Hosting Other Nesting Birds

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Seth
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:09 pm
Location: IN/Middletown

Being new to the forum, I'd be interested to know what other native breeding birds forum members host besides martins, and what their level and/or extent of involvement is with these birds. While waiting to attract martins, in the meantime I've come to thoroughly enjoy the many other birds who have taken up residence in provided structures.
Archer
Posts: 757
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:09 pm
Location: Manitoba/Altona
Martin Colony History: six pair in 2014, have grown to 52 pairs in 2017.

Up here in Manitoba I host 4 boxes of tree swallows and last year 1 box of wood ducks. Just check in on the nest boxes once in a while.
2011- first year trying, a few visitors.
2012-One ASY pair, raised two young, lots of subby visitors. So thankfull.
2013-daily subby visits.
2014-Six SY pairs
2015-18 pair, 83 fledglings
2016-36 pair, 147 fledglings
2017-52 pairs, 192 fledglings.
2018-60 pair, 246 fledglings.
2019-59 pair, 238 fledglings.
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6208
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

We host brown crested flycatchers and black crested titmice, sometimes bewick's wrens, too. Trying for bluebirds but they are scarce in our area. And we have golden fronted woodpeckers in nestboxes or gourds too.

I think most of the people who host martins enjoy hosting other birds, too - especially bluebirds and tree swallows or wrens.
Bulldog1
Posts: 700
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:33 am
Location: Mississippi/Hamilton

Bluebirds
PMCA member
2015 - 18 Gourds offered - 12 active nests, 62 eggs, 51 fledged
2014 - 18 gourds offered - 12 active nests, 52 eggs, 48 fledged
2013 - 12 gourds offered - 9 pairs, 56 eggs, 52 hatched, 49 fledged
2012 - 12 gourds offered -4 pairs, 20 eggs, 19 fledged
2011 - 6 gourds offered -1 pair, 5 eggs, 5 hatched, 5 fledged !!!!
Courtney-NC
Posts: 591
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:28 pm
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Martin Colony History: 2009-2015-Helped to manage Raleigh site, 36 cavities
2016- 33 pairs at Raleigh site, 1 pair at home site.
2017- 34 pairs at Raleigh site, 3 pairs + extra SYs at home site
2018- 33 pairs at Raleigh site, 5 pairs + extra SYs at home site
2019 - 32 pairs at Raleigh site, 7 pairs at home site, 2 pairs at new Holly Springs park site

I think that through attempting to host martins, you realize how many other species in your area are also cavity nesters as they may express interest in your housing, and you can up being educated on them just trying to figure out what is going on with your martin housing. That is, if you aren't already a "bird" person before you "take up" martins.

All that being said, I also host titmice, bluebirds, Carolina chickadees, brown-headed nuthatches, and great-crested flycatchers on my property, and that's just the cavity nesters. No tree swallows here.
-Courtney
-------------------
NC Purple Martin Society (PMCA affiliate)
http://www.ncpurplemartin.org
Seth
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:09 pm
Location: IN/Middletown

Courtney,
What kind of housing do your Great Crested Flycatchers use. We're planning on trying to attract them for the first time this year (they always hang around our property), and any advice from experienced GCFL landlords would be greatly appreciated!
Courtney-NC
Posts: 591
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:28 pm
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Martin Colony History: 2009-2015-Helped to manage Raleigh site, 36 cavities
2016- 33 pairs at Raleigh site, 1 pair at home site.
2017- 34 pairs at Raleigh site, 3 pairs + extra SYs at home site
2018- 33 pairs at Raleigh site, 5 pairs + extra SYs at home site
2019 - 32 pairs at Raleigh site, 7 pairs at home site, 2 pairs at new Holly Springs park site

Most people have luck hanging a gourd from a tree branch or shepherd's hook for them, but that did not work for me. I built them their own box, it looks like an oversized bluebird box (you can google plans), and put it on an old telescoping pole up about 9 ft off the ground. They took right to it, but again not near the trees like a lot of books say; they wanted to be in the open so it's about 50 ft from my gourd rack.
I'm sure other GCF "landlords" will chip in, too.
-Courtney
-------------------
NC Purple Martin Society (PMCA affiliate)
http://www.ncpurplemartin.org
Bulldog1
Posts: 700
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:33 am
Location: Mississippi/Hamilton

Seth

By accident some nested in a gourd I had placed to move blue birds:

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g80/h ... C_0032.jpg

But they did have a successful year:

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g80/h ... atcher.jpg

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g80/h ... /photo.jpg
PMCA member
2015 - 18 Gourds offered - 12 active nests, 62 eggs, 51 fledged
2014 - 18 gourds offered - 12 active nests, 52 eggs, 48 fledged
2013 - 12 gourds offered - 9 pairs, 56 eggs, 52 hatched, 49 fledged
2012 - 12 gourds offered -4 pairs, 20 eggs, 19 fledged
2011 - 6 gourds offered -1 pair, 5 eggs, 5 hatched, 5 fledged !!!!
Courtney-NC
Posts: 591
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:28 pm
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Martin Colony History: 2009-2015-Helped to manage Raleigh site, 36 cavities
2016- 33 pairs at Raleigh site, 1 pair at home site.
2017- 34 pairs at Raleigh site, 3 pairs + extra SYs at home site
2018- 33 pairs at Raleigh site, 5 pairs + extra SYs at home site
2019 - 32 pairs at Raleigh site, 7 pairs at home site, 2 pairs at new Holly Springs park site

Here are two pics of flycatchers from last year (note, the trees were not as close as they look in the photo):
Image

Image
-Courtney
-------------------
NC Purple Martin Society (PMCA affiliate)
http://www.ncpurplemartin.org
chickadee
Posts: 1126
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:02 pm
Location: ohio

BLUEBIRDS. that is the first song bird I ever seen 10 years ago that turned me on to birding. and is my favorite bird of all. before I moved to where I am I had a bluebird trail. with tons of bluebirds. now with smaller yard. I host one pair of bluebirds. 7 pair of tree swallows. house wrens. sometimes a chickadee. depending the year. I have a bluebird house with no front on it I stuck in a lilac bush and a cardinal pair use it. I have outside my bedroom window in a pine tree a grapevine basket a robin uses. last year the mourning dove and the robin layed eggs in it. none hatched. had a flicker box I made but starlings always get in it before the flickers I see do. I think my yard is not wooded enough for the flickers. and I see flycatchers out back in the summer would love to offer them something and attract them. and anything else I can think of. I am a bird nut. lol) I just think it is a challenge to attract them and manage them and it keeps me busy while bringing me enjoyment.
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?
Seth
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:09 pm
Location: IN/Middletown

Bulldog1,
Thanks for pictures, especially the one of the two nestlings; your getting me excited! :) I'm planning on putting up a SuperGourd on a S&K Tri-Tel pole near the edge of our neighbors' woodland. Glad to see someone else who's had success with attracting GCFLs to gourds.
Courtney,
Thanks for posting the pictures of your GCFLs.
Chickadee,
Sounds like your yard is as alive as ours! Interestingly, the bluebird is the bird that got my "bird enthusiasm" started, too. And that was 10 years ago for me, as well!
rtanner77
Posts: 51
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 10:47 am
Location: Georgia/Milledgeville
Martin Colony History: We've hosted purple martins since around 2002 and currently have 5 gourd racks with 22 Excluder gourds, 9 Super gourds, 18 Troyer gourds, 4 Bo gourds, 6 natural gourds, and 3 homemade boxes for martins to use.

I host a number of species that I deliberately target, and I build nest boxes specifically for certain species. The majority is bluebirds, but also a large number of prothonotary warblers (my personal favorite), and great crested flycatchers use my nest boxes. I also have a couple of nest boxes for American kestrels, which have yet to occupy them. Carolina chickadees and tufted titmice (titmouses?) are often in my boxes as well. I have a few woodpecker boxes up, but so far they're only used for roosting in the winter, rather than for nesting. There are plenty of carolina wrens, brown-headed nuthatches, and white-breasted nuthatches, but they've yet to use any of my nest boxes.

I just put up my first bat house, so we'll see if they take up residence.

Ralph
"It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living." -Sir David Attenborough
chickadee
Posts: 1126
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:02 pm
Location: ohio

ralph, how lucky to have the tufted tit mouse in your nest boxes. I cant seem to get that one. I have a bat box but only see one bat at night.so cool you have a kestrel box. at are old house we had a screech owl box my husband made. and we had one in it. my husband would go out and get him out of it. and so one day I took a picture of him with it. he loves the hawks and owls. he wanted to put it up here but I wont allow it because of the martins. even knowing I also liked the owl. he always sounded like a scary movie. but here at night all we here is who cooks for you?
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?
Bulldog1
Posts: 700
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:33 am
Location: Mississippi/Hamilton

I added a Troyer Deluxe Bluebird Box to the yard on Friday and Bluebirds were in it on Sunday. Sparrow resistant with predator guard. Thought that was amazing.
PMCA member
2015 - 18 Gourds offered - 12 active nests, 62 eggs, 51 fledged
2014 - 18 gourds offered - 12 active nests, 52 eggs, 48 fledged
2013 - 12 gourds offered - 9 pairs, 56 eggs, 52 hatched, 49 fledged
2012 - 12 gourds offered -4 pairs, 20 eggs, 19 fledged
2011 - 6 gourds offered -1 pair, 5 eggs, 5 hatched, 5 fledged !!!!
Seth
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:09 pm
Location: IN/Middletown

rtanner77 wrote:I host a number of species that I deliberately target, and I build nest boxes specifically for certain species. The majority is bluebirds, but also a large number of prothonotary warblers (my personal favorite), and great crested flycatchers use my nest boxes. I also have a couple of nest boxes for American kestrels, which have yet to occupy them. Carolina chickadees and tufted titmice (titmouses?) are often in my boxes as well. I have a few woodpecker boxes up, but so far they're only used for roosting in the winter, rather than for nesting. There are plenty of carolina wrens, brown-headed nuthatches, and white-breasted nuthatches, but they've yet to use any of my nest boxes.

I just put up my first bat house, so we'll see if they take up residence.

Ralph
Ralph,
I agree with you in building and/or purchasing housing that is proper for the species targeted. Have you ever used individually placed martin gourds for Tree Swallows before? After 6 years of doing so, I believe these are the best housing for Tree Swallows.
I've been considering putting up a box for American Kestrels (maybe next year).
Though I've never had the chance to do so, I can imagine that hosting nesting Prothonotaries is quite rewarding!
Seth
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:09 pm
Location: IN/Middletown

Bulldog1 wrote:I added a Troyer Deluxe Bluebird Box to the yard on Friday and Bluebirds were in it on Sunday. Sparrow resistant with predator guard. Thought that was amazing.
Which nestbox are you talking about? I have two Troyer sparrow-resistant nestboxes (or Troyer nestbox). If you have it, is it the nestbox described in Andrew's bluebird booklet? Just curious.
~Ray~Gingerich
Posts: 2121
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Delaware/Dover

For me it's bluebirds, barn swallows , tree swallows, and robins that nest every year. Sometimes I get mockingbirds, redwing blackbirds, carolina wrens, house wrens and one year a brown thrasher. Sparrows and starlings don't even get a start.
~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
Bulldog1
Posts: 700
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:33 am
Location: Mississippi/Hamilton

Seth it is called: Troyer's Sparrow-resistant Bluebird House, also called the Poly Tuf Bluebird House. I actually bought the Deluxe Bluebird Set, with house, preditor guard, and pole. Was amazed how soon they took to it.
PMCA member
2015 - 18 Gourds offered - 12 active nests, 62 eggs, 51 fledged
2014 - 18 gourds offered - 12 active nests, 52 eggs, 48 fledged
2013 - 12 gourds offered - 9 pairs, 56 eggs, 52 hatched, 49 fledged
2012 - 12 gourds offered -4 pairs, 20 eggs, 19 fledged
2011 - 6 gourds offered -1 pair, 5 eggs, 5 hatched, 5 fledged !!!!
Seth
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:09 pm
Location: IN/Middletown

Bulldog1 wrote:Seth it is called: Troyer's Sparrow-resistant Bluebird House, also called the Poly Tuf Bluebird House. I actually bought the Deluxe Bluebird Set, with house, preditor guard, and pole. Was amazed how soon they took to it.
Oh okay, then we're both talking about the same box (mine are all wood though). Last Spring I moved one and the bluebirds accepted it within a few days. It's amazing how quickly they (and Tree Swallows) find new nestboxes and/or gourds. Did you put sawdust in the nest tray? This is supposed to make the small interior more attractive to bluebirds. Though that style of box has been known to be sparrow-resistant, I did have trouble with sparrows evicting bluebirds from them on two or three occasions last Summer, but don't let that discourage you from using it; I had one bluebird pair successfully raise a brood within site of where our cattle are fed (a House Sparrow paradise). So they can certainly work (just ask Andrew Troyer). Let me know how it works out for you. Happy Bluebirding!
Peter Alberda
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:09 pm
Location: Michigan, Zeeland
Martin Colony History: Started with Amish copy of Trendsetter 12 room house, added Trio Grandpa with expanded rooms, and North Star 8. Taking Trendsetter down this spring and adding gourd rack.

Bluebirds, Tree Swallows, Chickadees, Barn Swallows, Eastern Phoebes, robins, wood ducks and of course wrens. I had screech owls two years ago and am trying for kestrels and barn owls. In forty years I've had tufted titmice once.
2020 - A pair of SY birds with three nice chicks. Lots of visitors all year long.
2015-2019 - A few lookers.
2014 - ASY male and SY female fledged four chicks.
2013 - Several visitors but none stayed to nest.
2012 - Lots of visitors all season long. We had a pair of sys but no chicks survived.
2011 - New location - A few visitors
2010 - First year – Poor house location.
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