Having troubles attracting martins

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Post Reply
MattK
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:49 pm
Location: OH/Polk

Last year I attempted to bring in Martins for the garden. I tried to open a small area by removing a small tree beside our garden. Last year I had 6 natural gourd houses, then after growing more last year I now have 13 gourds. The area I don't think was open enough, so recently I moved the gourds near our bank barn where there's 3 open areas leading to it. We have many Amish in the area, which many have martins and use the t14 houses that they've built. We have 5 acres with the nearest neighbor about a quarter of a mile away. Our property has many large mature trees in the yard, which I won't remove. We do have a 2.5 acre pasture in the back of our land that's open and surrounded by open fields, but I don't know if it's too fat away (3-400 feet from house). The other option is an area less than a hundred foot away from the home, in an area that's probably open at 100'x150+, but had a small 15' pool and two power lines thru the area. I'm from north central Ohio, and don't know what else to do. Thanks, matt
Leandortree
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:10 pm
Location: Saskatchewan/Grenfell

Hi Matt,
I think you are very lucky to have Amish people for neighbors, they are very friendly, and know how to attract martins, you could have a chat with them about the birds. The spot you have less than 100 feet away from your house, that is 100x150 feet should be open enough for your gourd rack. That is more open than my place, and the martins like my place. I think you are a good man for not cutting your beautiful trees down. I like having my trees and my birds.
Good luck Matt ,I hope you get plenty of Martins soon.
Saskatchewan "The land of living skies"
Leandortree colony
2012-46 pair 200+ Fledged
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..

Matt I would definitely put it in the most wide open spaces you have available. As long as there is human activity going on that might help..find out if you'r amish neighbors have martins and play the dawn song cd/tape. Would help for attracting SY's to checkout your place .. Keep sparrows and starlings away..good luck
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!!!!!
MattK
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:49 pm
Location: OH/Polk

I fell more encouraged here than another site I went to for help. While I know natural gourds are discouraged by some, it's simple for me to grow them in the garden. If by chance I start getting them, in the future I will build or buy a t14 or two. Every Amish I've seen and spoke with didn't have gourds, but I guess that doesn't mean the martins wouldn't be attracted to them. I've been removing starlings and house sparrows, and had a bluebird couple that I relocated to a bluebird house. Currently there's nothing that's interested in my gourds other than a wren, which I have placed a smaller gourd or two out and will close the houses until it relocates. I was hoping to find the dawnsong local, but nobody carries it. Has anyone had luck with the songbird magnet? My buddies dad built me the first 6 houses from te natural gourds. He lives in west Virginia and has probably 30 pair or more on his property. Within a 15 mile area around here, there are many t14's out there that are active. I'm still hopefull to get them and will continue trying. I forgot, do you think the small pool in the yard will discourage the birds? The gourd rack will have to be placed fairly close to the pool or within the vicinity. Thanks, Matt
~Ray~Gingerich
Posts: 2118
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Delaware/Dover

I think the 100x150 plot would work, martins love powerlines.
~Ray~ Gingerich
1999 1pair, 2006 2 pair, 2008 2 pair,
2009 23 pair, 2010 39 pair, 2011 67 pair,
2012 115 pair, 2013 160 pair,
2014 152 pair, 2015 174 pair, 2016 178 pair
2017 187 pair, 2018 200 pair, 2019 171pair
2020 233 pair
Leandortree
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:10 pm
Location: Saskatchewan/Grenfell

Matt,
The power lines, pool, and your natural gourds are all good things that Martins like. The wren, if it is a house wren, can be bad news for other cavity nesting birds. I like the little house wren, but I don't allow them to nest on my property. T14's are really easy to build, the PMCA shop has the T14 Martin House Plans for sale at $14.00 .
Saskatchewan "The land of living skies"
Leandortree colony
2012-46 pair 200+ Fledged
MattK
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:49 pm
Location: OH/Polk

I moved the gourds today to the open area around the pool. It's close to the house now, and doesn't look bad. Hopefully if it's not too late, to see some activity. Thanks for the help, Matt
pmcharter1
Posts: 110
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:59 pm
Location: iowa/madrid

matt,
always tough getting them where you want them, highlines are a key, if not, make sure you have plenty of perch rods on the tops of your poles, and your housing is in the open, it helps , good luck, keep us posted.
pm charter1
MattK
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:49 pm
Location: OH/Polk

It looks like I have a wren issue now. I put up 3 or 4 smaller gourds around the property for other birds. As quick as I tear out what's started, it's quickly filled. As for the smaller gourds, they aren't being touched by any birds. Should I close the Martin gourds and let the birds relocate? I never realized it would be this much work. My buddy said just put them up and that's it, well it hasn't been that easy.
Leandortree
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:10 pm
Location: Saskatchewan/Grenfell

Matt,
House Wren's are not good to have around your Martin colony, and if you provide them with housing this year you will be encouraging them to come back next year in greater numbers! If a House Wren shows interest in any of my bird boxes, I close the box until he moves along. It is the nature of the male HW to fill several nest boxes with small twigs, the female HW chooses witch box he's filled, she will nest in. Before the male fills a box with sticks, he does a proper house cleaning; if it's a active martin nest with eggs, out goes the eggs, and all the nesting material, same thing with BB, TS, or any other cavity nesting bird. It is this behavior that makes House Wrens undesirable around a martin colony.
Saskatchewan "The land of living skies"
Leandortree colony
2012-46 pair 200+ Fledged
MattK
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:49 pm
Location: OH/Polk

This morning I heard a Martin, which I though I was hearing things. I walked around our house to where the gourds were and saw it flying around. I don't know whether it was a male or female, but it was talking away. Hopefully this is a sign. It's the first Martin I've heard and seen. At first I thought it was a barn swallow, but it was soaring around much higher than the barn swallows. I also recognized the sound as soon as I heard it!
pmlover
Posts: 806
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:30 pm
Location: OH/New Concord

matt
your on the right track. Once i moved my house 80 -100 fee from my house the martins came in full force and guess what they started another colony in the houses 200 feet away . Good luck matt
dick in new concord oh
2015 69 pairs 418 eggs 396 fledged
2019 I have 148 openings now
2016 100 pairs 600 babies fledged added another t-14 and have 126 openings now
2015 Jun 24 360 babies and 58 eggs also found one that had died
2017 632 babies 11died and 20 were killed by hawks
2015 74 pairs and 9 eggs 5/14
2010 3pairss
]JOINED PMCA JUNE 6,2018
2018 651 babies 5 hawk kills 11 floater kills 25 died in houses and 610 fledged

2014 80 pairs 283 babies 282 fledged one died
Post Reply