Patience, patience….I need patience

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tlragsdale
Posts: 218
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:22 pm
Location: Wisconsin/New Richmond

Been trying to become a successful PM landlord for years….several close calls, still no takers. Had a few visitors this year, but having not seen a martin in weeks, assumed they had "headed south".

Went canoeing yesterday with my wife, on a small lake 15 miles north of the house. Got to the launch, and when I opened the door of the truck, I could hear martins. Not A martin, but LOTS of martins. In a neighboring yard were two dilapidated martin houses that looked as if they had never had a thing done to them. They were COVERED with martins…must have been 50 birds.

Spoke briefly with the couple sitting on the porch (I'm guessing they are part-time residents, only here till the weather turns "Wisconsin like"). They didn't know much about the birds, other than "they make a lot of noise"

Good grief….they make a lot of noise :shock: .

Maybe next year.

Terry R/New Richmond, WI
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!

Terry I see the same thing here. I was driving home Sunday and one of the sparrow infested houses in town was covered with martins. I got to my house no sparrows and no martins. GO. FiGURE!!!!!

It is hard when you really want them and see them at a site that doesn't get any tender loving care. But nothing we can do but wait. :cry:
Sharon from southern Illinois
Annie G
Posts: 341
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:09 pm
Location: Wisconsin/Portage

Too funny! But I feel for ya Terry. The waiting part is no fun. I've seen houses covered in trees and tilting over full of martins. It seems like all the active colonies around me are tree encroached...maybe I should move mine in the trees. :shock: (not!) Annie
Keep trying and keep your chin up, its easier to see the martins coming!!
Barry Wallace
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:29 am
Location: (Wisconsin) Cumberland

Hi Terry,

I think I know the launch you're talking about. Completely under the tree canopy. The trio has a broken rope and spins on the pole, it also had two pairs of sparrows nesting. When I saw it their were three pairs of martins feeding babies in that house. The other two houses were in almost as bad of shape, but still had martins. Hard to believe they were still nesting there!
Landlord since 1987
tlragsdale
Posts: 218
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:22 pm
Location: Wisconsin/New Richmond

Barry….it was at one of the launch sites on Lake Wapogasset, north of our house about 20 miles. Man, would I love those martins to come visit…we'd take good care of them!
Barry Wallace
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:29 am
Location: (Wisconsin) Cumberland

Yup, that's the one Terry. Their is a third house on top of a power pole farther back in the trees. Their was a pair of martins in that also. I'm surprised their are any cavities still open enough for martins, the sparrows have most of them stuffed full. Must be a combination of site fidelity and the lakeshore keeping them there.

We've had two horrible springs in a row that really knocked the birds down. maybe next year will be kinder and you will get birds. I remember seeing a picture of your site and I am surprised you haven't gotten any yet.
Landlord since 1987
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.

GEEZ: I feel the same way. Been trying for years too. At least we did have a successful nesting in 2012. Only one. SO I know how everyone
else feels. New landlord lives just 1.5 miles from me had Martins the second year. This is just his third year and he has a thriving colony.
Guess we will just have to have more patience.
SO VERY HARD TO DO.
Lets hope 2015 will BE A GREAT YEAR FOR ALL OF US LANDLORDS.
2015 has got to be Better. GOD BLESS ALL.
Joanne
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!

Is your neighbor more out in the open than you Ladybug?
Sharon from southern Illinois
phldave
Posts: 516
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:44 pm
Location: Iowa/Pleasant Hill
Martin Colony History: Started trying in 2012 and still trying

I remember growing up I used to make wren houses, and I truly believe they prefer a rustic natural look. Not painted and clean. I am beginning to wonder if my martin house should be unpainted natural cedar.
2012 late start
2013 nothing yet, lots a lookers
2014 Bust again
2015 Bust again
2016 Bust again
2017 Bust again
2018 April 14 a group joined me, but moved on after a week
2019 Had SY male seriously check me out but didn't stay
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 love your house, it is a nice looking martin house. I believe you will get a pair with your house. I have changed so much thinking that they would like this better, and "oh" wait maybe they will like that better. I'm about crazy thinking to much about it. Next year I am putting up my poles, pre nest each cavity, smear some mud, keep S&S out and that's it. They will do the rest. I have seen martins in the air everyday this week, they know where I am. Nothing will make them come unless they want to. I vote keep your house white with your blue trim. :)
Sharon from southern Illinois
Dave Duit
Posts: 1894
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: Iowa / Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2020, 60 pair with 285 fledged youngsters. 83 total cavities available, 58 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified deep trio metal house units, 1 fallout shelter, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President and founder of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit www.iamartin.org and join.

Stick with the white paint dave. It gets very frustrating for hopeful new landlords when a neighbor has a broken down ignored colony while you have the best set up and do everything according to the book and still no martins. I feel for everyone trying to get new colonies started. Keep your housing open this time of year to try to attract fly over SY martins for next year. Only 15% of baby martins will return to their colony of birth, the other 85% seek out new housing. It is in their genetics to avoid inbreeding. In fact, SY males will harass HY hatch year babies after fledging to try to stop the HY from imprinting on the colony in hopes that they will stand a greater chance of mating next year. Dawnsong from 3:30 to 7:00 AM 5 weeks after the ASYs arrive in your area. New wanna be colonies wait til this 4th or fifth week after ASY to open entrances; keeps the sparrow eradication down to a minimum for you. Smear a little mud around the entrances to make it appear there was a successful nest the year before. Offer crushed egg shells on a raise platform. Put up a few decoys at early arrival of SYs. Paint fake black entrance holes on the side of wood and metal houses. These are just a few helpful steps to try to attract new martins to colonies.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
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