Should I be panicky yet?

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Laura Dore
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 6:15 pm
Location: Pflugerville, TX

I keep looking at all the scout reports in Texas and reading others posts about all the martins they have already; even from places not very far from me. I have yet to even see a scout yet and I saw my first one last year on February 22nd. I have heard some from afar, but haven't seen one yet this year. I have added 4 gourds underneath my house since last year and am nervous that my martins won't recognize my property and won't return. Am I getting nervous for nothing?
apundt-TX
Posts: 983
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2004 7:34 pm
Location: Dripping Springs, Texas
Martin Colony History: :
Starting over in 2018
9 pair 2017
17 pair 2015
12 pair 2014
8 pair 2013
5 pair 2012
2 pair 2011

don't panic yet. I don't have mine back either and this will be my 3rd continuous year. I bet we will see them in the next couple of weeks.
PMCA member
racks:CUE AAA-16, PMCA Multipurpose pole , S&K EZ-Lift, Lonestar/Songbird Essentials, CUE 12 gourd rack
gourds: S&K gourds, Supergourds, Troyer horizontals, Naturalines, few naturals
housing: S&K great 8, TRIO M12K, Coates/BirdsChoice 8 room wateresdge
chickadee
Posts: 1126
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:02 pm
Location: ohio

This happen to me one year. People in my town had theirs and people up above my city state had theirs. And I added something new that year. It freaked me out. But sure enough mine came. Just a lot slower the everyone else's I guess. I am sure all is well and they will come.
2008 first year 1 pair. 2009 3 pair. 2010 7 pair. 2011 20 pair . 2012 44 pair 280 eggs 210 fledged. 2013 67 pair. 2014?
apundt-TX
Posts: 983
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2004 7:34 pm
Location: Dripping Springs, Texas
Martin Colony History: :
Starting over in 2018
9 pair 2017
17 pair 2015
12 pair 2014
8 pair 2013
5 pair 2012
2 pair 2011

Also keep in mind that some people's scout report is a flyover and not necessarily a touchdown on a rack/housing that shows true site fidelity.
PMCA member
racks:CUE AAA-16, PMCA Multipurpose pole , S&K EZ-Lift, Lonestar/Songbird Essentials, CUE 12 gourd rack
gourds: S&K gourds, Supergourds, Troyer horizontals, Naturalines, few naturals
housing: S&K great 8, TRIO M12K, Coates/BirdsChoice 8 room wateresdge
Steve Martin
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:38 am
Location: Tx/Bastrop

Did you check after the cold front hit? In Bastrop about 25-30 Miles Southeast of you, the martins were in the Walmart Parking lot. They were using the gourd houses to stay out of the cold wet weather. I observed this less than an hour ago about 3pm.
AnnieM
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:57 pm
Location: Spring Branch/Canyon Lake ~ Mystic Shores, Comal County, TX
Martin Colony History: 2012 - 4 pair
2013 - 11 pair
2014 - 12 pair
2015 - 14 pair
2016 - Arrival Feb 28 - 17 pair
2017 - Full house for first time. 24 gourds all occupied. :-)

Hi Laura, I'm right down the street from you in Texas miles :wink: and I know what u r feeling. My friend is 3/4 mile south of me as the crow flies and her martins returned Feb 16. Another friend in New Braunfels has martins. But my other friend about halfway between us and San Antonio has not seen her martins yet. As you say they are all around us, but where are ours?

Like you, I have not seen a single scout this year. Also like you, I made some changes to our setup and moved one of my poles about 25 feet so I'm wondering if our martins will accept the new location.

Our martins traditionally return the first week of March. Last year mine came back today, March 2. Your forecast is much the same as ours, so let's hope our martins are on their way, but stay south at least until the weekend. If they arrive now, they will be greeted with freezing temps and icy winds for the next 3 days! I say our martins are smarter than we are and are waiting for better weather. Let's not worry for another week! And remember, there are subbies who will come in April. All will be well! :-)
PMCA Member
2012 - 4 pair
2013 - 11 pair
2014 - 12 pair
2015 - 14 pair
2016 - Arrival Feb 29/17 pair
2017 - Full house first time-24 gourds all occupied :)
Laura Dore
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 6:15 pm
Location: Pflugerville, TX

Thanks all, for your words of encouragement. I'm actually glad now, that my martins are not here yet. Was 70 degrees this morning, and now 28.
Old man winter needs to hit the trail! I'll hold out hope that mine will return with the next blast of air from the south, blowing in some warmth (and humidity). Annie, I know just where you are. My parents used to live in Tamarack Shores on Canyon Lake. It's beautiful out there in the hill country!
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.

I fretted the same way last year. I completely changed my housing. I moved the poles about twelve feet. No worries. Mine arrived and then some. I'm sure they thought, "Merry Christmas to me", with their new digs. You are right about them holding off with the cold temps. Let's hope.

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
Laura Dore
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 6:15 pm
Location: Pflugerville, TX

Still no sign of a Martin at my place. So depressing when reading others posts so much further north than me.
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1483
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm
Location: TN/Collierville
Martin Colony History: I have been exposed to purple martin sounds in utero when my mother went out to get my father away from his martin colony.
I played around the martin colony every summer and watched as my father maintained his colony. In the late 50's until the 70's he did not notice European Starlings in south Texas.
When old enough, I helped maintain his colony. My primary task was eliminating English House Sparrows with a 1956 Benjamin 317 .177 air rifle.
When I settled into my own home, I started my first colony with an original Trio Castle and Trio Grandpa. When I moved again, I did not put up any martin houses. Frustration with European Starlings in the Southeast US was overwhelming.
Found PMCA Forum and learned about modern enlarged compartments and SREHs.
Inherited my father's last martin house, a Trio Grandma, modified it to modern specifications and have had good results since then.

Laura,
Your profile says "my martins have almost become an obsession."
I would venture that they are already are a passion for you.
But among us, it is okay.
Mark.
Last edited by 4th Gen Martin Fan on Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mark.
Firm believer in HOSP/EUST Control, Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.
AnnieM
Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:57 pm
Location: Spring Branch/Canyon Lake ~ Mystic Shores, Comal County, TX
Martin Colony History: 2012 - 4 pair
2013 - 11 pair
2014 - 12 pair
2015 - 14 pair
2016 - Arrival Feb 28 - 17 pair
2017 - Full house for first time. 24 gourds all occupied. :-)

"Moderation in all things," .... except Martins :mrgreen:
FINALLY saw first scout this morning. He flew off to the NE, Laura, so could be headed your way! :P
PMCA Member
2012 - 4 pair
2013 - 11 pair
2014 - 12 pair
2015 - 14 pair
2016 - Arrival Feb 29/17 pair
2017 - Full house first time-24 gourds all occupied :)
Laura Dore
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 6:15 pm
Location: Pflugerville, TX

I also added a purple Martin decoy to the top of each of my houses this year. Could that be scaring them away? I actually heard some in the distance yesterday, but never saw one. I've actually had martins for the last 5 years before the end of February, so that's why I'm so freaked out over not having seen one yet.
klcretired
Posts: 2174
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2003 3:06 am
Location: Grand Prairie,Tx

HI Laura,
No don't Panic , your martins will come in there own sweet time, just be ready. I have used Decoys atop my Gourd Rack as well as my LS Goliad House, I'm talking 10 decoys and they never bother my Martins in Fact My PM's usually sit atop the decoys, i'll try and find an old post of a picture of some of my Martins on the decoys. Laura , The Decoys serve as an Attracting Tool to attract Martins as well as a Aid to help protect the Martins , you see the Hawk will attack usually hitting the slowest Martin, hitting the decoys gives the Martins a chance to Bolt to freedom, Many a Martins Life has been saved because of Decoys.


Hawk Attack Picture

Image


Martin Atop a Decoy


Image
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
Laura Dore
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 6:15 pm
Location: Pflugerville, TX

Ha! That's funny. And in such a natural pose; hanging upside down. Guess you can't fool those martins huh? Fortunate that the hawks can be fooled though. I'll try to relax, but I had my first Martin by Feb. 22nd last year; that's over 2 weeks behind schedule! I can only keep my fingers crossed that they won't pass me by. :v))
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