Purple Martin

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
John Miller
Posts: 4771
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Your colony is absolutely beautiful.

John Miller
taxidermy lady
Posts: 2989
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:21 am
Location: IL/Ellis Grove
Martin Colony History: Started trying to attract purple martins in 2012! It's finally happened in 2017! 5 years!!! ASY male and SY female came May 1st, fledged 5 babies!

My father ha a plastic house with the one side the door was off. He also had a nice aluminum one. The martins always went for the plastic one. I think it had better air flow because of the openness. They just want a safe place to nest.
Craig Haddox
Posts: 444
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2004 5:13 pm
Location: Missouri Washington

I don't know what I have invested. What ever the amount it's worth every penny. I also take everything down during the winter and store away.
jeffwilliams72
Posts: 267
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:22 am
Location: Indiana/Carthage

Chris, your colony IS beautiful, really hope you decide to continue managing it.
2008/1st pair/ 4 fledged
2009-2010 visitors only
2011/2 pr/9 eggs/8 fledged
2012/9pr/33 fledged
2013/27pr/101 fledged
KathyF
Posts: 3518
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

Craig Haddox wrote:I don't know what I have invested. What ever the amount it's worth every penny. I also take everything down during the winter and store away.
Craig, I know what I've invested - my husband reminds me sometimes when I slip up and make a comment about the cost of a new guitar he's shopping for. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com
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 love my systems. I love the PMCA. Wish I could donate and do more. I chose to throw a lot of money at my Trendsetters and I have been very pleased with what I spent. However I was four years into landlording and started with plastic house + tri-tel pole. Plastic started breaking and my poles were very difficult to raise. If I couldn't have afforded the TS at the time I would have gone for four more years with new plastic and tri-tel. Whatever it takes to host martins AND do nest checks.
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
Jim Beatson~SC
Posts: 226
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:54 pm
Location: Sumter, SC
Martin Colony History: Started 2000
All natural gourds. Access ports and clinger SREH.
32 of 32 gourds occupied 2020

We all do what we gotta do to enjoy the hobby. Me and my Buddies grow and use natural gourds because of our financial restraints. Not to mention, around here the martins love them. But there are some locally who can afford the luxury and convenience of manufactured gourds. (There is a colony in New Zion, SC of 140 plus Supergourds that is pretty much filled every year.)

Most colonies are managed in some way. Believe it or not, in the rural South most landlords of any station gun-down predators. (May be their "farm boy" origins.)

When I was helping Julie Hovis start-up here SC PM banding project in 2008 we set out to GPS map all the PM colonies in Sumter County. After about a 5 mi. ride and about 20 locations we gave that up. There are many mom and pop 6 to 12 natural gourd sites that turn out a least a few fledglings each year and cummulatively that's a lot of birds. These landlords enjoy the experience and are proud of their contribution--every man according to his means.

Jim
chickadee
Posts: 1126
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:02 pm
Location: ohio

deb, how is that trendsetter? that has always been a house of choice for me. it looks roomy and nice. and I just like the looks of it. sure the martins love it. and it will last a long time. I buy a rack when it is income tax time. it works out because it is right before the martins get here and right when I have them on my brain. everyone has a way I guess.
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?
jr 2
Posts: 749
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: ohio,proctorville(just across ohio river from huntington,west virginia)

I built a box and put a spar-a-door trap in it and can bolt it too the side of any plastic house;;plastic houses don't have too be sparrow atttracters;;the cheap ones that I buy come with cresent entrances so I have no starling problem;;made bigger compatments;ppput in subfloors;;added tunnels;drilled extra holes for venting and insulation in attic;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
chickadee
Posts: 1126
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:02 pm
Location: ohio

Jr I think the thing with the s&k houses that make them sparrow magnets is they are the house bought buy people that don't know what they are doing and get over run by sparrows. So sparrows are attracted to these houses. It's not so much that they are cheap. You can fix them up make them roomy and nice but they still draw sparrows more then just gourds. I am thinking of getting on this year the safe haven if I do not get a T-14. Do I need to put insulation in the top? It says it has 2 compartments in the top. Someone said not to let them use the top. Wonder why not?
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?
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

It is not the cheap houses as chickadee said above, she is right. I owned a T-14 at one time, it was a starling and sparrow magnet. The S&S would chase away any visiting martins. I never had more than 5 cavities occupied by martins. I trapped and shot all the S&S that I could, and they didn't bother the gourds very much. THE S&S PREFERRED THE TRAPS RATHER THAN THE GOURDS. I ended up giving the T1-14 to a nice lady across town, she still has it and likes it. The S&S will use the gourds on occasions, but I use only gourds now. My opinion is that starlings & sparrows highly prefer houses of any kind.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
KathyF
Posts: 3518
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

chickadee wrote:Jr I think the thing with the s&k houses that make them sparrow magnets is they are the house bought buy people that don't know what they are doing and get over run by sparrows. So sparrows are attracted to these houses. It's not so much that they are cheap. You can fix them up make them roomy and nice but they still draw sparrows more then just gourds. I am thinking of getting on this year the safe haven if I do not get a T-14. Do I need to put insulation in the top? It says it has 2 compartments in the top. Someone said not to let them use the top. Wonder why not?
Are you talking about the 2 compartments in the top of the S&K houses, chickadee? If so, you shouldn't use the top 2 compartments because of 2 reasons:
the only way to get a HOSP nest out or clean it out is to pop off the roof.
the only way to do a nest check is to pop off the roof.

If you pop off the roof with nestlings & eggs in it, you're likely to dump both out of the house. The other problem with the S&K plastic houses (besides the fact that it's advertised as 12-room houses and you have to modify to only 6 rooms), is the thin-metal tri-tel poles which have been discussed ad nauseam on this forum ((unless you choose to make your own, stronger pole, which is certainly an option) . At a cost of $45 for the house, that makes your cost-per-cavity $7.50. Not a bad cost for a starter home, but, digging in this Missouri soil, I want the most bang for my buck / hole, so I wouldn't put in the effort here for just 6 cavities for a house I'd likely have to replace sooner than other, higher quality housing.
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com
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.

Chickadee,
I was one person who advised against using the top compartments of the attic space in S&K plastic houses.
I made that recommendation based upon modification done to a protégés' S&K 16 Family Purple Martin Barn.
If you open up the top compartments, it will be very challenging to insulate the roof. You will have to attach the insulation directly to the inner surface of the roof. It can be done but will be much more difficult.
If you look at a typical house with a traditional gable end roof, then you will notice that the attic space is allowed to ventilate and the insulation for the house is in the floor of the attic space.
I advise the S&K Heavenly Haven over the other models. Probably because they look more simple to assemble and clean. I like the fact that the newer models have a through hole which accommodates a pole system with pulley and rope. I like the crescent entrances which can have a porch attached. I believe that the optional porch is close to the bottom of the entrance hole.
If you leave the top two compartments of the attic space unused then you can install the insulation against the attic floor. This setup will more effectively insulate the "house" space compartments against the heat from the roof.
By the way, the Safe Haven was a hand made purple martin house made in limited quantity by Creative Enterprises Universe. They are no longer made and were very high end, high quality purple martin houses.
While I have been working on this post, I noticed that someone I greatly respect, Kathy, has pointed out that it is very difficult to clean out the attic compartments.
I like the fact that a consortium of opinions give people many different ideas.
Mark.
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.
KathyF
Posts: 3518
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

Thank you, Mark. :wink: I hadn't even thought of the ability to add insulation to the top of the house. The most common house I run across at some of the sites I visit is the S&K barn. The first thing I usually have to do is tear out all the HOSP nests in the upper attic. The I stuff some rags in the holes and tape over the holes so they can't be used again, then of course, modify the house.

Then I start to work on helping the landlord convert over to something more manageable and within their budget.

As to Emil's point about the HOSP & EUST liking houses better. I agree, and as he states, it's not a 100% rule. I have one pain-in-the-butt landlord that only has gourds and he leaves them up all winter. Given no other housing choices, the starlings and HOSP start trying to move in in early Spring and it's quite a battle. This season, I'm going to sneak over after the martins leave and stuff the entrances with pool noodles. :evil: :grin:
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com
chickadee
Posts: 1126
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:02 pm
Location: ohio

thanks Kathy and mark, I wanted the safe haven from creative universe. but they know longer sell it. so is the sk similar to it? I just like the fact you do not have to enlarge it. as far as sparrows building a nest in the attic. here they never get that far. but it would need some insulation. is this because it is a plastic house and not wood? every year I want to get a house then I put one up and take it back down. because I am a firm believer that sparrows go after houses more. and my gourds get one or two here and their. I have no problem spending money for nice set ups. that's what all my gourd racks are. just would hate spend a bunch of money on a house to want to pull it down. but I think this may be my year this year to try to use a house. I am more established with birds and good at trash bird control. I have a few weeks to make up my mind. but I love the input on ideas for houses as I have never used them and don't know what is good or descent.
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?
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

Kathy, I would love to shoot a firecracker nearby when you are stuffing the house with pool noodles. :lol: :lol:
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
jr 2
Posts: 749
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: ohio,proctorville(just across ohio river from huntington,west virginia)

I found aluminum louvered vents and modiried them and covered over the top compartments for ventilation as there is no way too nest check or clean out;;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
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.

jr 2,
I modified the S&K 'red barn' by opening up the entrance holes but intentionally covered the holes with fine hardware cloth to allow ventilation through the attic area and to keep vermin birds out of the attic area.
I love your idea of using the small aluminum louvered vents to cover the holes. Those louvered vents would be much neater than what I did.

chickadee,
I like to use the attic area to ventilate the heat from the roof. The purpose of the insulation is to further insulate the heat in the attic area from the compartments just below the attic.
If possible, I would insulate the attic from the compartments in any type of house, especially metal and plastic houses.
I think that one of the advantages of wooden houses is that the wood acts as a mild insulator.
However, I would guess that 3/4" wood does not insulate as well as 1/4" XPS/extruded polystyrene foam board (the denser pink or blue foam board.) 1/4" XPS is rated with an insulating factor of R1.
Mark.
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.
Ladybug
Posts: 203
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:09 pm
Location: Indiana/ Jamestown
Martin Colony History: 2005-2019. Lots lookers, 2 successful nesting's.
2010- 1 pair nested,eggs destroyed(Wren).
2012- 1 pair nested, 4 eggs, 4 fledged
2019- 1 pair nested, 4 eggs, 4 fledged.

WRVPM:
My family did live near Sand-born a few years back.
My Aunt Ruth Yates lived in Sandborn for Years.
I live West of Indianapolis, Indiana. I was just wondering where you are located??
I know there is an Active PM site on the outskirts of Sandborn, Just North. I have not seen any other Martin Housing near Sandborn, Indiana. My sister and I would check when we would go down to visit Aunt Ruth. Sadly she passed away in 2012.
Thanks for any information.
Joanne
Joanne
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