Unbelievable!!!

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DakotaLady
Posts: 654
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:06 pm
Location: Bismarck, ND

I'm so thrilled. Today I had a male here off and on all day long. I believe it was my SY from last year. But how can anyone really be sure. He is GORGEOUS. So dark and handsome. He looks so healthy. He went into the gourd he spent the nights in last summer.

I had the rack down and little paper cups in all the gourd holes because I have a couple tree swallows that wanted to nest in a gourd. I was out in my garden before I had to go to work and heard him. I ran in and got the wrenches so that I could raise the gourd rack, took out the paper cups and he seemed so happy to see me, he flew around over my head singing like crazy and I barely got the rack up and he flew right into his gourd. The tree swallows belly ached a bit but he chased them away.

I stayed out until late tonight to see if he would spend the night but did not see him come back. I may have missed him and will be up before the birds tomorrow morning to see if he is there.

I have a couple questions please...

1. Since the tree swallows were not allowed to make a nest do you think he will continue to chase the tree swallows off and they will go to one of the houses I've built for them? Is there anything different I should be doing?

2. I have another old metal house on a telescoping pole. It is only raised up about 8'. I know there has never been martins interested in the metal house, but I have a few natural gourds I would like to hang beneath it. The problem is, it has been at this level for so many years, when I went to try to lift it up, it would not budge at all. Is there anything I can do to lube it up or something in hopes of loosening it enough that I could raise it? Or, am I SOL?

Thanks for you help. I'm so happy that he came back that I will probably not sleep a wink tonight. I want to establish a colony so badly, please cross your fingers for me.
~Tangula~

2013 - 16 pair, 79 eggs, 71 fledged
2012 - 4 pair, 18 eggs, 18 fledged
pmcharter1
Posts: 110
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:59 pm
Location: iowa/madrid

Dakota lady,
im confused, first, i wouldnt build houses for tree swallows,, if i was to do so, they would be along way away!( not near my martin house esp) 2nd , i think the martin would drive him off if he were nesting, but i could be wrong, ive seen them drive off sparows, and starlings at mine.
your metal house dilema, , i have two, telescoping houses, , metal, 12 roomstrios, my martins love them!, at the top of the pole , there is a pully, sounds like the rope came off. ck that ., if so the pole comes apart i sections, use a ladder, lift the top piece off, ( house needs to be down) lift the section off, rethread the rope over pully, reconect the pole , you should be good. if its still connected over the pully wheel, and still wont come down, you may have to get a ladder, and pull it down by hand, as long as the rope makes a complete circuit, over all pullys, it should come down, and raise. need to see it to tell , just trying to help
daveh
Posts: 653
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:40 am
Location: Kingsville Mo.

Sounds like your telescopic pole sections are stuck. That happens when a section is bent by the wind and than it won't telescope up or down. Or maybe some rust in the seams. If a section is bent it's real hard to straighten out enough to slide up and down like when it was new. I use my old telescopic pole, it's bent from the wind, as a 7-8 ft feed/supply station and it works great. Or, maybe some WD-40 in the seams. Maybe there's rust in the seams and WD might work.

dave
PMCA member
parkerdes
Posts: 417
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:41 pm
Location: TEXAS/Weatherford

We don't have TS here but if it were me...I'd use a couple of your gourds & hang them on poles away from my martin housing & let them set up house & keep them away from my set up. I had BBs that used my set up for hunting & I think the male was very aggressive & kept the investigating martins away!!!
I also had Bewicks wrens that got interested in one of my plastic gourds so I took it down & put it on a pole for them...they nested & raised their babies & I had martins that year as well!
I have a telescoping pole that I use now for a feeder station but if you can take it down & try to get it working, it would be good. I know at 8ft there are several low metal houses in my area that martins use but they are mostly sparrow magnets! Keep other birds away from your site...it's worth it!!!
I had an SY the year before my patriarch ASY, Abraham showed up & started my site! He attracted a SY pair & they nested in my metal house & now my modified metal house has 7 out of 8 cavities with babies & the last one has an SY male in it! It is the most popular house at my site!!!
Hope you get martins this year!!!
Take Care!!
Lila

2009--1 ASY & 1 SY Pair
2010--6 Pairs
2011--11 Successful Pairs + 1 Late Pair that lost their brood to heat!
2012--18 ASY Pairs & 1 SY Pair---104 eggs so far! 1 SY nest lost to infanticide! :o(
DakotaLady
Posts: 654
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:06 pm
Location: Bismarck, ND

The tree swallow houses I build are really blue bird houses and they are scattered all over our yard but I generally do get the tree swallows and only 1 or 2 pairs of blue birds. We have 20 acres, so the houses I built are at least 100' away from all the martin houses. I do not want the tree swallows to ever nest in my gourds. There are plenty of wooden nest boxes for them.

The metal house I have does not raise via a rope or cable. It is a telescoping pole. Dave, I think you are right it has a white like powder similar to rust that is on the seam. I'm assuming it is rusted shut as it is not bent at all. I will try the WD-40.

Update on my martin. He came in from nowhere on Thurs. This morning he came crawling out of the gourd, so he spent the night. I'm fairly confident it is the young male I had last year. He seems very comfortable here.

He stayed sitting and preening until 10:30 this morning and went flying around the yard. About a 1/2 hour later he brought in two more birds, one was a female, the other I could not tell if it was a young male, it always had it's back to me or side and it did have white on its belly.

I went out with friends this evening so I could not tell if the male stayed the night again. I'm really excited to see what happens tomorrow.

Parkerdes, Thanks for the information about your birds co-existing with the martins. I'm thinking it is going to work out here too. I saw the tree swallows start looking at the wooden houses after being chased off the gourd rack from the male martin.

Thanks to all of you for answering my questions. I will keep you posted on my results.
~Tangula~

2013 - 16 pair, 79 eggs, 71 fledged
2012 - 4 pair, 18 eggs, 18 fledged
DakotaLady
Posts: 654
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:06 pm
Location: Bismarck, ND

My beautiful ASY male is sitting out on the gourd rack preening and enjoying the heat of the early morning sun. He has spent the night again last night (two nights in a row). I'm really anxious to see him bring in other birds today.

I'm sure hoping this is going to be the start of my colony. I've kept the sparrows away, I'm working on ridding the starlings. The tree swallows have given up and appear to be looking at the wooden houses. I'm so excited.

Have a great weekend enjoying your martins.
~Tangula~

2013 - 16 pair, 79 eggs, 71 fledged
2012 - 4 pair, 18 eggs, 18 fledged
MB12RING
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:36 pm
Location: MI, Fruitport

Dakota lady
Try some liquid wrench on the pole sections that are stuck together. If that doesn't work you can heat it up with a torch and dowse it in cold water. The quick drastic change in temp might free it up.
Congrats on your birds, hope they stick around and start your colony this year.
2013, back in the game with a pair at my satelite colony that has eggs due to hatch around July 7th
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2932
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

When you have tree swallows in the area before you have a colony you almost have to put up one house for them, if not they will try to move into the PM house as soon as you open it. If this is your SY from last year he might tolerate the TS more then an SY would. Hopefully some females stop by, most of them wont turn down an ASY male.
2020 Currently 42 nest, 110 babies, 64 eggs left to hatch(6-22-20) HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair last count 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.
jr 2
Posts: 749
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: ohio,proctorville(just across ohio river from huntington,west virginia)

i had a trio telescopic pole that i didnn't use for several years and it rusted and i tryed liguid wrench and wd40 and never did get it unstuck; i even ;tryed putting 2 pipe wrench on and turn; am now using it too hang a gourd on for bb and ts; jr2
PMCA member; s 2011 2 pair fledged 3; 2012 3 asy pair,4 sy pair,2013 8 asy pair,6 sy pair;2014 19 asy pair,2 sy pair
DakotaLady
Posts: 654
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:06 pm
Location: Bismarck, ND

Thanks for all your suggestions. I have to work on getting that telescoping pole raised tomorrow. I will try all your suggestions. Today I mowed the lawn and planted my vegetable gardens.

However, it was a grand day. My male (Ricky) brought in a female and another ASY male. The only martin that spent the night was my male. The female looked like she really like the place, she went right in to all the gourds and even spend a good 15 minutes in the gourd with my male.
~Tangula~

2013 - 16 pair, 79 eggs, 71 fledged
2012 - 4 pair, 18 eggs, 18 fledged
DebA
Posts: 1941
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 7:43 am
Location: Pratt County/Kansas
Martin Colony History: Start 2009 with one pair. Upgraded from S&K houses to two Trendsetter 12's with gourds beneath in 2013. I have experienced job, pet, and parental losses since '13. The Purple Martins lift my spirits and remind me how life continues forward by flying their little selves from Brazil back to my yard. As one forum person once told me, chin up DebA, look at the martins. Danger all around but yet they soar in the sky without a care in the world.

Looks like you received great suggestions to the swallow and pole issues already. So let me move on to the fun!

Aw...he is beautiful! Somewhat camera shy. :)

What you described is my most favorite moment of the season that excited hello greeting above your head. People have no idea how a wild bird can know you and be excited their long journey is over and they are home. I too believe he is yours and it's more fun to think that way besides.

Have fun!!

Deb
PMCA MEMBER
Pratt County, Kansas
2016 34 PAIR
2015 27 PAIR
2014 23 PAIR
2013 13 PAIR
2012 6 PAIR
2011 4 PAIR
2010 2 PAIR
2009 1 PAIR
DakotaLady
Posts: 654
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:06 pm
Location: Bismarck, ND

UPDATE:

What a wonderful morning, it was a calm beautiful morning. My pair has been spending the night the past couple nights. This morning, the female began carrying nesting material into a gourd they've chosen. It looked like it was going to be a very pleasant quiet day.

THEN...all of a sudden I heard a ruckus, here 2 more ASY males show up with one more female. Each male found a gourd they wanted and then began fighting like crazy to attract the other unpaired female. It was loud and fighting to the ground occurred. I had a hard time watching it as I felt so sorry for the male that was losing the battle to obtain the female. This went on ALL day long.

Then this evening, I thought for sure they would all be spending the night here, then everyone left and only the one pair seems to be spending the night.

Do you guys think I may end up with 3 ASY pairs? I will be so thrilled. I'm sure most of you have forgotten what it is like building your colonies. I sure am hoping that I end up with more than 1 pair.

Thanks for listening to me prattle on. I don't have any other nature lovers that I can talk with and appreciate all your attentiveness. I can hardly wait to wake up tomorrow and see what happens. It is hard to focus on work during the day. LOL.
~Tangula~

2013 - 16 pair, 79 eggs, 71 fledged
2012 - 4 pair, 18 eggs, 18 fledged
Laverne
Posts: 2216
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:58 pm
Location: TX/Alvin
Martin Colony History: Erected 1st house in 1997. Birds were checking it out before Mike got down from the ladder. Six cavities had a little colony 1st year. Grown to 88 cavities all gourds with near 100% occupancy. Most important factor for success is rain = bugs.

So, what's happening today?

Yes, Tangula, you could end up with multiple pairs. That first pair sounds committed and promising. I wish them and you great success this season!!

Good luck!
Sincerely,
Laverne
DakotaLady
Posts: 654
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:06 pm
Location: Bismarck, ND

Oh Laverne, last evening 2 pairs spent the night and this morning both females started carrying nesting material into their gourds. I am SOOOO thrilled. I can hardly contain my excitement. I really wish the one lone ASY male would find a mate and come back and nest too. I know I should be happy with these two pairs, but I want to ensure I have martins again next year.

It is so fun to watch them, I'm finding myself with a kink in my neck and not getting anything done around the house from constantly watching their antics. They all four get along so well and fly together just soaring in the sky above our yard. I sure hope everyone that is still waiting for martins has this wonderful opportunity to witness these majestic birds in their own yards. Good luck! It is possible, I've been waiting to get my colony off the ground since 1995.
~Tangula~

2013 - 16 pair, 79 eggs, 71 fledged
2012 - 4 pair, 18 eggs, 18 fledged
Bob Buskas
Posts: 600
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2003 8:08 pm
Location: Wetaskiwin Alberta, Canada

Dakotalady, you did the right thing by keeping your Martin house closed until your man showed up. Don't worry now, he will defend his gourd, the Tree Swallows will learn to get along with him. I have 15 pair of TS nesting in Swallow (blue bird ) houses all over my yard along with the Martins, they get along fine. :wink: Tree Swallows love a gourd with an 1 3/8" entrance hung just about anywhere in your yard. Even from a tree branch. Their the best mosquito eaters around!

PS, I think see a silver band on that females leg, maybe she is from Alberta? No its on the right leg, ours are on the left.
Bob Buskas, Alberta, Canada (The Northern Sky's Colony) Supplimental feeding is the key during bad weather, but you must train them to feed ahead of time.
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..

Try helping them with nesting material by putting out some pine needles or wheat straw in an open area..they will find it. i put my stuff in our garden, fun watching them picking out what they want...congrats on your martins, sounds like your on your way.. :)
22 year landlord..9 Rack Systems for 2018 and my home built T-8 for a total of 166 cavities..160 pair in 2018 ..SUPER COLONY!!! Love You Bev... Fan of those St. Louis Cardinals!!!!!
Doug Martin - PA
Posts: 1920
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.

Congrats to you!

It sounds like you are well on your way to starting a colony.

Great job so far.

Doug
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.
DakotaLady
Posts: 654
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:06 pm
Location: Bismarck, ND

Oh thank you so much for your support and well wishes. Bob, I have 11 pair of tree swallows and they do all seem to be co-existing now that I have 2 pairs of martins here in the gourd rack. The tree swallows have moved into a wooden house now and all is fine with them.

There might be a band as I look at that photo. Once they get their nests built I will try to get a closer look. I do not want to disturb them now until they have nests/eggs.

I have nesting material (pine needles) in most of the gourds and last year I made a breakfast tray where I have it divided into two sections one for egg shells and one for pine straw. So far, they have not taken anything from that platform but I'm hoping they learn to go there for the egg shells so that I can also teach them to feed mealworms from there.

Finally...2 committed pairs and I'm still hoping perhaps I will get some SY's yet too for the year.

I hope all of you have a wonderful season. Again, thank you for adding your input to my post. I really appreciate that.
~Tangula~

2013 - 16 pair, 79 eggs, 71 fledged
2012 - 4 pair, 18 eggs, 18 fledged
Bob Buskas
Posts: 600
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2003 8:08 pm
Location: Wetaskiwin Alberta, Canada

Sounds like you have everything under control, just sit back and have fun! They will find that egg shell feeder when the females get into the egg laying stage, they need calcium. Might want to add Oyster shells as well. Maybe invest in an inexpensive spotting scope to read that band. I found the weaker scopes are easier to use and have read many bands with them. Stay in touch.........enjoy your Martins, it only gets better! :wink:
Bob Buskas, Alberta, Canada (The Northern Sky's Colony) Supplimental feeding is the key during bad weather, but you must train them to feed ahead of time.
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