What is happening??

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kandadaddy
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 9:09 am
Location: KY/Winchester

I have had these 2 martins coming by 5 or 6 times a day staying 5 or 10 minutes each time. One female and one male. They will sit and groom themselfes and fly around looking in each cavity, stick their heads in and go on to the next one. They havent gone in any of the cavities. They do seem to have a certain cavity they spend more time looking at but no entry. Now this has been going on for about 6 days straight. I seem to not get what it is they are doing. I would get my hopes up watching them then off they go. They will leave around 7:30pm and wont return for the evening. I just cant figure it out.
2013-Visitors(6) overnighters(0)
2014-Visitors(5) overnighters(0)
2015-1 pair, 4 fledge, visitors(10)
eyeamtheman
Posts: 633
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 3:21 pm
Location: Quitman, La
Martin Colony History: Super colony

They seem interested enough, but I can't figure why they haven't roosted there yet. Seems you've done all you can do....just hafta wait it out. Sorry not much help...
Good luck..!!
Johnny
Anthony Neira
Posts: 1317
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:12 pm
Location: San Antonio /Texas
Martin Colony History: Started in 1992 From neighbors old 1950-60's colonies. Have 8 Trio 6 Room Houses, 4 MPP Poles, 1 Heath Deluxe Gourd with Troyer Porch, 8 NatureLine Gourds with Troyer Porches, 5 Troyer Horizontals ,& 2 S&K 11" WITH Troyer Porches ready for 2019 Season !

Well, I've been batting 0 with my advice, so I'll try asking questions instead, ( Can 't hurt otherwise ! :???: ) Can you tell if these PMs are ASYs or SYs ? What kind of housing do you have ? Do you pre-nest ? Maybe wiser Forumers will chime in with this info. Best of luck & Please keep us informed ! I'm always open to learning !
PMCA Member, 8 Trio 6 Room Houses, 1 Heath Deluxe Gourd with Troyer Porch, 8 NatureLine Gourds with Troyer Porches, 5 Troyer Horizontals + Tunnels, & 2 S&K Bo 11"s WITH Troyer Porches ! 4 MPPs, For 2019 Season !! :grin: Started in 1992 from Older '50-'60s Colonies.
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1487
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.

Anthony,
I doubt that I am wiser but will give some advise. By the way, you will exceed me on posts with your next post.
I perused kandadaddy's posts from 2013 which show mods to a S&K Red Barn.
Everything looks good with crescent entrances and raised porches to about 1/8" of the bottom of the crescent SREHs. I do not know if the height of the crescent SREHs have been checked to confirm that they are 1 3/16 to 1 5/32".
If the crescent height has been confirmed on each opening, then I wonder about wasps nesting in the houses.
Hopefully the martin pair are playing peek a boo and will eventually settle in.

Like you I don't like wasp stings. I get local swelling from a wasp sting. If stung on a fingertip, then my hand and forearm will swell up to my elbow. Hard to bend fingers and wrist. No systemic effects but very uncomfortable. When I was younger living in Texas, I would have to endure the symptoms for 7-10 days. Now I know that a steroid dose pack helps alleviate the symptoms faster.
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.
Dan G
Posts: 403
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:52 pm
Location: PA/Bellefonte
Martin Colony History: Trying since 2014. Visitors, but no nests. Several colonies with in 6 mile radius.
2020- An SY male built a nest but could not attract a mate.

I think it is a good sign that they continue to check your housing out. Maybe they have gone in, and you just weren't watching at that moment. BTW, I drove by Winchester KY yesterday. For work, i had to drive from PA to Louisville. We drove approximately 1200 miles and i didn't see one martin house! Mostly highway, and i was driving, but i was looking.
Bellefonte PA
2014, 1st year-a few lookers, no nests
2015, 'Spot' SY male, here every day from 5-28 to 6-23
2016 added a perch wire between house and gourd rack
offering 22 cavities, T-14 plus 8 gourds
2016, multiple visitors from 6-20 on. Almost daily
2017- Lots of visitors late in season.
2018- Adding another T-14. Few visitors
2019- Hopeful but stopped holding my breath
2020-SY male built a nest.
kandadaddy
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 9:09 am
Location: KY/Winchester

To answer some questions.Its a S&K 16 barn that has its compartments made wider by removing the pre-cut dividers. Its on a 15 or 17 foot tri-pole. I have added 6 BO-9 gourds with tunnel and pourchs this year. As of today there is no wasp nest in any compartments. I have added white pine needles to each compartment, about a handful not sure if thats to much or not enough. The male is competely purple so I say he is an ASY martin and the female has a real light chest nowhere as near much purple on her so SY for her,just a guess. Also today I had the dreaded HOSP show up. A male sitting there just chirping away. I closed off 4 compartments after that. Hoping to catch that sucker this weekend. Im thinking that may have been a mistake. It may deter the martins away.
2013-Visitors(6) overnighters(0)
2014-Visitors(5) overnighters(0)
2015-1 pair, 4 fledge, visitors(10)
GPhillips
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 11:00 am
Location: IN/Morristown

I had the same problem with my martin visitors. I have the very same gourds and house that you do as well.

I measured the SREH crescent entrance and they measured way too small. The birds simply would not fit in the entrance. Make sure they are at least 1 3/16" wide in height.

This solved my birds issues and now I am a first year landlord with 3 pair!

I hope you figure this problem out. Best of luck to you.

Greg
Anthony Neira
Posts: 1317
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:12 pm
Location: San Antonio /Texas
Martin Colony History: Started in 1992 From neighbors old 1950-60's colonies. Have 8 Trio 6 Room Houses, 4 MPP Poles, 1 Heath Deluxe Gourd with Troyer Porch, 8 NatureLine Gourds with Troyer Porches, 5 Troyer Horizontals ,& 2 S&K 11" WITH Troyer Porches ready for 2019 Season !

Thanks for your info k.daddy, First, since you have Martins already visiting, I would not close Any rooms, Better to keep them looking & Dealing with the HOSP than to make the Martins think there's No Room in The Inn ! Battling the S&S is, for now, a constant one until there should ever be a way to rid those little Demons from Us ! Your set up sounds Great ! Good luck !
Mark ! Sorry to know you 're not Wasp Proof ! :wink: It's a Big Club ! :wink:
PMCA Member, 8 Trio 6 Room Houses, 1 Heath Deluxe Gourd with Troyer Porch, 8 NatureLine Gourds with Troyer Porches, 5 Troyer Horizontals + Tunnels, & 2 S&K Bo 11"s WITH Troyer Porches ! 4 MPPs, For 2019 Season !! :grin: Started in 1992 from Older '50-'60s Colonies.
BW Fowler
Posts: 155
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:01 pm
Location: TX/Buda

Good idea to check the height of the crescent entrances. The martins I have observed will be very timid at first and will look in a lot, then stick their head in, then go in up to their shoulders, come back out, go back in, and on and on. Eventually they will go in. Once both male and female go in you can start feeling good about them staying. Its very encouraging that they are so interested. Like Anthony said, I think I'd keep all the cavities open and deal with the house sparrows using traps once the sparrows select a cavity.

Good luck,
BW
kehunter
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:42 am
Location: TX/Pearland

Is it possible that they are already established at another nearby, but poorly managed, colony? Maybe they find yours more appealing, but just aren't yet willing to make the commitment to "jump ship" from their current housing.
2016 - 6 cavities in Royal Wing/S&K house + 6 BO9 gourds with tunnels/porches on pole 1, 6 BO9 gourds with tunnels/porches on pole 2
2015 - new homebuilt 3 cavity house plus 3 BO9 gourds with tunnels porches on second pole, in addition to prior setup. 15 pairs, 54 fledged
2014 - 6 6x12 house cavities (plastic Royal Wing/S&K), plus 6 BO9 gourds with tunnels/porches offered; 12 pairs, 50 fledged
kandadaddy
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 9:09 am
Location: KY/Winchester

Hi everyone! Thanks for the feedback, I have measured the opening and its 1 and 3/8. I know there is a colony within an half mile of me, not sure how its ran. Its a weekend so ill be watching more during the day and not just the evening after I get home from work. The last couple evening has been very dissapointing the night before I seen then couple come by but for about 15 seconds and that was it. Last night they were a no show. All my compartments are now reopened. The trap is on stand by for the HOSP as soon as he picks one it will be put in place. Thanks everyone..
2013-Visitors(6) overnighters(0)
2014-Visitors(5) overnighters(0)
2015-1 pair, 4 fledge, visitors(10)
kandadaddy
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 9:09 am
Location: KY/Winchester

I have another question. I live in central Kentucky(BBN) and was wondering about what time of year that my chances of getting a pair to stay will be almost impossible? It seems the pair that was visiting has decicded to not visit anymore.
2013-Visitors(6) overnighters(0)
2014-Visitors(5) overnighters(0)
2015-1 pair, 4 fledge, visitors(10)
kehunter
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:42 am
Location: TX/Pearland

Looking back through past scout reports for Kentucky, in the "SY Male" section at the bottom, will give you insight into arrival dates. I see some in May, and even in June. It appears there's still time.
2016 - 6 cavities in Royal Wing/S&K house + 6 BO9 gourds with tunnels/porches on pole 1, 6 BO9 gourds with tunnels/porches on pole 2
2015 - new homebuilt 3 cavity house plus 3 BO9 gourds with tunnels porches on second pole, in addition to prior setup. 15 pairs, 54 fledged
2014 - 6 6x12 house cavities (plastic Royal Wing/S&K), plus 6 BO9 gourds with tunnels/porches offered; 12 pairs, 50 fledged
kandadaddy
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 9:09 am
Location: KY/Winchester

:grin: Well its been 3 years in the making but FINALLY have a pair nesting in one of my gourds. Did a nest check today and had 3 eggs so far. I also have another ASY male building nest in 2 other gourds. I have been able to sit out and watch him fly off get a green leaf, fly back and put it in the gourd then repeat the same thing for the other gourd. Then him and the other male would fly off and bring back other martins up to 6 to check out their place.The new martins would swoop by come close to landing then fly up and circle around the swoop back down like they would land again, sometime they will land and check out a couple of compartments but not everytime. The male is chripping his head off at them. He is doing his best to get a mate but I dont know if he will get any takers. I'm Hoping he does soon with all the work they is doing.
I would like to THANK Don Cartwright for taking time to meet with me and giving much need support and advice.I contacted him thru the mentor page here on this website.
2013-Visitors(6) overnighters(0)
2014-Visitors(5) overnighters(0)
2015-1 pair, 4 fledge, visitors(10)
philsand
Posts: 74
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 9:54 am
Location: Eastern nc

Are there good flyways to and from the site? A male that is ready to mate will definitely enter a gourd or compartment and try hard to get the female to enter. If she likes the site, she may still delay entering the hole . She will come back with him several times until she is ready to settle in. If the male is not sold on the site, they may not be close to nesting. Maybe a problem with his hormones.
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