Purple Martin

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White River Valley Martin
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:18 pm
Location: Indiana/ Sandborn

Just thought I would like to talk about the cost of keeping purple martins and how the prices of gourds and housing has become outragous.

The people who actually talk about how we should provide our martins with the best housing must be millionaires, because those who control the market for such housing, those places such as PMCA, Birds Paradise and the maker's of such housing have drove the prices so high that the average joe cant afford to be a martin landlord.

I actualy feel sorry for the people who cant afford to buy a plastic gourd, I have been there.

I grew up a farm boy, and I know how to garden very well. I have had martins in my life for 40 years. I started them in gourds grown in the garden. Now I have 70 gourds i purchased, super gourds and excluder gourds after saving for months to purchase them. Last year I had 109 pair of martins, and my neighbor ask me where to get those gourds at. I told him and a couple weeks later he stoped by and said "I like to watch them and listen to them but I cant afford martin housing unless I win the lottery.


Bottom line is I think greed had gotten in the way of martin conservation, and those folks who hold the market for these things are running everybody thats not well to do out of this joyful backyard hobby.

Its sad to say, but I hope my gourds last 40 more years, because if they dont then my martins will have to find somewhere else to live, because I cant afford to replace them.


In todays society money and greed run everything and I think the martins are being held hostage by such greed. But you can thank your martin conservationist for showing you and telling you about all the right ways to take care of martins. Because they will, so they can get rich.

And you have to have a 6 digit income to house martins. That should be one of their requirments to purchase housing from them.


In conclusion

I have decided to go back to my old martin caring ways of the old days, hang the gourds up and leave them alone and let nature take its coarse. I completely understand why most people have heath houses and plastic martin houses, its because they cant afford a gourd rack and the gourds to hang on it.

Sincerely
Chris
2010 23 nesting pairs
2011 76 nesting pairs
2012 109 pairs, fledged 430 babies
2013 ??
Chuck4
Posts: 861
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 10:05 am
Location: North MS
Martin Colony History: I started trying to attract Purple Martins in 2011. I got my first breeding pair in 2013.

2013-1 pair, 2014-4 pair, 2015-8 pair, 2016-12 pair 60 babies :-).

It's not that expensive to house martins. You can get going fairly easily for 100-150 dollars. For some people, the hobby is an obsession, and they like to spend money on the birds (housing). The martins themselves don't care about how expensive the housing is though. It seems like the more dilapidated it is the more they like it sometimes... :) Martins will choose housing that is free of predators and competitors. Housing can be built for a fraction of the cost of buying pre-made ones. Don't forget about the natural gourd option too. I built my gourd rack for a total of about 40 bucks (eight gourd capacity). I don't recommend just hanging and forgetting them though. Monitoring those gourds will help them thrive in the long run. There are several ways to get there. I just disagree that one must be rich to have Martins.

As with any hobby, one can spend a fortune or be as frugal as one wishes. Good results can be obtained both ways.
Last edited by Chuck4 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
PMCA Member
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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

you have to be really handy with wood/metal/plastics or very creative thats for sure.

I have seen articles/pictures of :

an old boot and a $5.00 plastic entrance for a house.

Also used mailboxes seem to work.

streetlight and signal light

galvanized pipe
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
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 can go to the local hardware store and buy a plastic 9" martin gourd for $17.. that's with a porch and crescent entrance.

A poll that will hold 6 can be purchased for 90-100 bucks.

It's not a great setup, but it's adequate and safe against most things other than 80+mph winds.

The plastic houses are less than 100 and can house half a dozen pairs pretty easy.


I tell prospective landlords, it doesn't matter what you spend as long as it's safe and you monitor it.
2017 - Home & Public Colonies - 300 Cavities
stan davison
Posts: 715
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:48 pm
Location: Tulsa Oklahoma

I think finding unused housing that is in people's yards that could care less if the house is there is a great option. Offer bottom dollar for it and chances are they will sell it anyway. Half the folks don't even know what birds the Martin house is for. I live here in Tulsa and old GOOD housing is everywhere. Sometimes the houses just need a tune up. As for costly housing, I agree some of it is very expensive, as a matter of fact everything has gone thru the roof except wages.
DornCounty
Posts: 2172
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:58 pm
Location: Rural SE Kansas
Martin Colony History: .
.
Trio-Jedi

stan davison wrote:I think finding unused housing that is in people's yards that could care less if the house is there is a great option. Offer bottom dollar for it and chances are they will sell it anyway. Half the folks don't even know what birds the Martin house is for. I live here in Tulsa and old GOOD housing is everywhere. Sometimes the houses just need a tune up. As for costly housing, I agree some of it is very expensive, as a matter of fact everything has gone thru the roof except wages.
great comment! I bought two used trio MS-12's for 35$ apiece one time.. with the poles. All I did was knock on the door.
2017 - Home & Public Colonies - 300 Cavities
pmlover
Posts: 806
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:30 pm
Location: OH/New Concord

Chris your right I have about 4,000 in all my houses and poles people saying 200 is wrong to do the martins justice
dick
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
Chuck4
Posts: 861
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 10:05 am
Location: North MS
Martin Colony History: I started trying to attract Purple Martins in 2011. I got my first breeding pair in 2013.

2013-1 pair, 2014-4 pair, 2015-8 pair, 2016-12 pair 60 babies :-).

pmlover wrote:Chris your right I have about 4,000 in all my houses and poles people saying 200 is wrong to do the martins justice
dick
Not everyone wants or can manage a massive colony of martins. But someome can have martins for less than 4k... :shock:
PMCA Member
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Steve Martin
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:38 am
Location: Tx/Bastrop

Chuck4 wrote:It seems like the more dilapidated it is the more they like it sometimes... :)
So I've got a chance.
jr 2
Posts: 749
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: ohio,proctorville(just across ohio river from huntington,west virginia)

I bought all 4 my trio m12k and poles about 20 year ago when the price was reasonable;;would like too had some more but I would not pay the price now and still have too change from round holes too cresent entrance but you can still find cheaper housing even if you use plastic gallon jugs;i am on a limited income;jr2
PMCA member; s 2011 2 pair fledged 3; 2012 3 asy pair,4 sy pair,2013 8 asy pair,6 sy pair;2014 19 asy pair,2 sy pair
Chuck4
Posts: 861
Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 10:05 am
Location: North MS
Martin Colony History: I started trying to attract Purple Martins in 2011. I got my first breeding pair in 2013.

2013-1 pair, 2014-4 pair, 2015-8 pair, 2016-12 pair 60 babies :-).

Steve Martin wrote:
Chuck4 wrote:It seems like the more dilapidated it is the more they like it sometimes... :)
So I've got a chance.
Heck yes! :wink:
PMCA Member
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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

White River Valley Martin wrote:
In conclusion

I have decided to go back to my old martin caring ways of the old days, hang the gourds up and leave them alone and let nature take its coarse. I completely understand why most people have heath houses and plastic martin houses, its because they cant afford a gourd rack and the gourds to hang on it.

Sincerely
Chris
Chris, I agree with some of what you have said. However, I do not agree with hanging the gourds and leave them alone. That is probably the worst kind of thing to do. Giving the martins a home, and then let "nature take its course" and stand back and watch your colony being destroyed by snakes, owls, mites, etc., is a total lack of responsibility. I hate to see anyone do such horrible thing.

Its like buying a new car, never change oil, run it on flats and ruin the tires, burn up the engine, etc etc...its of no value to anything... I would much rather see you burn your housing.

I think people should be responsible and try to protect their martins from unwanted predators. Even with the cheapest housing, I believe in good management.

I have a lot of gourds and lots of martins, most of it was cheap, growing my own gourds. That is my hobby, I like to make martin housing out of the gourds that I grow in my garden. I did purchase some cheap plastic gourds that had defects (seconds), but I fixed them, and made good housing out of them.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
Thurman Seber~TN
Posts: 416
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: Alexandria , Tennessee

Like so many other times I stand with Emil. Yes, it is very expensive to go first class all the way with purchased stuff. I also have hosted a super colony two times over and I did it without spending a fortune. I built my colony up with home raised gourds and lot's of elbow grease. And built my stuff so that it didn't need to take a back seat to anybody as far as being, safe and functional was concerned. Working with my housing is as much fun for me as the martins themselves are.
Thurman Seber, Alexandria, Tennessee
John Miller
Posts: 4769
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Chris

Yes... people today either got money to spend, or they certainly don't and the income gap is widening all the time.

I had an older landlord who mentors folks visit with me a few summers ago. He told how he took a catalog to a prospective landlord, opened it and stood back to see if the prospect was "going to have a heart attack." ha.

As for costs, I always point out that most of the products are made in America in small quantities. That's why a gourd costs what it does.

One can buy a quality gourd rack, predator guard and six quality gourds for $350.00 to $400.00 by shopping and comparing. But I know that amount is still beyond the reach of some folks, and then I'd look to the tips others here have made -- natural gourds, renovating some older Trio houses and there are inexpensive plastic houses available that make good homes.

Keep at the hobby and keep grumbling too. I do my share as well from time to time.

John M
DornCounty
Posts: 2172
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:58 pm
Location: Rural SE Kansas
Martin Colony History: .
.
Trio-Jedi

pmlover wrote:Chris your right I have about 4,000 in all my houses and poles people saying 200 is wrong to do the martins justice
dick
With all due respect this is simply wrong. You don't measure "justice" by dollar amount. it is of utmost importance for martins they we teach people how to do it properly, while doing it inexpensively.
2017 - Home & Public Colonies - 300 Cavities
stan davison
Posts: 715
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:48 pm
Location: Tulsa Oklahoma

Everyone here has good points. I worry more about the future of the purple martin and future generations. I am 42 and not many my age with this hobby. The younger folks is what we as conservationists need to focus on. Without them the Martin doesn't have a chance. Say I was 18 again (I wish), and I looked at Martin house Websites and came across the 28 trendsetter and well over 1000.00$$. I would be like I am using that money for new rims on my car. Even the Trios are crazy expensive now.
jeffwilliams72
Posts: 267
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:22 am
Location: Indiana/Carthage

Chris,
"I have decided to go back to my old martin caring ways of the old days, hang the gourds up and leave them alone and let nature take its coarse"
Truth is, natures course is so screwed-up, without Purple Martin landlords, like yourself, this species has no chance. Natures course was determined when HOSP and EUST were brought to this land.
As a modern Purple Martin loving American, I feel it a duty to save for, and provide excellent housing for these magnificent birds that were displaced by introduced trash birds, and the millions of farm boys like yourself, that eradicated the trees and snags that these birds called home.
Enjoy your sparrows & starlings!
2008/1st pair/ 4 fledged
2009-2010 visitors only
2011/2 pr/9 eggs/8 fledged
2012/9pr/33 fledged
2013/27pr/101 fledged
stan davison
Posts: 715
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:48 pm
Location: Tulsa Oklahoma

Jeff, your post is a little over the top. Look to the future not the past.
jeffwilliams72
Posts: 267
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:22 am
Location: Indiana/Carthage

Stan,
I think Chris's statement of "hang the gourds up,leave them alone,and let nature take its course" is way more "over the top", than any of my truthful statements.
Let's be real here, he has the gourds, they are paid for, he has Martins, but NOW he just wants to hang gourds and forget about them. Doesn't make sense....
As for me looking forward, not back.........CAN'T WAIT FOR MY PURPLE MARTINS TO ARRIVE!!!!
2008/1st pair/ 4 fledged
2009-2010 visitors only
2011/2 pr/9 eggs/8 fledged
2012/9pr/33 fledged
2013/27pr/101 fledged
stan davison
Posts: 715
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:48 pm
Location: Tulsa Oklahoma

Millions of farm boys was over the top. Just sayin....
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