What I was wondering is why we are seeing so many more this year at OUR place, far far more than we saw last year. It seems for days our neighborhood was invaded by them. So much so that several people noticed the increase and were talking about it.
I’m not surprised that you would see so many since you live so close to the roost. In fact weren’t you partly responsible for helping to locate it last year after they moved from their previous location? I remember going to what used to be Highland Mall years ago to see them and then they started moving around to other nearby locations in Austin. What a nice surprise when they moved to RR :grin: .
rrmartins
Posts: 1420
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

Lol!! I don’t think my little T14 encouraged a roost of martins to move. It’s nice and all but I don’t think it played a factor. Laughing with you, not at you!!!
I did notice them last year, if that’s what you meant.
2019
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 643
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: So. Central TX
Martin Colony History: All Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

RR,
There is definitely a problem with the written word :). I give. I think you and I are having a hard time understanding each other :lol: .
rrmartins
Posts: 1420
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

Where are you located Sharon?
2019
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 643
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: So. Central TX
Martin Colony History: All Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

I live in Georgetown. I wasn’t suggesting they moved to Round Rock because of you or anything you did :lol:. Last year when the Travis Audubon people were trying to find where the roost had moved to, I thought you may have been one of the individuals that notified them since you live in Round Rock and saw them gathering near the mall there.
rrmartins
Posts: 1420
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

I just happen to notice them after it was brought up on the forum.
2019
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
rrmartins
Posts: 1420
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

I haven’t seen the thousands of martins I was seeing everyday. I think they have moved on south.
2019
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 643
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: So. Central TX
Martin Colony History: All Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

Yesterday morning we still had a few visitors to our housing but nothing compared to the usual. Then they were flying over the pond behind our property. I’m sad to see them go but glad they’re on their way with the upcoming heat.
Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 643
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: So. Central TX
Martin Colony History: All Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

Was just outside and heard that sweet sound. Only a few martins but they brought a smile along with some sadness that our little friends are just about all gone until next season.
Soon hubby will start the job of cleaning out all the gourds. Oh how he loves that :roll:
KathyMor
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:05 pm
Location: Hill Country, Texas
Martin Colony History: First PM house assembled and put up 2/19. Nature House Grandpa 12 converted to 6 apartments.

My Martins all left in early July. But just today we had about 20 of them show up at our martin house and the neighbors which isn't too far from ours (hence why I think we got some martins the very first year we put up our house). Why are they showing up now, almost mid August? Are they beginning to migrate back south already? This is our first year with martins, so this latest arrival came as a surprise. We live in Boerne, just north of San Antonio.
C.C.Martins
Posts: 802
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 sucessful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged.
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged.
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
Home colony: mix natural gourds, 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
PMCA member

Its almost like a last fly by, looking things over for some reason. Maybe reassuring themselves its all still there? Sometimes they do that other times its deadly quiet and they may just do over flights.
At times you will notice (maybe u did) a neat behavior: when the adults take their fledges out for good one or two adults (male and female) will come back for a few days on and off guarding their cavity against suspected (or actual) intruders...especially against the SYs.
Its interesting.
Tom
PMCA member, believer in SREH and predator protection.
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