How tame can a Martin become? Close Encounters of Martins.

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Doug Martin - PA
Posts: 1919
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 was wondering if anyone has had experiences that would reflect the extremeness of how tame a Martin can become and how close they can bond with their landlord.

I know I have had one follow me to a neighbors house and hover above. That was before I had a colony and was a visiting ASY male that was there the prior year as a SY. He would also sit about 8 feet from my grill where I cooked dinner. (In the smoke sometimes)

Currently I have several very tame birds from supplemental feeding them. This really seems to provide a bond as they will fly right to you. I will try and get one to feed out of my hand this year. Last year I only had to toss a foot high. I was always within a few feet of them on the bed & breakfast. I could point to one of them and he would come. Soon they all came with him however.

I would also get greeted getting out of my car on a cold day. They would also come to my porch door.

Any other good "close encounters".
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.
klcretired
Posts: 2174
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2003 3:06 am
Location: Grand Prairie,Tx

out of all my years being a PM Land Lord i have tried to Suplement feed the Adults but it never really worked for me here in Texas , they just never got it, but the Jumpers (Babies That Prematurely Jumped) I got real close to and hand fed until they were Strong enough to Fledge, they would eat right out of my Hand w/o any Fear. usually when they saw me coming toward them their mouths were already open wide awaiting my arrival. Makes me wonder if they would remember me the next year as they grow up , if not me , would they remember how a Human possibly saved their life??
I used to have some pictures posted of a couple of my Babies that i was caring for, don't know if i could do a serach here and find them or not???
Pictures Taken with Canon Rebel XT Digital using a Sigma 50-500 Long Lens.

Wishing everyone a Great Martin Year
Happy Martining for 2020 to everyone,

K.C.

klcretired@tx.rr.com
Waydog
Posts: 188
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:08 pm
Location: Alexandria, La.

Last year was my first year landlording. So I really didnt know what to expect. My first pair would follow me as i would walk out to the road to check mailbox, and would follow me onmy dog walk. And on 2 occasions, they actually followed me in my truck about 1/2 mile down the road when I left! The first time that happened with truck I thought just coincedence, but that 2nd time I had a hard time denying that happens!!
2012 -first year landlord.... 2 pair, 9 fledged.... 2013- 5 pair 20 fledged..
2014- 8 pair 32 fledged
wyatt
Posts: 823
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 1:24 pm
Location: Florida/Tallahassee

I live on a lake and mine follow me when I go out in the boat. Also there are times when I am sitting on the screen porch and they fly close to the screen. I've come to believe it's when they are telling me they have babies or telling me they are about to leave for the year.
DornCounty
Posts: 2172
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:58 pm
Location: Rural SE Kansas
Martin Colony History: .
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Trio-Jedi

I've read stories where kids would raise nestlings then they would come back and land on their sholders or sticks they would hold.
2017 - Home & Public Colonies - 300 Cavities
Hanover Bill
Posts: 603
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 3:10 pm
Location: Pennsylvania/Hanover Township
Martin Colony History: 2009 & 10 - 0
2011 & 12 - Visitors
2013 - 2 pr. fledged 9
2014 - 3 pr. fledged 13
2015 - 7 pr. fledged 27
2016 - 15 pr. fledged 72

Doug;

Since I haven't established a colony yet I can't really speak to how a Martin bonds with his landlord, but I have had experiences with birds at my feeder.

I truly believe they wait for me to fill the feeder every morning, and I have had experiences with Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse and others coming down and taking sunflower seeds right out of my hand as I am standing under the feeder.

I think these birds certainly know the "hand that feeds them", and in their own way they do bond with people who take care of them.

Bill.
2009 & 10 - 0
2011 & 12 - Visitors
2013 - 2 pr. fledged 9
2014 - 3 pr. fledged 13
2015 - 7 pr. fledged 27
2016 - 15 pr. fledged 72
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

All birds will get tame and follow you if you feed them. They are not necessarily bonding wtih you, but they know by nature that they should go where the food is. You can train them to sit on your finger and eat. Even the dogs will obey commands better if you give them treats when giving the dog a command and it responds...As far as I am concerned, anything that depends upon finding their food daily reacts the same way
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
Matt F.
Posts: 3894
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

Emil Pampell-Tx wrote:All birds will get tame and follow you if you feed them. They are not necessarily bonding wtih you, but they know by nature that they should go where the food is. You can train them to sit on your finger and eat. Even the dogs will obey commands better if you give them treats when giving the dog a command and it responds...As far as I am concerned, anything that depends upon finding their food daily reacts the same way
I completely disagree.
While there are many animals (including birds) that are drawn to humans simply due to the drive to eat and be fed, there are a few that truly have a unique bond with humans.
Look at wild dolphins, and the numerous reports of them coming to the assistance of humans in distress, or simply swimming with humans - situations were no feeding was involved.
Martins have formed such a unique bond with humans - way more than many other wild birds.
Case in point - quite often when folks are doing nest checks, the adults will not only stay on the nest, but the landlords may even gently move the adult just enough to get an accurate egg/baby count.
I've looked at a lot of active bird nests in my day, and NONE would let you get that close without freaking out and flying off.
No question there is a unique bond between humans and Martins.
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

Matt, I also lost many nice red snapper to dolphins, they would grab the fish before we could get them out of the water. Sometimes we only got 1/2 of the fish into the boat. I think that they knew that they could get an easy meal under the boat. They associated humans with easy food! I seriously doubt that they followed the boat because they liked me SOO much! smile. And why do the dolphins perform tricks at Seaworld, they do it for the food, and the handlers feed them.

Sorry, but I just don't see all of these mystical occurances, maybe I just don't treat my martins right! smile...It is nice to believe such things, it makes you feel good.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
Doug Martin - PA
Posts: 1919
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 agree that food or the act of eating does create a bond among most living things.

Even between humans. That's why we go out for dinner to eat for a first date and sit down at a meal for the holidays. What would Thanksgiving ritual be without a turkey dinner. The same folks that sat at the first table together likely raised Purple Martins too. The indians also apparantly passed on Martins to the settlers as well.

That's not to say there is anything wrong with that. Food and eating is universally shared among most all creatures. You can feed a grizzly bear a few times but it doesn't mean he will be your buddy for life however.

I believe the roots of the bond between Martins and man could have once stemmed from also supplemental feeding them. As it did with any semi-domesticated animal. Do you think native indians as in tune to nature as they were simply let their Martin colonies die during foul weather? I would think not. Amish have been feeding them meat for many years up here. Probably beef heart.

I guess most instances of close contact today with Martins would involve feeding. It is a universal form of bonding. I can only say once they adapt to it, it's like they have done it since man & Martins first co-existed together. It seems very natural and easily accepted. Almost like a forgotten relationship.

Martins don't need to be fed every day like a dog however. 99% of the time they can easily feed on their own. Given a choice that is exactly what they do.
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.
Sparky
Posts: 1889
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 11:04 pm
Location: Texas/Katy

This is one of 2, that I rehabbed. Undernourished due to drought and they kept dropping out of their compartments.
Here is just before I released: Gabby. I named them Gabby and Haze. Gabby couldn't stop talking and Haze was just out of it until the martin was stronger.
Pretty tame as a youngster and being handled for 2 weeks.

Image
I'm a "nestcamaholic" Is 18 hours a day a bad thing? (I have 2 this year, luckily I have 2 eyes!)
ToyinPA
Posts: 2110
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.

I have to disagree to a point. I have trained many a dog with no food treats, just phrase. I was a breeder of Toy Poodles & a dog groomer for over 26 years. I was able to groom dogs no one else could get near. All because I understood their fear of grooming. I could talk the scarest dog thru a full clip/bath/blow-dry/etc & even paint their nails & stick bows in their hair. One lady came to pick up her dog, whom no one else had been able to do a complete groom on, thought I was trying to give her someone elses dog, LOL.

I did the same with my 3 parrots. Training with no food treats. I've even trained my parrots to understand some hand signals. They understand what I say & respond to certain cues & signals.

I will agree that some may do what they do for food, but others do it because they do bond with you to a certain degree. Some are just plain curious.

Some of my martin colony would let me get close, one female even let me reach in & pick her up twice. While others would fly off if I got close to the houses.

So I'd have to say that each animal has their own fear/non-fear level & that will allow them to either bond or not bond or accept you.

With our world changing so fast many animals are suffering from heat/drought/lack of food/etc. They must find ways to survive & if it's relying on humans then we need to be there to help them as best we can.

Toy in PA
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