Impact of trapping local HOSP / Range of HOSP dispersal

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KathyF
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.

When I first moved here and put up a purple martin house (2007), I had to deal with about 20 HOSP. I managed to eliminate all of them, but started wondering where they were coming from. After investigating a couple of neighbor's martin houses and talking to them about HOSP, I found that they were letting them breed in their housing.

They agreed to a trapping / shooting plan and we went to work! The next year (2008), I only had 3-4 HOSP show up, in 2009 I had 2-3 show up (1 of which managed to inflict lethal damage on 5 baby TRES http://i524.photobucket.com/albums/cc33 ... kTRES2.jpg, and last year, I only had 2 show up. However, last year, I was very involved in mentoring more landlords and didn't push my neighbors as hard to eliminate their breeding HOSP. One of my neighbors let them go entirely and I believe he fledged more than 3 broods of HOSP. I was at his house yesterday and saw a flock of at least 25-30 HOSP. :evil:

Now I will have to deal with these when my housing goes up this year. :evil: My aunt refuses to eliminate HOSP and I stopped counting at 45 at her house yesterday :evil: . In 2010, I noticed that she had 3 pair of breeding HOSP in one of her Trio houses and 2 pair of purple martins which had had 8 pair of purple martins in 2009. Overall her PM population was down 20% last year. Her next door neighbor - who had managed to finally draw in a breeding pair of PM's in 2009, didn't have any martins in 2010, but he had 3 breeding pairs of HOSP. :-(

I found this study conducted by the USDA in 1993 that shows the dispersal of HOSP and thought I would post it here. It seems that if the HOSP are not dealt with in your area, there will be a population explosion (Cornell link states they can have up to 4 broods per year). And since the max dispersal range they found was only 4 miles, it will be a huge, concentrated population of HOSP.

I know it's entirely unrealistic to be able to remove all HOSP from your area, but I would encourage everyone to help out your neighbors with trapping HOSP. Educate them on the problems with HOSP, help them build a trap (and if needed, help them dispose of the trapped HOSP), etc. In the end, your colony will benefit also. :wink: See the link above to see the damage that just ONE HOSP (unprovoked) can inflict on your cavity-nesting birds.
From Cornell: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/nestinginf ... accts/hosp

USDA study: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewc ... aarsfacpub

Previous studies have shown that during winter house sparrows rarely travel more than 6 km (3.6 mi.) to reach food sources (Weaver 1939), and most house sparrows will spend their lives within 4 km (2.5 mi.) of their natal sites. None of the legflagged birds were observed beyond 6.5-km (4 mi.) from the trap site, which supports the earlier results of Weaver (1939) showing that house sparrows have a limited range.

A concerted effort based on trapping could reduce house sparrow damage on the small, experimental plots of cereal grains and sunflower grown at the station.
"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
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com
Doug Martin - PA
Posts: 1936
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:47 am
Location: Pennsylvania/Fombell
Martin Colony History: First pair in 2009 after 28 years of trying. 3 pairs 2010, 17 pairs 2011 and 35-45 pairs since. Many additional colonies are now springing up around mine in an area once completely void of Martins. I offer 50 compartments at my site consisting of primarily Excluder II gourds on Gemini racks. Also a wooden T-14. I utilize electric fence type predator guards on the base of the poles. Supplemental feeding is crucial in maintaining my colony. I platform feed throughout the season as needed. My site tends to be a stop over point for additional birds as they migrate further north.

I would agree it only takes a few unattended bird boxes or houses to cause a real population boom in a given area.

Up here they will also actually build a nest in the trunk area of a dense pine tree. (spruce) The nest looks like a little staw hut with feathers and plastic as roofing.

Just so happens there are many pines that meet their criteria across the street from me. This makes it extra difficult.
Supplemental feeding plays a major role in western Pennsylvania. Finally got my 1st pair in 2009 after 28 years of effort. 3 pairs in 2010. 17 pairs in 2011. 35 pairs and 150 young in 2012 & 2013. Plus a new 22 pair colony right down the road from me.
KathyF
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.

Doug, Last year, I took out two HOSP nesting pairs that were nesting in northern spruces. I guess they'll nest anywhere, which infuriates me when they torture / kill my tree swallows & try to steal their nest boxes, while 3 other nest boxes sit empty. :evil:
"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
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com
Doug Martin - PA
Posts: 1936
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:47 am
Location: Pennsylvania/Fombell
Martin Colony History: First pair in 2009 after 28 years of trying. 3 pairs 2010, 17 pairs 2011 and 35-45 pairs since. Many additional colonies are now springing up around mine in an area once completely void of Martins. I offer 50 compartments at my site consisting of primarily Excluder II gourds on Gemini racks. Also a wooden T-14. I utilize electric fence type predator guards on the base of the poles. Supplemental feeding is crucial in maintaining my colony. I platform feed throughout the season as needed. My site tends to be a stop over point for additional birds as they migrate further north.

:idea: Maybe we will need to come up with a "fake spruce" nest trap. :lol:
Supplemental feeding plays a major role in western Pennsylvania. Finally got my 1st pair in 2009 after 28 years of effort. 3 pairs in 2010. 17 pairs in 2011. 35 pairs and 150 young in 2012 & 2013. Plus a new 22 pair colony right down the road from me.
Donna - TX
Posts: 889
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 6:44 pm
Location: Texas/Pearland

Kathy my major problem is not with the neighbors even though I do see some in the houses but with the Wal-mart and Home Depot right down the street. If you go there in the spring and summer you see the sparrows all over the garden centers nesting. So I just try my best to eliminate a few 100 each year but I will never be able to keep up with the 100's the two stores produce.
Donna Gillbee
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.

Imagine if the general public were to find out Home Depot and Walmart were killing tiny birds just because they were inside their stores.

Even when you try to educate people about the damage HOSP's and Starlings cause native birds, people just say it's not their fault. Just go to a general songbird forum and find out. The nicest thing you'll be told is to go to the bluebird section where the other bird haters hang out.

Bluebird and Purple Martin landlords who try to control HOSP's and Starlings are not always well received by other birders.

Still, I'll keep trying to control them in my area.
Donna - TX
Posts: 889
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 6:44 pm
Location: Texas/Pearland

I know Gene, the stores would love to be able to do something about them since they cause damage to the stores and the Government even gave them permission but when PETA found out WOW did they throw a stink.
Donna Gillbee
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.

I know Donna. Some of the fattest, bravest HOSP's are in those stores. They hardly fear humans. Reminds me of my kids when we were at grandma and grandpa's, they knew mom and dad couldn't say anything. lol
Sparky
Posts: 1889
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 11:04 pm
Location: Texas/Katy

We have thousands of parking garages in Houston. They breed millions of HOSP's a year. Just imagine any large metro area has parking garages that breed millions of these birds. We need to come up with a design that is anti HOSP on how these garages are built. Maybe the designers and builder might care? I don't know?
I'm a "nestcamaholic" Is 18 hours a day a bad thing? (I have 2 this year, luckily I have 2 eyes!)
M.Stephens
Posts: 1130
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:14 pm
Location: Texas/Texarkana

Around my house there are no HOSP's, I eliminated them along time ago .
I had one pair back in early Jan. I got them with the Trio sparo-door...haven't seen any since.
Kathy, like your aunt my MIL grows'em at her house , she fills her bird feeders with that cheap bird seed.
If I needed any decoys for my DRST I wouldn't have any problem catching a load of them over there!! :lol: :lol:
Malcolm
2015 (110 nesting pair)
2014 (92 nesting pair)
2013 (75 nesting pair)
2012 (35 nesting pair)
2011 (20 pair)
____________
PMCA Member
KathyF
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.

It's amazing to me that these stores don't care more about their customers. Bird droppings can carry disease and to have them in the food area at Walmart is just gross! Seems like there should be some sort of govt. law that says that wild birds should not be allowed in, at least - food stores!

Maybe we should push to get that law passed and we PM lovers could then take advantage of it and make some money by offering to trap the sparrows and 'relocate' them! :lol:

Malcom - I need a decoy for my traps too, and I've been trying to figure out how I could go trap a few without my aunt knowing I was there. :lol: :lol:
"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
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com
jimnks
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:31 pm
Location: kansas/tonganoxie

Well, I have not had any problems with S&S this winter, I guess because I only feed sunflower seeds and have the shotgun handy. I know though as soon as I decide to open the bird houses the ones up the road at the neighbors will be down here pronto and the war will be on!! I am trying out a new weapon this year I don't know if it will work or not but a friend of mine said it should,I don't know if anybody has ever tried this, I haven't seen it on here anyway but I made a perch for my martin house that I have run electricity to with a switch so if the sparrows land on it I can flip the switch and give them a shocking experience. I am going to try it out soon, I tried to get Lucky(my wife) to grab hold of it while I flipped the switch just to practice a little, but she has been pretty leary of holding onto anything since I had her hold on to the spark plug wire on the tiller a couple of years ago, anyway it will light a lightbulb.
Jim
jimnks
dsonyay
Posts: 1250
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:10 pm
Location: Louisiana/Broussard
Martin Colony History: 2010-2014 located in Slidell LA. Gourd rack with 16 gourds. Max of 2 pairs during this short period in Slidell. Plenty of fledglings.

2014-present.. moved to Broussard LA. Same Gourd Rack but added a 6 room house (modified from a 12 room)

2020: after a long drought of nothing, 4 pairs and 4 nests, 23 eggs total (May2020)

jimnks wrote:Well, I have not had any problems with S&S this winter, I guess because I only feed sunflower seeds and have the shotgun handy. I know though as soon as I decide to open the bird houses the ones up the road at the neighbors will be down here pronto and the war will be on!! I am trying out a new weapon this year I don't know if it will work or not but a friend of mine said it should,I don't know if anybody has ever tried this, I haven't seen it on here anyway but I made a perch for my martin house that I have run electricity to with a switch so if the sparrows land on it I can flip the switch and give them a shocking experience. I am going to try it out soon, I tried to get Lucky(my wife) to grab hold of it while I flipped the switch just to practice a little, but she has been pretty leary of holding onto anything since I had her hold on to the spark plug wire on the tiller a couple of years ago, anyway it will light a lightbulb.
Jim
As much as I was shocked to read this--- please post the video.
KathyF
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.

dsonyay wrote:
As much as I was shocked to read this--- please post the video.
David - do a search on "Lucky" - I'm sure Jim loves her a lot! :lol: :wink: :lol:
"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
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com
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

Jimnks, if you are using 110 volt, it may not hurt the sparrows at all. Their feet are like insulators, but go ahead and try it. In my opinion, you will need a very much higher voltage like an electric fence charger (several thousand volts, and the low current from it would probably not kill them)
Last edited by Emil Pampell-Tx on Tue Feb 08, 2011 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
rdhd
Posts: 291
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2004 11:40 am

O
Last edited by rdhd on Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Gobbler T
Posts: 1518
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:13 am
Location: Mississippi / Columbus

I tried it last year with a starling. I tried two different methods. The starling is still going.
Tony


2007 --- 0 2011---0 2015---4
2008 --- 0 2012---0 16-19—0
2009 --- 0 2013---1 2020—?
2010 --- 0 2014---3
jimnks
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:31 pm
Location: kansas/tonganoxie

David, What video? Heck I can't even post a picture if I had one! No use searching for Lucky, I know where she's at and yes I love her, matter of fact as of yesterday we have been married 42 years, that's why she calls herself Lucky :wink:
Emil, it is 110 volts if it doesn't toast them maybe it will shock them enough so they won't return?
Randy, it has 2 bare 14 gauge wires on a 1/2 inch dowel rod appx. 1/4 inch apart soldered to a pigtail.
Tony, Are you sure that starling got shocked good? Did he return or do you know? Have you ever tried it on a HOSP?
Well I read another post before I wrote this now I gotta go look up exponential, caveats, diametrically, ameliorating and anthropomorphic are these martin terms? REALLY? Lucky where's that dictionary.....Have a nice day Jimnks.
jimnks
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6210
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

If you are going to target one house sparrow or starling at a time, wouldn't it be simpler and more effective to just shoot them?

Not to be a spoilsport, but running off one bird at a time doesn't sound like a very practical way to rid a site of hosp and starlings.
Robbo
Posts: 623
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 2:53 pm
Location: Leduc, Alberta, Canada.

jimnks,
Have you tried it out yet? I tried a similar method one year :roll: , instead of using wire I used copper strips and nailed them onto the perch about an 1/8" apart. I attached the hot on one strip and the ground on the other running through a switch. I had many Sparrows land but no success :roll: . I still have that set up in the garden shed, pleas let us know if you have any success Iam willing to give it ago again.
Rob.
P.S.
I ended using nest traps and built 8 more this winter( They Work :wink: ).
2009. 98 eggs, 66 hatch, 61 fledged.
2010. 114 eggs, 89 hatch,70 fledged.
2011. 96 eggs. 80 hatch,68 fledged.Heavy Merlin preditation.
2012. 89 eggs. 56 hatch, good fledge. Guards installed. Merlin not sighted at houses.
2013. First Egg May 24, first Baby June 13.
2014. successful.
2015. successful.
2016. Martin's population decline, suspect new housing in the neighborhood. Merlin eating well also!
2017.Population explosion :grin: . first egg May 25 in a BO-11
2018. Population stable.
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