New Site in NC had earlly morning guests

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dhjohnson
Posts: 478
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:24 pm
Location: North Carolina/Clayton
Martin Colony History: 5th year hostess. Currently 58 confirmed breeding pair. 218 Fledged, 35 older nestlings, 2 new nests with 8 nestlings. 100% occupancy

Good morning almost afternoon to all,

We had bad weather through here last night so we lowered all our housing. This morning there were 3 birds sitting on the perch on our gourd rack that was only about 5 ft off the ground. My husband raised both racks and they moved to the power line chattering away. When he moved off they returned to the perch. Two ASY females proceeded to inspect our natural gourds hanging beneath the SK Barn. They went into each one and stayed awhile and then came back out. They landed on the perch above the gourd rack talking to the Dawnsong tape. They left for about 2 hours and returned to once again go into each of the natural gourds. They stayed on the perch a while and flew off west. I saw them about 30 minutes later feeding over our pastures. I so excited to actually see martins going in and out of the gourds here. They tolerated us watching from about 20 feet away very well. Curious they seemed to prefer the natural gourds with the SREH entrances with porches.

Watching the skies and keeping our fingers crossed they will return to roost tonight. :grin: :grin: :grin:
Debbie Johnson
Clayton/NC (Archer Lodge)
2012 New Site 6 pair, 21 Fledged
2013 24 pair, 102 eggs, 94 hatched, 89 Fledged. What a great year!
2014 37 pair, 211 eggs, 193 Hatched, 178 Fledged, 1 nest of 5 young left! Late start but picked up speed quickly!
Sandy - NC
Posts: 617
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:40 pm
Location: Rocky Mount, NC

Debbie, the birds in eastern and middle North Carolina seem to prefer gourds, natural first, then plastic. They will nest in houses, but usually only after all the gourds are filled. As soon as it it practical for you, you need to trash the house and get a gourd rack up. This is a classic example of needing to do your homework before purchasing martin stuff. Glad to hear you already have birds investigating your site.
Don't ever, ever give up. It will happen.

sbunn1@suddenlink.net
dhjohnson
Posts: 478
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:24 pm
Location: North Carolina/Clayton
Martin Colony History: 5th year hostess. Currently 58 confirmed breeding pair. 218 Fledged, 35 older nestlings, 2 new nests with 8 nestlings. 100% occupancy

Sandy,
We do have a gourd rack. The natural gourds are under the house. Check out our profile and you will see our set up. I have done a lot of "homework".

Have a great year!
Debbie
Debbie Johnson
Clayton/NC (Archer Lodge)
2012 New Site 6 pair, 21 Fledged
2013 24 pair, 102 eggs, 94 hatched, 89 Fledged. What a great year!
2014 37 pair, 211 eggs, 193 Hatched, 178 Fledged, 1 nest of 5 young left! Late start but picked up speed quickly!
MingjoMartins
Posts: 312
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:28 pm
Location: Pataskala, OH

Debbie -

Wishing you the best of luck in your new martin adventure! I haven't been doing it long but what I can say for sure is that the excitement when your first pair chooses your site is phenomenal! Double that excitement when on your second year they return once again!

I think you are doing the right thing in offering both housing and gourds. I have three types of housing (metal, PVC, and wooden) as well as natural and plastic gourds. In my opinion offering the selection of housing helps to attract the females who clearly want choices! In my case the males will choose any type of housing when they first arrive, but in the end the female is the one who rules the roost, and I have seen a male quickly abandon a hole and move to another when the female changes her mind.

In fact, last year I had a subadult female who simply would not be impressed by a gourd. Two males were defending seperate gourds, she would look in both creating quite the competition between the boys, but never go in either gourd, and then fly to the metal trendsetter house and sit on the porch.

In this case, it was the wise male who changed his mind and moved to the metal Trendsetter, leaving his buddy to be the only male last year without a mate.

JohnM
2013 - 37 pair-179 eggs,142 hatched,139 fledged
2012 - 32 pair-163 eggs,141 hatched,134 fledged
2011 - 19 pairs - 78 fledged successfully!
2010 3 pairs - 9 eggs - 8 fledged!
2009 - 1 Sub Adult Male (only) - LOTS visitors
2008 - 58 Visitors by year end
2007 - 13 Visitors by year end
Mike1624
Posts: 180
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:10 am
Location: NC Burgaw

Congratulations, Debbie. That sure sounds like a step in the right direction. It looks to me as if you're offering something for all tastes and preferences.
Mike Morgan
2009-4 Pair,24 Eggs,23 Fledged. 12 Cavities
2010- 18 Pair, 96 Eggs, 86 Fledged. 18 Cavities
2011- 23 Pair, 113 Eggs, 99 Hatched, 93 Fledged 24 Cavities.
2012-22 Pair, 109 Eggs, 95 Hatched, 89 Fledged
2013-19 Pair, 89 Eggs, 77 Hatched, 77 Fledged.
Courtney-NC
Posts: 591
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:28 pm
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Martin Colony History: 2009-2015-Helped to manage Raleigh site, 36 cavities
2016- 33 pairs at Raleigh site, 1 pair at home site.
2017- 34 pairs at Raleigh site, 3 pairs + extra SYs at home site
2018- 33 pairs at Raleigh site, 5 pairs + extra SYs at home site
2019 - 32 pairs at Raleigh site, 7 pairs at home site, 2 pairs at new Holly Springs park site

Hi Debbie! That's exciting!
We have our fingers crossed for you! Keep us posted.

:grin:
-Courtney
-------------------
NC Purple Martin Society (PMCA affiliate)
http://www.ncpurplemartin.org
Greg
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 3:15 pm
Location: Fuquay-Varina, NC
Martin Colony History: As a child I managed a purple martin colony consisting of 3 houses on a tidal tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. I started my own colony at my house in Holly Springs, NC as an adult that grew to 27 pairs one year. In 2016 I moved and started a new colony in the spring of 2017 at my new home, which is about 7 miles south of my old colony. I successfully attracted my first ASY male in April of 2017. He quickly attracted a mate, followed by 7 more pairs. Grateful to have been able to start a new colony so quickly!

I'm only about 30 min. to your west and haven't seen one bird yet. I'm so jealous! I can't wait to see/hear my first birds of the season. I had two pairs successfully nest last year. One female died, but the male raised all three babies himself. I sure hope they decide/make it back to me this year. Both males were ASY so I considered myself very fortunate to have attracted them. However, they arrived at my colony very late last year for ASY birds, but I guess you never really know there situation. All I know is I am adding some major upgrades this season, so I think they will be excited if they make it back to me this year:)

Best of luck to you! Keep playing that dawnsong and you will at least get to see some birds!
Greg H.
Holly Springs, NC

2011 - 2 pairs, 7 eggs, 7 hatch, 7 fledge
2012 - 13 pairs, 63 eggs, 52 hatched, 50 fledged
2013 - 21 pairs
2014 - 25 pairs
2015 - 27 pairs
2016 - 23 pairs removed 4 gourds this year.
2017 - moved and started a new colony which attracted 8 Pairs
2018 - first arrivals have come back....anticipating!
Kathy in VA
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:24 am
Location: Virginia/Scottsburg
Martin Colony History: It took me 11 years to get martins. It finally happened in 2010! Been going strong, ever since! I have a 12-gourd rack, full and overflowing!! I love this hobby!

Congratulations, Debbie! That is awesome! You are getting visitors to a new colony alot more quickly than most people. Some wannabe landlords go for years and never even see a martin at their new housing. You may have already learned about the following attraction tips, but just in case, I’ll mention a few that I think were helpful in getting my colony started:
You might want to mow the grass short around the housing and spread some white pine needles and wheat straw out on the ground...sometimes the sight of it will help draw martins in, plus they will use it for nest material, keeping the birds out from under trees where predators lurk, and off of the road where they could be hit by cars. An elevated platform will also work, but the nest materials will not be quite as easily distinguished from the sky. If you haven’t already done so, you could add some extra perching space to your house and gourd rack by fastening on several 6’ rods (green plastic-coated metal garden stakes.) And offer pullet-sized crushed oyster shells. All these things might just impress certain martins and make the difference in whether they stay at your colony to breed, or move on elsewhere. We want them to stay!

Greg, I do hope your martins will make it back this year and your colony will expand!

Mike, I enjoyed meeting you at the NCPMS meeting! Saw your scout report--congratulations! Hope you have a great season!

Courtney, I hope you will keep seeing martins and will have some stay and set up house-keeping!
Kathy in VA
Jeff Robinson
Posts: 906
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 3:32 pm
Location: Rogersville, Missouri
Martin Colony History: 2008 thru Current
72 Cavities - 66 Pairs in 2017
PM Mentor

Wonderful news Debbie! Wishing you the best this year!

Jeff
PMCA Member - Bedrock Colony
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