VISIT A PURPLE MARTIN SUPERCOLONY!

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Kathy in VA
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:24 am
Location: Virginia/Scottsburg
Martin Colony History: It took me 11 years to get martins. It finally happened in 2010! Been going strong, ever since! I have a 12-gourd rack, full and overflowing!! I love this hobby!

YOU ARE INVITED TO A MARTIN SUPERCOLONY!

Announcing the 22nd Annual Purple Martin Field Day in VA!

Date: Saturday, June 25, 2016
Time: 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Location: Central Virginia (Louisa County)(between Richmond and Charlottesville)

The 22nd Annual Purple Martin Field Day will be held at the farm of Mrs. Merle Wood and her son, Mr. Lance Wood. They have graciously opened up their martin colony to the public, hosting this event for many years.

Note the new time this year: The main program begins at 11:00 a.m.; please arrive before that time so you will not miss the Door Prize give-away (including free GOURDS!) and the beginning of the main presentation. Lance Wood and several other landlords will teach you how to attract and manage martins and increase the size of your colony. You will learn the advantages and disadvantages of different types of martin housing, how to protect martins from snakes, hawks, owls, raccoons, House Sparrows, Starlings, wind damage, lightning, etc.

Then Lance Wood will give another presentation on how to grow natural gourds and turn them into safe, long-lasting Purple Martin homes, and Ron Kingston, a veteran bluebirder for thirty-eight years, will be available to answer questions about bluebirds, tree swallows, and other native cavity-nesters. Experienced landlords will be available to answer martin questions and offer guidance on where to place your martin housing (bring sketches/photos of site options, or satellite pictures from map websites.)

Bring lawn chairs and a lunch to eat while listening to speakers and watching 130 pairs of martins feeding their nestlings. You will be able to meet fellow martin-lovers including some of the landlords who post on the PMCA Forum! Receive free literature on martin attraction and management, and catalogs for martin equipment, as well as free handouts on bluebird conservation. Event is FREE but donations are appreciated to cover expenses. See http://www.purplemartinfieldday.org for directions, photos, and complete information and to find out what else to bring (and not to bring!) Contact Ron Kingston at 434-962-8232 or purplemartinfieldday@gmail.com for more information.

RAIN POLICY: PLEASE CHECK THE WEBSITE THE MORNING OF THE EVENT TO BE SURE IT WILL BE HELD!

Come join the fun in central Virginia!
Last edited by Kathy in VA on Sat May 21, 2016 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Kathy in VA
~Ray~Gingerich
Posts: 2122
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Delaware/Dover

Very nice event! I have my work schedule changed and planning to be there again this year.
~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
Kathy in VA
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:24 am
Location: Virginia/Scottsburg
Martin Colony History: It took me 11 years to get martins. It finally happened in 2010! Been going strong, ever since! I have a 12-gourd rack, full and overflowing!! I love this hobby!

Way to go, Ray! So glad you were able to get time off from work to join us again. We really appreciate your commitment and dedication to drive so far to attend, all the way from Delaware! See you soon!
Kathy in VA
dhjohnson
Posts: 478
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:24 pm
Location: North Carolina/Clayton
Martin Colony History: 5th year hostess. Currently 58 confirmed breeding pair. 218 Fledged, 35 older nestlings, 2 new nests with 8 nestlings. 100% occupancy

You know I am in Kathy!
Such a beautiful setting...way way off the road! Quiet, martins galore!
What's not to love! Plus you can talk with fellow martineers and share practices, gourd modifications, talk about predator protection, etc! It is definately worth the trip!
Hope to see you there! :P
Debbie Johnson
Clayton/NC (Archer Lodge)
2012 New Site 6 pair, 21 Fledged
2013 24 pair, 102 eggs, 94 hatched, 89 Fledged. What a great year!
2014 37 pair, 211 eggs, 193 Hatched, 178 Fledged, 1 nest of 5 young left! Late start but picked up speed quickly!
Kathy in VA
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:24 am
Location: Virginia/Scottsburg
Martin Colony History: It took me 11 years to get martins. It finally happened in 2010! Been going strong, ever since! I have a 12-gourd rack, full and overflowing!! I love this hobby!

Sorry to be slow in replying, Debbie, but I’m so glad you can come! Y’all, Debbie (dhjohnson on the Forum) is my right-hand man! (woman!)...my extremely helpful Field Day assistant, who hauls me and my tons of displays up there, and is a very hard worker. She attributes much of the success of her colony to implementing the techniques she learned at this event, and she and her husband have developed many great ideas of their own, and they now have a large, highly successful martin colony. She had trouble updating her Forum signature with the latest results, but she told me that last year her colony fledged 237 baby martins, and this year she is full, at 58 pairs! I met Debbie (and Ray) thru this Forum...and also Bill Pec, who has come on board as another hard-working and valuable member of our crew. Bill will be there, teaching about features of good/bad martin housing and how to protect martins from hawk attacks, among other topics. Don Gould hopes to join us this year, plus others.

Ron Kingston (developer of the Kingston Stovepipe Baffle for nestboxes that has saved the lives of thousands of cavity-nesting birds and their eggs/nestlings) will be available to answer questions about bluebirds and other nestbox species. The primary speaker is Lance Wood; he is not a computer-guy and doesn’t ‘do’ the Forum (I'm sure he feels the best use for ‘posts’ is in the ground for fencing!), but he is a knowledgeable and entertaining presenter, and we always have a great time of learning and camaraderie! You can walk right up to his martin housing, and see Lance’s super-duper predator guards, which no snake or raccoon will ever bypass! And there is a money-back guarantee: We guarantee that if you live in martin breeding range and implement the techniques you learn at the Field Day, you will eventually get martins—or we will return your admission fee! (but of course, it is free!) Seriously, we will do all we can to help you establish (and keep) a martin colony! Come check it out at 11:00am tomorrow! Check the website for any changes: http://www.purplemartinfieldday.org . I am leaving home soon to go set up at the farm, so I won't be able to reply to questions, but you can call the contact man, Ron Kingston, listed in the first post.
Kathy in VA
marcus
Posts: 314
Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 10:21 pm
Location: Fairland OK
Martin Colony History: Mom n Dad had a plastic 12 unit martin house with some martins as long as I can remember. In 2013 they had 1 pair. I don't think they fledged any. I then started learning how to take care of martins and in 2014 we took that house down and put up a Troyer 18 gourd rack. We had 7 pair with 28 fledged.That summer I built a T-14 (I was only 12). I was also given 4 natural gourds that I hung beneath the T-14. In 2015, we had 23 pair although only 22 pair fledged young. They fledged 88 young. In 2016, we had 36 pair, 210 eggs, 163 hatched, 149 fledge!! One pair fledged 2 broods. In 2017, I had 36 pair with 35 fledging young. They laid 204 eggs, hatched 155, and fledged 152.

Kathy,
Didn't you know it is rude to have such a fun sounding day so far from Oklahoma? LOL Just kidding. I would LOVE to be there. Especially for the part about raising gourds. Maybe, someday, when I have my license. :) Ha. Wishful thinking. -Marcus
Kathy in VA
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:24 am
Location: Virginia/Scottsburg
Martin Colony History: It took me 11 years to get martins. It finally happened in 2010! Been going strong, ever since! I have a 12-gourd rack, full and overflowing!! I love this hobby!

marcus, I am really sorry Virginia is so far away from Oklahoma and you were not able to come to the Field Day! We had a great day, last Saturday...good weather (last year, it POURED rain on us), a good turn-out (120 people from 6 different states—VA, NC, MD, DE, KY, and even Illinois!), and we gave away lots of martin gourds and other great door prizes (including some great gifts PMCA donated!). Forum member Ray Gingerich came from Delaware and generously donated a martin pole for us to give away to one lucky recipient!; that just shows you the kindness of folks on this Forum and in the martin world.

We met lots of great bird-lovers, answered many questions, and hopefully our teaching will help wannabe landlords attract martins—and help landlords with established colonies care for and protect their Purple Martins, bluebirds, and other cavity-nesting species. From your profile, you are doing great things for martins in Oklahoma! Congratulations on your successful colony.

If you mean that you can come to the Field Day when you get a pilot’s license to fly to VA, we have a wide-open, flat landing strip (a big hayfield) waiting for you, right next to the martin colony! (just don’t hit any martins on your way in, or you might be in trouble with the hosting landlord!) So we’re all set for you to come join us!

Everyone, this Supercolony will be open again to the public in another year...
so mark your calendars for next year’s free event: The 23rd Annual Purple Martin Field Day in Louisa County, VA, will be held on Saturday, June 24, 2017 from 11:00am-3pm! Again, here’s the website so you can bookmark it: http://www.purplemartinfieldday.org.
Kathy in VA
Rediwill
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:06 pm
Location: fredericksburg, va
Martin Colony History: 2016 bought 6 gourds. Pole put up late in June due to HOA approval. Had visitor birds but no pairs that stayed.
2017 12 gourds- Pole up 3/1 and had male and females visit but didn’t pair up.
2018 upgraded to 2 inch sq pole/winch and will have 24 gourds. Many solo visitors but seem to be passing by. Will trim trees and check fly ways.
2019 saw only one or two martins all summer. Brothers Martins didn’t show up at all.
2020 3 pairs, 1st- 5 eggs/ 2nd hatched 2 fledged, 2 - 5 eggs/ 2-5 hatched fledging 7/20-8/1, 3rd formed late July and no nest built.

It was a very nice event and I learned a lot. I got lucky enough to win a Troyer Horizontal gourd too! I already have it up. I also bought a gourd from Mr Wood and it is about 70% done. waiting on the tunnel and access port to arrive in the mail. This is my first year having a setup and I put the pole up late. May 28th or so. I have 1-4 Martins each morning stopping by but so far no takers. I think next year there will be a good chance I have some nesters and that would be amazing since some people try for many years. I have followed all the posts I have read and I think that helped some too. I am in the process of making a pred guard now and will have it up soon. I sent Terry Suchma a thank you email as she donated the gourd for the event that I won. Everyone should try to stop by this event next year.

Martin field day pictures...

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 26f6ed16db

May first setup pictures.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... db02acc700


Shane Jewett
marcus
Posts: 314
Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 10:21 pm
Location: Fairland OK
Martin Colony History: Mom n Dad had a plastic 12 unit martin house with some martins as long as I can remember. In 2013 they had 1 pair. I don't think they fledged any. I then started learning how to take care of martins and in 2014 we took that house down and put up a Troyer 18 gourd rack. We had 7 pair with 28 fledged.That summer I built a T-14 (I was only 12). I was also given 4 natural gourds that I hung beneath the T-14. In 2015, we had 23 pair although only 22 pair fledged young. They fledged 88 young. In 2016, we had 36 pair, 210 eggs, 163 hatched, 149 fledge!! One pair fledged 2 broods. In 2017, I had 36 pair with 35 fledging young. They laid 204 eggs, hatched 155, and fledged 152.

Sorry. I just meant my driver's license. :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin: Very sad but at this point it's only a joke. :-(
I am trying to grow gourds again this year. In previous years we had quite a few gourds per plant but I wouldn't say too many. Somehow they never got big enough though. Any suggestions?
Also, what is a super colony? (sounds like a really good one) :)
Kathy in VA
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:24 am
Location: Virginia/Scottsburg
Martin Colony History: It took me 11 years to get martins. It finally happened in 2010! Been going strong, ever since! I have a 12-gourd rack, full and overflowing!! I love this hobby!

Rediwill,
I'm so glad you got a gourd door prize! And I am thrilled to know that you already have it up! Way to go! Thanks so much for sending a Thank You note to the donor. And I'm impressed that you are already working on the natural gourd from Lance. You'll have that gourd ready to hang in no time! Great pics! You are doing well to read posts and learn about attracting martins; hopefully some of your visitors will come back and nest next year! You can play the Dawnsong even now and for the next couple months, to attract area fledglings and migrating martins to imprint on your site. So glad you could join us!

marcus,
keep working on that driver's license and maybe you can take a little trip to come to the Field Day next year. Or get someone to chauffeur you, like I do! Ha! I have a license, but Debbie's SUV is bigger, for all our gear.
I have heard a supercolony defined as 100 or more pairs of martins. Lance has 130 pairs.
Very sorry, but I know almost nothing about how to grow natural gourds, so hopefully some other folks can help out on that point. All my gourds are thick, high-quality plastic. I do know they require alot of space to grow them, and I think I've heard they need alot of water. Also, there is a certain type of seed you need to buy...I'm thinking it is seed for 'Bottle Gourds'? Many other types of gourds will just never grow large enough to house martins. I think you have to pinch off some of the blooms or stems (?) to make them put more energy into a few larger gourds, so you won't get so many smaller gourds. Forum member dhjohnson has grown some great martin gourds; maybe she can help you. You can type "growing gourds' in the search box in the upper right corner of the PMCA home page and probably get lots of information. PMCA sells a booklet on growing gourds: https://www.purplemartin.org/shop/produ ... g-booklet/. That's about the extent of my knowledge on that subject! Good luck!
Kathy in VA
marcus
Posts: 314
Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 10:21 pm
Location: Fairland OK
Martin Colony History: Mom n Dad had a plastic 12 unit martin house with some martins as long as I can remember. In 2013 they had 1 pair. I don't think they fledged any. I then started learning how to take care of martins and in 2014 we took that house down and put up a Troyer 18 gourd rack. We had 7 pair with 28 fledged.That summer I built a T-14 (I was only 12). I was also given 4 natural gourds that I hung beneath the T-14. In 2015, we had 23 pair although only 22 pair fledged young. They fledged 88 young. In 2016, we had 36 pair, 210 eggs, 163 hatched, 149 fledge!! One pair fledged 2 broods. In 2017, I had 36 pair with 35 fledging young. They laid 204 eggs, hatched 155, and fledged 152.

Thank you Kathy for telling me to research it on the PMCA website. I already found out that ash is a good fertilizer. :) I was given that booklet you referenced. I bought 2 kettle gourds and have a pair nesting in both this year. This is my first year trying to grow the kettle gourds. The package my seeds came in says the average size is 12 to 15 in. Previously, I tried bottle gourds and they didn't grow big enough. They weren't really the right shape either I don't think.
As far as the driver's license, all my siblings did a course called I Drive Safely. In this course, your parents teach you to drive when you have your permit. I'm going to do this course as well and if I am not getting enough hours of driving, :?: maybe, just maybe, if nothing else is going, we could work in a trip to VA :?: I'm afraid that's wishful thinking. -Marcus
Kathy in VA
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:24 am
Location: Virginia/Scottsburg
Martin Colony History: It took me 11 years to get martins. It finally happened in 2010! Been going strong, ever since! I have a 12-gourd rack, full and overflowing!! I love this hobby!

marcus, you can easily get in 34 hours of driving by attending the Field Day next year, round-trip! Or, there’s always commercial airlines. We are not too far from airports in Charlottesville and Richmond and there’s a nice hotel about 15 min. from the farm.

Keep trying on the gourd-growing.
Here’s a link with lots of resources related to gourds; people who sell large gourds may be willing to give you some growing tips if you contact them: http://americangourdsociety.org/links.html
I’m thinking I’ve heard they need a long growing season and people plant the seeds indoors to give them an early start and then put the plants in the ground when it warms up, after danger of frost has passed.
Doing a Google Search on “Growing Gourds” will yield lots of info on the subject, including this link: http://www.ncgourdsociety.org/growing.htm
Check out the size of this HUGE gourd!: http://www.artisanart.biz/tgs_southeast ... ourds.html Not the right shape to hang on a rack, and too large for martin nesting, but amazing to see!
Here is an article on processing gourds that will help you when you do get some gourds that are large enough: https://www.purplemartin.org/uploads/me ... ip-403.pdf .

Have fun!
Kathy in VA
Don~VA
Posts: 391
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:01 am
Location: Virginia/King George
Martin Colony History: Had a colony many years ago which dwindled over a couple of years and then did not return. Kept trying each year for almost 20 years and finally had a small success in 2011 with two pairs nesting. Colony has grown slowly each year with 22 pairs in 2015. In 2016 my gourd rack of 18 gourds filled up so I added 4 more gourds and then put up a small rack of 6 gourds. All of those were claimed within a few days so I believe I have at least 25 pairs this year.

Rediwill wrote:It was a very nice event and I learned a lot. I got lucky enough to win a Troyer Horizontal gourd too! I already have it up. I also bought a gourd from Mr Wood and it is about 70% done. waiting on the tunnel and access port to arrive in the mail. This is my first year having a setup and I put the pole up late. May 28th or so. I have 1-4 Martins each morning stopping by but so far no takers. I think next year there will be a good chance I have some nesters and that would be amazing since some people try for many years. I have followed all the posts I have read and I think that helped some too. I am in the process of making a pred guard now and will have it up soon. I sent Terry Suchma a thank you email as she donated the gourd for the event that I won. Everyone should try to stop by this event next year.

Martin field day pictures...

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 26f6ed16db

May first setup pictures.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... db02acc700


Shane Jewett
Hello Shane, Really enjoyed all your photo's of the field day and yes it was a great event. My wife and I have been attending for several years and it seems to get better each year. After viewing you pics I remembered you and your family and I wish I had read your posts earlier so I could introduce myself. We were the couple sitting directly behind your family and I found that pair of sun glasses on the ground and gave them to you. Our good friend Kathy in VA contacted me yesterday and said you might have questions about attracting PM's. We live in King George and have a nice colony of approximately 50 birds this year. I am no expert but if I can offer any tips please let me know. Your setup looks very nice and I hope you are seeing more martins by now.

Don Gould
Last edited by Don~VA on Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Don~Northern Neck of Virginia-PMCA Member
Rediwill
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:06 pm
Location: fredericksburg, va
Martin Colony History: 2016 bought 6 gourds. Pole put up late in June due to HOA approval. Had visitor birds but no pairs that stayed.
2017 12 gourds- Pole up 3/1 and had male and females visit but didn’t pair up.
2018 upgraded to 2 inch sq pole/winch and will have 24 gourds. Many solo visitors but seem to be passing by. Will trim trees and check fly ways.
2019 saw only one or two martins all summer. Brothers Martins didn’t show up at all.
2020 3 pairs, 1st- 5 eggs/ 2nd hatched 2 fledged, 2 - 5 eggs/ 2-5 hatched fledging 7/20-8/1, 3rd formed late July and no nest built.

Don,

Thanks for the offer. I will send you an email with my information.


Shane
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