Are Purple Martins worth it?

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
mikeybotta44
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:59 pm
Location: NJ/Sparta

Hi, I'm new to Purple Martins. Well, I guess I can't even say that yet, because I haven't started yet. Why?

Because I don't know if Martins will come here.

I live in Northern New Jersey in a very woodsy area. Sure, my backyard and front yard are clear of trees but we are surrounded by miles of woods behind us and thin stretches of woods on either side of my house, just not in front. I believe there would be enough room for them if I placed a PM house in the middle of my backyard, but do you think all the other trees would scare them off? I just dont want to waste $100 on a PM house and pole. I am REALLY interested I PM's but like I said, I would be putting all of the money I have in my paypal to this, and I dont want to waste it.
Last edited by mikeybotta44 on Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:06 am, edited 2 times in total.
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6208
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

How about some photos of your yard? Have you tried putting up boxes for bluebirds or tree swallows? Why would you like to put martin housing up to begin with?

Take a look at NJ reports from 2014 - any towns near you listed here?
http://www.purplemartin.org/scoutreport ... =2014&S=NJ
mikeybotta44
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:59 pm
Location: NJ/Sparta

Louise Chambers wrote:How about some photos of your yard? Have you tried putting up boxes for bluebirds or tree swallows? Why would you like to put martin housing up to begin with?
I could do that, maybe when it stops snowing :lol:

No, I have not done any birdhouses before, just feeders. I would like PM's because I love birds, and since this species is A, human tolerant, B, helps with mosquitos and other annoying flying bugs (we get tons), and C, are just really cool birds, I feel like PM's are a dream bird for me :grin:


edit: there are 2 places on that list by me, Lake Hopatcong and Sussex. Sussex only has 3 adult scouts reported and LH has 14 adult scouts. Neither has subadult, which is more or less who would be coming to my PM house if what I read was correct
Bulldog1
Posts: 700
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:33 am
Location: Mississippi/Hamilton

Absolutely worth it. Trust me on this.

http://youtu.be/joBZBw_O3MI

http://youtu.be/xGFAzXkCZ8Y
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 !!!!
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.

If you input your address into a webpage like google maps, and can find your place, then switch to a satellite view (which you will likely find in the lower left corner of the page.) Then copy and post the url like this.

https://www.google.ca/maps/@49.1268682, ... a=!3m1!1e3

It gives us a much better view than a few pictures can.
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.
Don Strickland
Posts: 430
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:38 pm
Location: Oklahoma/Shady Point

Nothing ventured, Nothing gained, and you'll never know for sure until you give it a shot.
Just my humble opinion.....
scottfreidhof
Posts: 258
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 7:13 am
Location: Kentucky/Morehead

Sounds like you have all the right reasons for wanting to attract purple martins. You should definitely go for it. Best of luck to you.

The fact that subadults were not reported at the sites near you does not mean that subadults did not show up. It just means that they were not reported.
pmlover
Posts: 806
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:30 pm
Location: OH/New Concord

it took me 17 years to get them and there isn't anything better than a martin in your hand or one feeding above your head or listening to them all day
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
pmlover
Posts: 806
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:30 pm
Location: OH/New Concord

it took me 17 years to get them and there isn't anything better than a martin in your hand or one feeding above your head or listening to them all day
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
pmlover
Posts: 806
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:30 pm
Location: OH/New Concord

it took me 17 years to get them and there isn't anything better than a martin in your hand or one feeding above your head or listening to them all day
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
mikeybotta44
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:59 pm
Location: NJ/Sparta

Archer wrote:If you input your address into a webpage like google maps, and can find your place, then switch to a satellite view (which you will likely find in the lower left corner of the page.) Then copy and post the url like this.

https://www.google.ca/maps/@49.1268682, ... a=!3m1!1e3

It gives us a much better view than a few pictures can.
that is a really good idea, hopefully this works!
https://www.google.ca/maps/place/23+Wat ... 6914f34816

things to note: gray spot in backyard will be an above ground pool.
there is a deck in the shadow behind the house around 15 feet in the air.
our property is not all at the same level, there are 2 retaining walls between the front and back yards.

Hopefully this helps!


As for all the other replies, they all really help so thank you! :)
phldave
Posts: 513
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:44 pm
Location: Iowa/Pleasant Hill
Martin Colony History: Started trying in 2012 and still trying

Looks like you've got more open area that I have, and I intend to keep trying, since I have had visitors and one pair of stay overs. I would say give er a try and good luck. Keep us informed.
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
Indiana_Tom
Posts: 288
Joined: Fri May 15, 2009 10:01 am
Location: Paragon, Indiana

Mike, I think you will do ok there. Remember to put the actual housing as far away from any trees as you can. The rule of thumb is if the tree were to fall it should not get to the housing. The rule has nothing to actually do with the tree falling but that is a good rule of thumb. The purpose is that you want a predator (hawk) to have to flap his wings before he gets to the martin nest so they will have some warning. If trees are close enough that the hawk can just glide, the martins won't feel safe.

You have a nice open back yard, I noticed a couple of good sized lakes around and that is a major feeding area for the martins. They tend to love golf courses also and I saw one close. Remember a martin flying several miles is nothing for them.

A good thing to do, which I think was mentioned earlier, start a post asking to hear from other landlords in the area. The more martin landlords around, the more likely you will have first year martins returning that need a home. Ask some people in the towns around you if they know of any active martin houses in the area.

Sometime they are difficult to get started. Sometimes you can get a pair the first year. But when you get them, the colony will grow and you will know how much enjoyment you get from them being there. Love to hear them chattering in the summertime.
2009, 1 pair of SYs w/4 eggs - wait, no 4 babies and all 4 fledged. What a great experience.
2010, 2 ASY pair and 2 SY pair 18eggs / 14 fledged.
2011, 12 pair with 49 eggs, 43 fledged.
2012, 20 pair with 113 eggs as of 1 June
2013, 22 pair with 112 eggs as of 9 June
2014, 23 pair with 113 eggs
Gobbler T
Posts: 1518
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:13 am
Location: Mississippi / Columbus

What kind of house were you thinking of getting?
Tony


2007 --- 0 2011---0 2015---4
2008 --- 0 2012---0 16-19—0
2009 --- 0 2013---1 2020—?
2010 --- 0 2014---3
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.

Having a look at your site, I am attracted to your front yard. If you would put the house as near to the street as possible, you would have open flyways in nearly all directions, and martins like that. I'm not saying the back yard would not work, just what I would do.
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.
Mark Peters
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2004 8:39 pm
Location: Texas/Houston
Martin Colony History: I only have one 16 compartment house. I only have a small backyard so I have to be happy with what I got.
No problems having several pairs for the past 5 years. Never quite have a full house.

:lol: I enjoy Martins. There song and communication and how they flew. I don't have the ideal location but I have several pairs every year.
Mark
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.

I'm with Archer - your front yard is more attractive with open flyways. I have a landlord wannabe that I mentor here in Missouri and they have almost the same situation as you, except their 1/2 acre front yard is also surrounded by trees. They've been trying for 2 years now and martins come and touch down, but don't stay.

I think your front yard is your best bet.

Here are some ideas also that you can try - starting with getting yourself a copy of the Dawnsong from the PMCA store. Good luck!

http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com/2014/03 ... sites.html
"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
Jeff Robinson
Posts: 906
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 3:32 pm
Location: Rogersville, Missouri
Martin Colony History: 2008 thru Current
72 Cavities - 66 Pairs in 2017
PM Mentor

Bulldog1 wrote:Absolutely worth it. Trust me on this.

http://youtu.be/joBZBw_O3MI

http://youtu.be/xGFAzXkCZ8Y

Ditto! Can hardly wait for my first to return - likely no more than a few days from now. THAT sight and sound is the beginning of My Spring!

Jeff
PMCA Member - Bedrock Colony
ck40711
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:29 pm
Location: TX/Magnolia

I am in the same boat as the original poster. But I am kind of like 'screw it' it's $100 to $150 dollars that I risk losing, but for me it is worth it just to try. I bought the S&K round pole, gourd rack and Bo9 gourds. I am out about $150 total if it doesn't work, but I can live with that gamble just to try. Good luck, if you try original poster.
Bulldog1
Posts: 700
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:33 am
Location: Mississippi/Hamilton

Don't give up. I was told by some I had little chance of attracting martins, but feel like things have worked out pretty well. Of course here in the south it is probably a little easier. But I have to remain vigilant in controlling house sparrows. My 2nd year I think I eliminated probably 40.

[img][img]http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g80/h ... C_0270.jpg[/img][/img]
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 !!!!
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