More Martin woe

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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.

For those of you in the south, it must seem strange that we're having our first bird problems now that it's early June. We've been patiently waiting and this is our chance. And there aren't many colonies in Michigan so our chances are quite slim and we need to do everything right if we are so lucky as to get a chance. I now have a chance for a colony.

Friday afternoon I saw a ASY male at one of my horizontal gourds. A little while later I saw a female so it was looking good. I saw them Saturday whenever I had time to look and the female even brought some soybean stalks in to add to the white pine needles I put in earlier. Sunday morning they both were relaxing, she on the porch of the gourd, he often on the adjacent pole wire. I was ecstatic, to say the least. I came home from church and they were gone. All day I watched, but saw nothing. Depression set in.

This morning he's back. sitting on the porch and the wire mostly. I have not seen her yet today.

Here's my problem: I generally set my alarm for four and put the dawnsong cd on. After breakfast around eight I put the daytime chatter cd in for the rest of the day. That cd has started to shut off after a few minutes to a few hours. The first three days I left all cds off as I didn't want to scare them away. But since I almost lost them, should I be playing my dawnsong cd all day long? This may be my only chance this year and I don't want to do anything wrong!!

Thanks! Pete
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.
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.

I just saw the female a few minutes ago. They both went into the gourd, then he went back to his wire. She then made two trips to the soybean field and back to the nest. Then they both took off again.

The suspense is awful! Right now it's looking good but we're a long way from a colony.

A few years ago I complimented an Amish farmer in Indiana about the fine crops he raised. He said all he did was ready the land and plant the seed - the Lord raised the crop. Maybe that's the way it is with Martins too. We do what we can, but getting the birds is out of our control.

Pete
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.
Connie
Posts: 443
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:05 pm
Location: WALKER, LOUISIANA
Martin Colony History: Had my site up to 22 gourds of which most (+/-3) stayed occupied.
Downsized to 17 gourds due to back surgeries. Had 14 families in 2017 but did not do nest checks due to health. Feeling better in 2018 and hoping for a good year.

Peter,
I think they are there to stay. Especially if they are bringing in nesting materials. I have 21 pairs this year and sometimes during the early afternoon (before the babies hatched) I wouldn't see them for hours while they were out feeding. Then, in the evenings they can fly into those gourds so fast if you blink you miss them!

Yes, you don't have a colony yet but it sure sounds like this is your year to start one.
And yes, I agree, we can do everything right and may still not get our martins. It is in a lot of ways, out of our control.

I say you should do the happy dance!
:grin: :grin: :grin:
I think you have a pair. A lot of members say go ahead and turn your dawn song and chatter off. They say the real sounds will draw in martins as well if not better than the recordings. But, I'm no pro....I hope someone else jumps in with their 2 cents.

Good luck and enjoy. Nothing else like it. It is a blessing from the Lord!!
Connie
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.

Oh Pete, good luck!


I just wish martins on everyone who wants them! This has been a rough start year with slow migration in so many areas and subbie invasions seemingly delayed too. Sometimes I feel guilty that I have an established colony when I read about the wannabees trying so hard. Reminds me to never take them for granted!

Keep us updated on this possible (don't want to jinx anything) start.

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
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!

I was told to turn off cd's when you get a bird. Mine is off. I have one ASY since May 6. No female. Just have to keep waiting! I want to turn that BEEPING cd on but I have taken speaker out of the house and took player back in garage. oh well a lot of people get martins without a cd.

I think if he doesn't get a female this yr. he will be here next yr. to try again. :grin:
Sharon from southern Illinois
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.

Connie/DebA/Taxidermy Lady - your letter was just what I needed. Thanks, About an hour ago, they both came back and both went into the gourd together. I had to leave and check the lambs: found a newborn dead wrapped in the fencing and electrocuted. Then my dog trainer called to tell me my pup is limping and can't be worked for a day or two. I could use some good news. It's trying to rain which would be good. Last week I had to stop planting a few times as the dust was so thick I couldn't see the marks in the ground.

I just turned the cd player back off. Right? Wrong?.....

Pete
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.
Archer
Posts: 760
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.

Hi Peter, I'm in a similar situation. I have two sy pairs staying. The earliest pair is starting to bring in nest material, the second pair is here for the third day. I have been playing dawn song and daytime chatter for the entire time they have been here(all day most days). They don't seem to mind it and I like it :) I keep seeing new birds show up, so, for now, it stays on. I find it brings excitement and energy to my colony. Guess it depends on the reaction you get from your martins, if it scares them off, you know what to do.

Yup, sometimes they are gone for too long, and it worries me, but they are martins, and they do that. All we can do is provide good housing, starling and sparrow control, the rest is up to them or their maker.

Hope your pair stays and you add a pair.

Allan
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.
2020-62 pair.
DornCounty
Posts: 2172
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:58 pm
Location: Rural SE Kansas
Martin Colony History: .
.
Trio-Jedi

if your birds are spending the night. .turn off the CD.
2017 - Home & Public Colonies - 300 Cavities
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.

Allen,

He just came back with TWO females!! They're gone again but that sure did lift my spirits!!

Pete
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.
Archer
Posts: 760
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.

Yup, that's what I like to hear!

My first martin to stay was a sy female this year. I knew that was a good thing as its not too hard to find a male. They are building in the original compartment she stayed in. My birds are gone this afternoon, but its cool and rainy here, bet they are just out bug shopping.

Allan
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.
2020-62 pair.
CPraska
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 3:35 pm
Location: MN/Rochester

If females are coming and investigating turn the cd off. I believe it confuses them especially at a new colony.
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!

21 yrs. of trying! I respect you! :)
Sharon from southern Illinois
CPraska
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 3:35 pm
Location: MN/Rochester

Thanks. Don't want to jinx myself but a subbie male seems curious. Not hanging out yet so to speak but a couple days of fly arounds and quick lands!!!!
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!

I hope he stays to get you started! :)
Sharon from southern Illinois
MB12RING
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:36 pm
Location: MI, Fruitport

Hey Pete

Whats the latest update with the asy male and his girl?
Best of luck to you, it's not easy starting a colony in Michigan but having an asy male is a big bonus, imo.
2013, back in the game with a pair at my satelite colony that has eggs due to hatch around July 7th
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