Landlord Chances "doubled"!

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avesrun
Posts: 1113
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:10 pm
Location: Iowa/West Des Moines
Martin Colony History: Home Site: 2017- 0
2016 - 1st pair, fledged 5
Satellite Site: 2017 (3rd season)
34 pair
Fledged- 102

I recieved some great news; I was awarded some grant funds for placing Purple Martin setup on a soon-to-be public site adjacent to where I work. The site has an approx. 80 acre pond/lake and is a former sand quarry site. the area around the water is for the most part VERY open spaced. If any landlords out there have experience and tips with PM house near larger bodies please let me know; I'm meeting with the managing agency of the quarry site soon to discuss placement of the Martin setup.

-How close to the waters edge should the setup be placed; is this critical? I'd rather not place it too close to the shoreline
-I have slight vandalism concerns; anyone heard of ways to make a Martin setup "vandal resistant"?


The initial setup I'll be going with is a T-14 with four TH gourds (of course all with SREH) on a 3" sq. aluminum pole with EZ-off predator guard. I also have funds to purchase professional educational signage for the site. I am very, very excited that this site will start a new colony in Polk Co. Iowa and may even bless me with my first martin nesting pair as a landlord hopeful. If so, I plan to conduct educ. programs at the colony for park visitors and other groups. My plans are to have all in place for this upcoming spring migration.

Again, any tips for setups near an 80 acre quarry appreciated. Thanks!

Tim in WDM, IA
PMCA Member
Home Site: 2012-15 visitors
2016 - 1st pair, fledged 5
2017-18 Zero
2019- 3 Successful Prs.!
Satellite Site: 2014 - visitors
2015 - 2 pair, fledged 9
2016 - 13 pair, fledged 44
2017 - 31 pair, fledged 118
2018 - 44 pair, 163 fledged
2019- 49 or. 219 fledged
Peggy Riley
Posts: 885
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:21 pm
Location: TX/Tolar

Congratulations! I don't have your answers but I'm sure someone will. There are folks that do public colonies and they should be able to help
PMCA Member
2017 101 pair
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.

Most awesome, Tim! Me either though. No big body of water near me. Good luck!
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
John Miller
Posts: 4774
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Sounds exciting. I look forward to photos.

Go the site and walk around and spend some time picking out a site that seems to fit the landscape aesthetically and of course is very open. I don't think there's a critical distance for placing by the water; could be quite a way back and not lose the attraction value to martins of having the lake nearby.

We lock some of our public site poles down with a chain looped around the winch or I prefer a heavy-duty bike cable -- easier to manipulate -- that has a factory lock attached to the end of it - can buy from home centers. I have sometimes attached a small pad lock to the top of predator guards as well.

John M
Jack Gulvin
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2003 1:47 pm
Location: New York/Westfield

I have five poles at public sites and use padlocks in holes drilled in the cable spools of the winches. This works fine but sometimes damage is caused by kids goofing around at night when they stand on the winch handle. This causes so much pressure on the cable it can wedge in the pulley at the top of the pole, or even split the pulley. If I was starting from scratch, I'd look into removing the pulley handles. Someone may have ideas on how to do this quickly/conveniently.
DornCounty
Posts: 2172
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:58 pm
Location: Rural SE Kansas
Martin Colony History: .
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Trio-Jedi

Congrats on the grant!... if you can I would be interested to hear where it came from. There are a lot of ways to get grant funding for martin projects.


Placement should consider a few things...
1. reasonably easy to view for the public- so your efforts and signage can be easily viewed. 40+ year olds will be your primary viewers so make it easy for someone with disabilities to get to.
2. reasonably easy for you to get to for checking as you will be checking on it a lot.
3. near someone that may be able to keep casual watch over it.

vandalism is a slight concern, but likely won't happen as much as you think. We have houses scattered all around town in some very poor areas where the youth run wild, and have only had a few minor cases. If you take simple precautions and be sure not to "over invest" in housing then you can sleep relatively easily.

By far the most damaging issue is weather related.
2017 - Home & Public Colonies - 300 Cavities
avesrun
Posts: 1113
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:10 pm
Location: Iowa/West Des Moines
Martin Colony History: Home Site: 2017- 0
2016 - 1st pair, fledged 5
Satellite Site: 2017 (3rd season)
34 pair
Fledged- 102

Thanks all for the replies. I really like the idea of locking and removing the winch handle and will plan to utilize that option.

I am quite jazzed for getting this setup in place for this spring and have been doing some inward human chortling since learning of receiving the grant funds. The site should be a no-brainer for attracting martins and each year I see large numbers of darn near every other species of swallow flying about the area hunting incl. barn, cliff, tree, and northern rough-winged, as well as occasional bank swallows. Power lines are numerous around the area as well in which swallows can be seen lined upon. Open space will be a non-issue.

I'm also keeping my optimism in check knowing that it could take time either way; however, I hope someday to have the largest PM colony in Polk C. Iowa It's all in hopes of perpetuating the species and creating an awareness thereof within the surrounding community. Depending on success, I hope to add additional setups down the road to the extent they can be properly maintained and monitored. Thanks again everyone and hopefully future success will motivate me to attempt posting photos on the forum; but for now I've got to get some nesting martins here first!
Tim in Iowa
PMCA Member
Home Site: 2012-15 visitors
2016 - 1st pair, fledged 5
2017-18 Zero
2019- 3 Successful Prs.!
Satellite Site: 2014 - visitors
2015 - 2 pair, fledged 9
2016 - 13 pair, fledged 44
2017 - 31 pair, fledged 118
2018 - 44 pair, 163 fledged
2019- 49 or. 219 fledged
Glynn B - LA
Posts: 322
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:59 pm
Location: Louisiana West Monroe

Hey Tim! Karma it is!!!!!!!!!!! Congrat's on receiving the grant. I've' always believed good things happen to good people. I know you must be hysteric now being able to purchase a premium house setup to be placed at the perfect location. I'm very happy for you. You deserve the chance at starting a colony. Now you have twice the chance.

Whenever you get thawed, get that ground stake in the ground. Good Luck my friend. Don't forget to post photo's of both sites.


Glynn
2019 26 pair 116 fledged
2018 20 pair 76 fledged
2017 19 pair 82 fledged
2016 13 pair 48 fledged
2015 3 pair 13 fledged
2014 1 pair 4 fledged
2013 2 pair 6 fledged
2012 0 pair
2011 0 pair

I don’t have the perfect site. One open flyway with trees within 80 ft. I do have a small pond they utilize during the heat of Summer. (2017) HEAVY HAWK PREDATION
avesrun
Posts: 1113
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:10 pm
Location: Iowa/West Des Moines
Martin Colony History: Home Site: 2017- 0
2016 - 1st pair, fledged 5
Satellite Site: 2017 (3rd season)
34 pair
Fledged- 102

Hi Glynn! Yes between the grant funds and YOUR very gracious donation of the Trio house toward my efforts, purple martin conservation in SW West Des Moines should be on the up and up! I WILL post photos as soon as both setups are complete. Was talking to Adam Troyer yesterday and he predicts 7 pair for the setup near the 80 acre lake as long as I can keep the Tree Swallows controlled. I told him Im keeping my hopes in check.

I'm starting to get confused on the timing and exactly when I should have the houses open for business to avoid Tree Swallow conflicts. Do I open everything up as soon as the first martins start to show up in Iowa or Northern Missouri or should I keep things closed until the subbie wave that follows approx. 4 wks. later? I'd hate to miss possible ASY takers..... I'm leaning toward opening the holes as ASYs arrive and be diligent on HOSP & Starling control, and closing the holes for a couple days at a time if Tree Swallows become a problem.
PMCA Member
Home Site: 2012-15 visitors
2016 - 1st pair, fledged 5
2017-18 Zero
2019- 3 Successful Prs.!
Satellite Site: 2014 - visitors
2015 - 2 pair, fledged 9
2016 - 13 pair, fledged 44
2017 - 31 pair, fledged 118
2018 - 44 pair, 163 fledged
2019- 49 or. 219 fledged
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6208
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

First thing I'd suggest is setting up some single boxes for bluebirds and Tree Swallows - those should be open in March or late Feb. Get them settled about [correction, NOT 2-3 ft] should read, 25-35 feet from the martin system and then you can open up a few holes for adult martins.
Last edited by Louise Chambers on Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
avesrun
Posts: 1113
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:10 pm
Location: Iowa/West Des Moines
Martin Colony History: Home Site: 2017- 0
2016 - 1st pair, fledged 5
Satellite Site: 2017 (3rd season)
34 pair
Fledged- 102

Thanks for that post Louise; it's amazing how my mind has been going through the gazillion aspects involved with starting this pm setup yet I completely overlooked that strategy. I should have been all over that option as I have 4 bb houses at my home setup for the same reason. Last year I had two successful bb nestings and the other houses were pestered by HOSP in which I had fair success of trapping them out with the door trap. I haven't had any problems with Tree Swallows at home but do anticipate them near the 80 acre lake setup.

Question: with bb house 2-3 ft. from martin setup, wouldn't nesting Tree Swallows defend against letting martins near the martin house? I'm leery of putting them that close but interested to hear what anyone thinks about that issue. My bb houses at my home setup are at least 25 yards from the martin house.
PMCA Member
Home Site: 2012-15 visitors
2016 - 1st pair, fledged 5
2017-18 Zero
2019- 3 Successful Prs.!
Satellite Site: 2014 - visitors
2015 - 2 pair, fledged 9
2016 - 13 pair, fledged 44
2017 - 31 pair, fledged 118
2018 - 44 pair, 163 fledged
2019- 49 or. 219 fledged
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6208
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Oops, bad typo on my part, I meant to suggest 25-35 ft from martin system. 25 yards is too far to benefit/keep swallows out of martin house.

Read over the info here: http://www.drugfreeworkplace.com/~Dan/T ... ATION.html
avesrun
Posts: 1113
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:10 pm
Location: Iowa/West Des Moines
Martin Colony History: Home Site: 2017- 0
2016 - 1st pair, fledged 5
Satellite Site: 2017 (3rd season)
34 pair
Fledged- 102

Thank you!!

Tim
PMCA Member
Home Site: 2012-15 visitors
2016 - 1st pair, fledged 5
2017-18 Zero
2019- 3 Successful Prs.!
Satellite Site: 2014 - visitors
2015 - 2 pair, fledged 9
2016 - 13 pair, fledged 44
2017 - 31 pair, fledged 118
2018 - 44 pair, 163 fledged
2019- 49 or. 219 fledged
Rupert
Posts: 70
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:05 pm
Location: Ft Pierce, FL

Distance to water should not be a concern .Many houses are mounted on docks and Martins are fine with that, I know mine are.
Chris Brown
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:01 pm
Location: Alberta/Sexsmith

Treeswallow and blue bird boxes on the cheep. If you want to set up some boxes with out spending too much money google treeswallow nest box protects. I have 50 of there long point boxes out for treeswallows and have 99% occupancy. They also give good descriptions of poles and mounting options. I use 3/4" electrical conduit bought at Home Depot but if I put up any more I'm going to use 1/2" because of the cost. It really doesn't seem to bother the swallows much if they blow around a bit. They use hose clamps to keep them from sliding down the pole but all I use is a piece of old tire tube under the clamp. Sounds like you have a great site and the right enthusiasm. Good Luck
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