What was the highlight of your 2012 martin season?

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 10:16 am
Location: South Carolina, Conway

Having 500 or so birds do a mini roost at my site for 5 evenings!! Awesome.
Aaron S Piver
Conway, SC
Doug Martin - PA
Posts: 1938
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.

My highlight was passing some overflow to my sister and brother in-law down the road. It's nice to share.

I think they thought I was hogging all the Martins the prior year but I wanted to make sure I had a strong established colony first. I then reduced my housing to where they got 10 pairs their first year.

Just seeing the air full of Martins at their place and mine was surreal.

I worked very hard to get my colony started and being able to pass some along was certainly rewarding and a big highlight.

for the first time in 40 years you can put up a Martin house in Western PA and actually expect to get them. New colonies are springing up everywhere.
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.
Posts: 3134
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

I had mixed emotions about my season but overall it was a success. We sold our house in February and I didn't plan on putting the housing up this year. The closing on the house took longer then expected so it was close to arrival time and I was still in the house. I had 12 pair last year and dreaded the thought of being there and watching them show up and not have a house. I talked to the new owner one day and he said I could leave the housing up this year if I wanted to and come get it in this fall. So I decided to do that and ended up with 30 nesting pair this year and last count there was exactly 100 eggs. I was only able to do a few nest checks this year so not sure how many fledged. When I took the housing down I found 1 dead one on the ground and a 2 in the housing itself. I was expecting to find a bunch dead in the housing due to the drought and heat this summer.
The new house I bought is about 7 miles from the old house so hopefully by leaving it up this year and fledging many more babies I will have a better shot this coming season. My new house is near a medium sized lake and is wide open so hopefully it won't take too long.
As a matter of fact I just returned to the old place today and took my AAA gourd rack down and brought it back to the house.
202160 nests with 187 eggs (6-3-20) HOSP count-9
2020 Currently 42 nest, Fledged approx 164 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 lone SY's
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.
Ed Pace
Posts: 675
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:31 pm
Location: NY/Jamestown

I can't limit it to one highlite for last year. I had three, and all special:

#1 Had my first pair, hatch and fledged 5 babies after trying for many years.

#2 Got two pair that fledged 4 babies each at a Vikings lodge, that I put up 2 years ago.

#3 Helped my daughter attract 2 nesting pair that fledged 9 babies after 4 years of trying.

It was truly and exciting summer for us. :grin:
Posts: 312
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:28 pm
Location: Pataskala, OH

The highlight of my season was watching each evening as new birds continued to arrive - I experienced significant growth, and got to meet some really interesting people being a mentor.

Being successful with your own colony and helping others get started was a WIN/WIN in 2012!

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
Posts: 700
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:33 am
Location: Mississippi/Hamilton

Going from one pair to four was great. However, setting up a new landlord at a girls camp with 2 pair the first season was my highlight.
PMCA member
2015 - 18 Gourds offered - 12 active nests, 62 eggs, 51 fledged
2014 - 18 gourds offered - 12 active nests, 52 eggs, 48 fledged
2013 - 12 gourds offered - 9 pairs, 56 eggs, 52 hatched, 49 fledged
2012 - 12 gourds offered -4 pairs, 20 eggs, 19 fledged
2011 - 6 gourds offered -1 pair, 5 eggs, 5 hatched, 5 fledged !!!!
Posts: 1299
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)

I nearly missed the whole 2012 Martin season. I left for a short deployment during the time the Martins were laying eggs. But the day I came back, 2 days early, I was able to witness the last fledge fly out of 1 of the gourds. That was pretty cool.
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 personally had a great year but my real excitement came when my neighbor couple that is near 90 years of age finally got two pair of Martins. They had been trying for several years but knew nothing about SREH entrances to help solve their Starling issues. I fixed 4 Natural gourds with SREH openings that evidently did the trick. I still can't get over how excited they were and still are.
Martin man RI
Posts: 416
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 7:04 pm
Location: MA/RI area

Having to manage 58 nesting pairs in Barrington RI and Yet another 32
pairs in Rehoboth MA 90 pairs and more units will be put in place for
a even larger flock thanks to donations from the town of Barrington.....
And the same thing is Rehoboth people want to help. I am very grateful
to the community, Country clubs,RISD, that have allowed my work. The birds
will always have a home in Barrington & Rehoboth with top notch care.
While there numbers continue to decline in other parts of New England.
From lack of units or old obsolete units still in place. I think the birds know
who care and look after them too. The numbers say it all. -----Ray
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:20 am
Location: Wisconsin/ Sheboygan Falls

For me the highlight of the 2012 season took place during a meeting held by the Eastern Wisconsin Purple Martin Association where several first time landlords shared their joy of becoming new landlords.

Tom Rank
Train your Purple Martins to supplemental feed... you'll be glad you did. http://www.wisconsinpurplemartins.org/
1 Ron Vasser
Posts: 581
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 8:26 pm
Location: Georgia/Rome

The highlight was the season! Thankful to have had another season and blessed with so many swallows.
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 9:34 pm
Location: Grove City, Ohio

My highlight was getting my once in a lifetime photo published on the cover of the Purple Martin Update Magazine!
Taken June 2012 in Grove City Ohio
Taken June 2012 in Grove City Ohio
Baby Martin.jpg (155.54 KiB) Viewed 3933 times
Peter Alberda
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:09 pm
Location: Michigan, Zeeland
Martin Colony History: Started with Amish copy of Trendsetter 12 room house, added Trio Grandpa with expanded rooms, and North Star 8. Taking Trendsetter down this spring and adding gourd rack.

Having a pair of sy birds nest for the first time. They hatched five, but lost them to the heat, drought and the lack of insects we had here in Michigan last summer. Still, I had a lot of visitors all season long so am excited to see what happens this spring. We also got to meet Jill and Norm Chambers from Hamilton Michigan which was nice as we got to compare activities thoughout the season. Martin friends are a great support system.
2020 - A pair of SY birds with three nice chicks. Lots of visitors all year long.
2015-2019 - A few lookers.
2014 - ASY male and SY female fledged four chicks.
2013 - Several visitors but none stayed to nest.
2012 - Lots of visitors all season long. We had a pair of sys but no chicks survived.
2011 - New location - A few visitors
2010 - First year – Poor house location.
Posts: 2166
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:07 pm
Location: PA/Avis
Martin Colony History: The 1972 St. Agnes flood wiped out all the Martins in my area. One day, in 1997-98, 5 or 6 Martins landed on the power wires crossing my back yard. I had no house for them. They kept coming back day after day. We got a martin house a few weeks later & they have been coming back every year since. I average 12-15 pair per year.

Mine was managing to save some chicks from the heat/drought/lack of food. Any season I fledge more chicks than the previous season, is a good season.

Also seeing a banded female & another female that had an orange chest & legs (some sort of dye must have been on it).

And finally that we got a T-10 plastic house up & had a few pair nest in it. We now have 2 poles/winches up & ready for the new season. The houses will go on in March. We're adding 2 vents to all rooms. We're also making wood floors for the plastic nest trays.

Downside of 2012 season...lost 4 adults & several chicks :(.

Toy in PA
Posts: 471
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:06 pm
Location: Pettytown, Texas, US of A

Nearly Picture Perfect Season:
Early arrivals started on Valentines Day
Full house
Lots of insects
Almost 100 percent fledge rate
Bonus second nesting done and fledged again before the heat set in.
Daily visits by dozens of birds after fledge and prior to migration including that "last sighting" until it starts over this year.
Very few starling and EHS problems due to strong colony.

Coming here and reading stories about folks having equal success.
2015 - 40 cavities - 37 pair - fledged 172
2016 - 40 cavities - 38 pair - fledged 192
Hosting Purple Martins since 1976...Managing since 2006.
Posts: 1435
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

Second year was great for us. We doubled our pairs and had double clutches from pairs. :grin: Good luck this year everyone!
7 pair
25 fledged
Posts: 291
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2004 11:40 am

Last edited by rdhd on Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 1048
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:24 pm
Location: Pennsylvania/Espyville/Pymatuning Reservoir Area
Martin Colony History: Taking care of 11 active public colonies and trying to start two more in northwestern PA. Also attempting to restart another one in southwestern PA, in Collier Township's Hilltop Park. In 2017, not sure what happened but the ASY male returned and then a couple of weeks later he was gone. It could have been weather related. No other birds showed up. I had a starling nesting at the Public site that I had trouble getting rid of.
In 2018, we fledged 629 martins at all of the sites.

2012 was a really good year for western Pennsylvania. Five of the colonies that I helped set up were started and one existing colony had an 8 egg nest that fledged all 8 young.

For some reason we had the best year yet for returning martins and starting new colonies.

I had my very first pair of martins nest at our cottage in northwest PA after 7 years of trying. An ASY male showed up around May 7th and finally got a SY female to stay and she laid 5 eggs and all 5 fledged.

I started two other colonies in NW PA, one was at the Linesville Spillway, and the other one was at the Espyville Marina.

Two colonies were started at the Nevillewood Golf Course in SW PA, near Heidelberg. I was able to talk the grounds manager to move these houses from close proximity to trees to more open areas. The houses are fixed on 4x4 posts, but I am planning on replacing these with new houses that will raise and lower.

At the Pymatuning Learning Center, I had a pair lay 8 eggs in a gourd, and all 8 fledged. Other than a lot of moisture in that gourd, they all looked good prior to fledging.

Our Lakeland Area Purple Martin Association had about 5 members start new colonies as well.

We had a really good year with the number of fledges, so we are hoping for another fantastic year.

Hope everyone across our great nation will have a good one as well.

Jeff Robinson
Posts: 907
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 3:32 pm
Location: Rogersville, Missouri
Martin Colony History: 2008 thru Current
72 Cavities - 68 Pairs in 2020
PM Mentor

3X for me! My earliest ever arrival on March 10th - a healthy, happy, singing female scout. Then with the addition of my new Gemini system, SO many martins with several staight weeks of fledging. Finally, I witnessed my first martin roost at the end of the season!

PMCA Member - Bedrock Colony
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

Jeff, the martin roosts are so very facinating, just a spectale to see.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
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