It is easy to forget about SYs until...

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Ed Svetich-WI
Posts: 798
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:05 pm
Location: Brooks, Wi (McGinnis Lake)
Martin Colony History: 24 Super and Excluder Gourds on two gourd racks, all SREH. Full occupancy. My philosophy is to maximize fledge % with existing cavities rather than adding gourds to grow colony, thus providing opportunities for new colony expansion. Fledge over 100 nestlings yearly from 24 gourds. Band nestlings in cooperation with state university. 2019 Adendum: Reduced colony size to 12 gourds to focus on more intensive management regimen.

..they arrive and create chaos. All 24 gourds are full and well into egg laying. There is no more room and 3 or 4 SYs arrived this morning turning a somewhat sedate colony into a noisy mess. Four or five ASY males chasing an SY female around the sky just gets everyone agitated. Dawn song was heard this morning and it was effective. They will be forced to move on and begin new colonies.Play Dawn Song thru June here in Wisconsin and they will at least investigate and hopefully stay.

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

Hey Ed….we have 24 gourds on a Gemini rack. Had our first successful year last year (two pair/12 fledged), but really pleased to be at 5 pair this season. First egg laid on 5-23, and as of a few moments ago, we were at 29 (nest with the first egg has been at 6 for a couple of days, so we assume they are done).

Don't want to sound greedy, but would love to entertain more PM guests. You would recommend playing the dawn song still, in our situation??? I thought the natural sound coming from the residents would be plenty???

Good luck on the rest of the '16 season.

Terry & Michelle

PS. The more I read about PM's, the more paranoid I become about SYM's :shock: .
Terry & Michelle
New Richmond, WI

2005 - 2014 Hard luck stories
2015 - 2 pair, 12 eggs/12 fledglings
2016 - 6 pair, 35 eggs/35 fledged
2017 - 18 pair, 88 eggs / 85 fledged.
2018 - 23 pair, 119 eggs/115 fledged.
2019 - 31 pair, 137 eggs/133 fledged
Ed Svetich-WI
Posts: 798
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:05 pm
Location: Brooks, Wi (McGinnis Lake)
Martin Colony History: 24 Super and Excluder Gourds on two gourd racks, all SREH. Full occupancy. My philosophy is to maximize fledge % with existing cavities rather than adding gourds to grow colony, thus providing opportunities for new colony expansion. Fledge over 100 nestlings yearly from 24 gourds. Band nestlings in cooperation with state university. 2019 Adendum: Reduced colony size to 12 gourds to focus on more intensive management regimen.

You are correct in that your resident martins will outperform any recording. Good growth in your second year. In my opinion, it is good to grow into your colony gradually. At some point, you wll realize that you have enough work on your hands and limit the number of cavities. I find that 24 gourds is just enough work for me with nest checks, nest replacements and general activity. It is also a good number of adults and a few SY martins to assure some return to nest next year.

As of yesterday there were 24 pair here with 17 nests containing 67 eggs. I will be checking again soon to do another egg count.

Good luck this year with the martins you have to assure that they fledge a good number of chicks.

Ed
Last edited by Ed Svetich-WI on Mon May 30, 2016 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
tlragsdale
Posts: 218
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:22 pm
Location: Wisconsin/New Richmond

Thanks for the feedback/note. I would be inclined to agree that the numbers I see on some of the colony sizes look like a full-time job to manage :) .

I'll be patient, and thankful for the PM's who have set-up shop here.

Stop by if you are ever over in our neck of the woods.
Terry & Michelle
New Richmond, WI

2005 - 2014 Hard luck stories
2015 - 2 pair, 12 eggs/12 fledglings
2016 - 6 pair, 35 eggs/35 fledged
2017 - 18 pair, 88 eggs / 85 fledged.
2018 - 23 pair, 119 eggs/115 fledged.
2019 - 31 pair, 137 eggs/133 fledged
Foxie
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed May 18, 2016 11:57 am
Location: S.E. OHIO

What do you advocate in terms of size count for new colony start up? Do you also include a mix say T14 cr entry, gords natural round holes etc.
Ed Svetich-WI
Posts: 798
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:05 pm
Location: Brooks, Wi (McGinnis Lake)
Martin Colony History: 24 Super and Excluder Gourds on two gourd racks, all SREH. Full occupancy. My philosophy is to maximize fledge % with existing cavities rather than adding gourds to grow colony, thus providing opportunities for new colony expansion. Fledge over 100 nestlings yearly from 24 gourds. Band nestlings in cooperation with state university. 2019 Adendum: Reduced colony size to 12 gourds to focus on more intensive management regimen.

Foxie,

There are quite a few successful landlords with 100 or even many 100s of cavities for martins. I take a more conservative position in that I believe that smaller colonies can successfully raise 100s of young nestlings yearly. As anyone familiar with purchasing martin houses, plastic gourds and all of the recommended accessories can attest, this can be an expensive hobby. If you can grow or purchase natural gourds, that may be the least expensive route to go. They have to be modified to make them able to be cleaned and to permit nest checks, but that is the cheapest way to go.

I began with one Trio metal house, added another, bought a multipurpose pole, added four Super Gourds, etc.,before I even got martins. I had quite a few $100s of dollars invested in a yard ornament on a pole for many years. I finally attracted martins and decided to go with 24 plastic gourds after finding that both I and the martins preferred them.

Since there is no guarantee that anyone will attract nesting martins, I advocate starting small. Start with a small martin house with 6x12 compartments and SREH.Add 4 to 6 gourds, also with SREH, predator control, Dawn Song and you are ready to go. This assumes that you have plenty of space and tolerant neighbors for the Dawn Song every morning until you have attracted your first pair. Once you have 10-12 pair, you then decide how much you can handle.Even 24 pair can be challenging if weather, work or other life issues interfere. If you never do attract martins, at least you have minimized your investment.

I would advocate many smaller martin colonies with a manageable number of martins to too many huge colonies where a catastrophe could impact a large number all at once. Those with large may disagree. Everyone makes choices.

Good luck.

Ed
John Evans
Posts: 311
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:56 pm
Location: Cocoa Beach Florida

Ed, I agree start small. Sometimes I wish I would have stayed smaller. If you care to expand progress at a pace you can manage, buy a starter system from the PMCA that can expand.

Speaking of SY's just as the ASY's were settling in the SY's showed up and they seem to be extra rowdy this year. I believe they have successfully evicted at least one ASY male maybe more as there seems to be fewer males that earlier. I'm sure it doesn't help that with all the commotion from the SY's the hawk attacks are a regular occurrence. I've 1 confirmed ASY male death. Frustrating and sad.
Large clusters of martin housing can be like a giant bird feeder so next season I'm going to spread the racks around our property and increase the viewing angles for the birds.

Take care
John
PMCA Member
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