Friend or Foe

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
DavidJ
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:04 pm
Location: New Braunfels TX
Martin Colony History: 2016 21 pair 87 eggs

Thais G I have started taking pics of the top of the play house and their storage building that are with in 10' for the storage building and 25' for the play house and I haven't seen all the poop or even 1 poop since the last rain on Fri or Sat. So Im pretty sure the cars being 4 times that far away and supposedly covered in poop every day that it can be from my birds. I think the bottom line is they want the birds gone and nothing else is going to make them happy! After spending 1500 plus and me doing everything by the book the birds are not leaving or moving! I think their letter pretty much said if you read between the lines it is their way or the highway..... And thats after calling the Game Warden on me and putting up the scare crows.I wish I could video their parking area! I have been asking myself if my birds are pooping so much, why do I not have my back patio and the cars in my driveway covered in poop! The gourd system has about a 5' circumference, so i checked this 5' area directly under them ( where multiple birds perch for hours a day) and this morning I counted 6 poops. Hmmmm seems like there should have been more than that! This morning each or our cars had 1 poop per car for a total or 2 poops.... Maybe some one else has trained them where to poop! Thank for your response Thais G!
DavidJ
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:04 pm
Location: New Braunfels TX
Martin Colony History: 2016 21 pair 87 eggs

Glynn B - LA if I had the money I think getting the neighbors in on it is a great idea! Im pretty sure they cant do anything to make me take this one down and when I know that for sure and finances allow and if i have additional problems from them you can bet your sweet bippy another 24 gourd system will go in! If they were to get a little more humble and a lot less demanding I might hold off a yr or so. But my intention was to put up one or two more houses as I could afford it. Im not real sure how many pairs I have but every house does have either a full nest or a few with very small and maybe incomplete nests but at last count we counted 72 eggs and I am one very proud Pappy!
DavidJ
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:04 pm
Location: New Braunfels TX
Martin Colony History: 2016 21 pair 87 eggs

does any one smarter than me, (the bar is pretty low!) ever heard of this and how it could apply in Texas? I just found a post on Facebook regarding Hazing.

Legal Warning
Many species, such as migratory birds, are federally protected. Hazing of these species may violate federal law. ALWAYS check federal, state, and local laws BEFORE initiating any hazing or harassment of wildlife. Hazing should not be used during the nesting season.
Definition: Hazing (a.ka. harassment) is a process where you disturb the animal's sense of security to such an extent that it decides to leave its den and move on.

Hazing and Harassment as a Wildlife Control Method
Always remember that you are trying to convince an animal to leave its home. In this regard, it is different from frightening devices that are often used to stop…
ICWDM.ORG
Elijah Clark
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:52 pm
Location: Bend, TX
Martin Colony History: Put up the colony in 2015 and had a mean and nasty fight with the sparrows, yet one pair stayed and five fledged.

3. What activities can I do without a depredation permit?
You do not need a federal depredation permit to harass or scare birds (except eagles and threatened or endangered species), provided (a) birds are not killed or injured and (b) birds sitting on active nests (nests with eggs or chicks present) are not disturbed to the point that it causes the eggs to not hatch or the chicks to die or become injured.
"A good sparrow is a dead sparrow"
2015- 1 pair
2016- 12 pair
2017- 0 pair (predators). Back to square one.
Elijah Clark
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:52 pm
Location: Bend, TX
Martin Colony History: Put up the colony in 2015 and had a mean and nasty fight with the sparrows, yet one pair stayed and five fledged.

I got this from the fws Federal Migratory Bird Dredation Permit pdf, though it is not specifically talking about Texas, federal law usually is above state so I think it applies :)
"A good sparrow is a dead sparrow"
2015- 1 pair
2016- 12 pair
2017- 0 pair (predators). Back to square one.
Gauxt
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:03 pm
Location: Louisiana/Prairieville
Martin Colony History: Started 2007
2013 1 Pair
2015 2 Pair
2016 4 Pair
2017 12 Pair
2018 15 Pair
2019 15 Pair
2020 19 Pair

Wow, what an issue to have. Maybe it was mentioned as I didn't read every post, but it would be interesting to know if the poop issue continues after your birds have left......or it the issue exists before they arrive.
2010-0
2011-visitors
2012-visitors
2013-1 pair
2014-0
2015-2 pair
2016 4 pair
2017 12 pair
2018 15 pair
DavidJ
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:04 pm
Location: New Braunfels TX
Martin Colony History: 2016 21 pair 87 eggs

Im pretty sure there will be no poop and no mention of any poop after they leave. Just a hunch!
DavidJ
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:04 pm
Location: New Braunfels TX
Martin Colony History: 2016 21 pair 87 eggs

I have found that it is against Federal Law to Haze my Martins. Now to see if texasparks and Wild life will do anything about it or if the Fedes will do anything about it as I have emailed both! The feds might not have time to deal with it because of defending so many other law breakers!
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.

My question is this. Do you know that the man who called you was a game warden? Are you certain it wasn't some friend pretending to be a game warden?
DavidJ
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:04 pm
Location: New Braunfels TX
Martin Colony History: 2016 21 pair 87 eggs

marcus well kind of probably... He left his business card. I asked him 2 questions:
1. Are sparrows protected. he said "Yes" He was WRONG!
2. Is Hazing against the law? he said "No" He was WRONG! It isnt against Texas Law that I have found but it is against Federal Law!
Foxie
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed May 18, 2016 11:57 am
Location: S.E. OHIO

Much concern and help with advise on the issues presented by the team members. Years ago we had an experience with game warden who came to our house and said he had a complaint we were trapping wild birds, haws etc. Not true only sparrow trap which he later cancelled the complaint as catch and release trap and house sparrows, starlings are not protected in Ohio. One thing I have learned in life if you have a neck tie with a partial not and pull on it the not will set. Other attorney advised me if you have it on you the more you stir it up the xxxx more you will get on you. Go slow on setting a course of exposed action. If you have an association with a board they can have a review and decide to stop your project based upon possible other legal areas in the rules. Push the neighbor and others and an attorney could be hired to fine tune the matter where you could have a decided cancellation for some other reason of violation. Check you deed, restrictions, HOA rules etc. No doubt there may be a restriction in the deed, HOA Rules on fences including how high eg. 4 foot etc. You best bet is to stay calm and avoid stirring up the pot. Further consider consulting with attorney on HOA, deed restrictions, zoning, other restrictions, issues about what is allowed.. However, no one wins with an attorney in some issues only the court and attorney. Go low key slow and any action excessively made only under legal advise and be ready to face the aftermath. Enjoy what you have now and simmer it down with less intervention, song chatter, extra houses, enjoy the colony size and hope things calm down. This is not for advise but only observations of life long real encounters. Keep in mind every transaction is unique to that one and the court system works with gray areas noting that a lower court decisions can be reversed by higher court rulings. Legal who knows what the courts can decide so best to stay out of court and if needed seek legal advise on issues raised.
Thais G
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon May 05, 2014 6:37 pm
Location: CT/Darien
Martin Colony History: Started at unsuitable location in 2008. Many lessons learned since. Two tentative locations: Rogers International School and the "Fish Church" (downtown.) One pair in 2015; no fledglings though. No pairs 2016.

I agree - I would try to cool the situation down; you could end up jeopardizing the approval you already have... (It is easier to defend your ground when there is no association involved... but in your case I would move slowly and carefully..) If they are targeting the issue focusing on the poop - that is what I would go after. If that is just an excuse on their part, no matter, at least you will leave them without argument... If anyone questions, you can show how seriously you took their complaint (how you are considerate), but you just did not find the evidence to corroborate and thus you cannot "solve it" (as there is no issue to be solved!!) They will have to come up with something else as an issue and it will weaken their case and make them look quite silly...

Still I wonder what really IS the problem... humm..

My best energies your way!
Sincerely,
Thais
Thais Gherardi
Wannabe Landlord in Stamford, CT (2 tentative sites):
- Rogers International School (S&K barn since 2013; Alamo House installed 2016)
- "Fish Church"/downtown Stamford (Alamo House installed 2016)
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.

I have a friend whose family has a martin colony. He likes martins except he says in the early morning their singing wakes him up and he can't go back to sleep. Do you think it could be this? Do you know if they keep their windows open over night?
Forum Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 1:16 pm
Location: Erie, PA

Neighbor feuds/fights can get very ugly and end up costing lawyers' fees, leaving bad feelings that go on for years. Keep in mind, too, that when we post on public forums, facebook groups, etc., it's public and everyone can read what we post - don't trash the other parties involved or call them names, whatever you do. Work to minimize ill feelings and you will be better off in the long run, most of the time.

There will be less poop of most types after the martins leave because nesting season for all birds will be over - grackles, martins, doves, starlings, etc. Grackles and doves may be major contributors to the whitewash situation. The owl and hawk will not likely bother the martins for long, if at all. Kathy's suggestion falls in line with habitat modification to send the martins in a different direction - they leave the nests carrying fecal sacs, which they drop away from the housing, so it could be their drop zone is over your neighbor's property and not in your yard, close to the housing.

One landlord we heard from has been getting complaints for several years about martins leaving the housing and dropping fecal sacs that hit their house, drive, etc. He built a screen using plastic flags on a line (such as used at auto car lots) to send the martins in a different direction when they exit his own yard. Maybe there is something you can do along those lines. That would be a win/win for you, neighbors, and martins.
Forum Administrator
Purple Martin Conservation Association - Please consider becoming a member of the PMCA.
Gauxt
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:03 pm
Location: Louisiana/Prairieville
Martin Colony History: Started 2007
2013 1 Pair
2015 2 Pair
2016 4 Pair
2017 12 Pair
2018 15 Pair
2019 15 Pair
2020 19 Pair

Diapers. Joking, but feel for you.....heck of a situation to be in after all the effort etc.
2010-0
2011-visitors
2012-visitors
2013-1 pair
2014-0
2015-2 pair
2016 4 pair
2017 12 pair
2018 15 pair
John & Linda - KY
Posts: 599
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 10:19 pm
Location: Kentucky/Hawesville

Your neighbors sound reasonable. Martins do poop on the fly, and seem to drop it on the same areas. My driveway catches a lot, fortunately we keep our vehicles in the garage. I would ask to see what they're talking about. I've had martins for over 20 years, but if a neighbor had a big problem with poop I would stop providing housing for them. Human relations are more important than martins. -- John
Martinear
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:00 pm
Location: Justin, TX
Martin Colony History: Started 2015 with 6 HTG excluders, added 6 S&K Bo with excluder tunnels in 2016. Full occupancy both years, many fledglings.

That much poop sounds more like a Grackle invasion, not Martin.
DavidJ
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:04 pm
Location: New Braunfels TX
Martin Colony History: 2016 21 pair 87 eggs

Anyone have pics of different poops and which bird made the poop?
Do Martin's always poop as a sack or just as babies?
Ravens5281
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:14 pm
Location: Seymour, Indiana
Martin Colony History: PMCA Member:
Name: Stu Silver III
Begin trying to start a Colony since 2014
Had 2 Martins Visitors stop by (2014)
(2015) 2 Martins Visitors passed through
(2016) 35 Days that Martins Visitors/Stopped by but didn't nest

I tell you what Dave!! I think that they r just being dicks pardon my French!! But its a free country & it's ur yard so u can do whatever u want! I wouldn't try to please ppl that can't be pleased! They want u to take the whole thing down! I mean putting up a hawk decoy! They have done their research on there martin enemy's & that's a dick move! The last time I checked it's not illegal to put up martin housing or to care for them!! They are protected by (the federal migratory bird treaty act) & it maybe considered harassment to the martins by putting that decoy up!! So i would just keep enjoying them & don't bend over backwards for them anymore bc it was rude what they did without even asking or anything!! That's just me brother!! We do things different here in Indiana & we sure as heck have no tolerance for ppl who are rude man!! If they had the balls to come talk to u about it that's one thing but to call the game warden & do the other stuff they r trying to get u in trouble & I wouldn't hesitate to add more gourds if I wanted to!! They sound like trouble makers to me man!!
Good luck!!
Stu III
PMCA Member: From Seymour, Indiana
Name: Stu Silver III
Begin trying to start a Colony since 2014
Had 2 Martins Visitors stop by (2014)
(2015) 2 Martins Visitors passed through
(2016) 35 Days that Martins Visitors/Stopped by but didn't nest
Ravens5281
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:14 pm
Location: Seymour, Indiana
Martin Colony History: PMCA Member:
Name: Stu Silver III
Begin trying to start a Colony since 2014
Had 2 Martins Visitors stop by (2014)
(2015) 2 Martins Visitors passed through
(2016) 35 Days that Martins Visitors/Stopped by but didn't nest

I tell you what Dave!! I think that they r just being dicks pardon my French!! But its a free country & it's ur yard so u can do whatever u want! I wouldn't try to please ppl that can't be pleased! They want u to take the whole thing down! I mean putting up a hawk decoy! They have done their research on there martin enemy's & that's a dick move! The last time I checked it's not illegal to put up martin housing or to care for them!! They are protected by (the federal migratory bird treaty act) & it maybe considered harassment to the martins by putting that decoy up!! So i would just keep enjoying them & don't bend over backwards for them anymore bc it was rude what they did without even asking or anything!! That's just me brother!! We do things different here in Indiana & we sure as heck have no tolerance for ppl who are rude man!! If they had the balls to come talk to u about it that's one thing but to call the game warden & do the other stuff they r trying to get u in trouble & I wouldn't hesitate to add more gourds if I wanted to!! They sound like trouble makers to me man!!
Good luck!!
Stu III
PMCA Member: From Seymour, Indiana
Name: Stu Silver III
Begin trying to start a Colony since 2014
Had 2 Martins Visitors stop by (2014)
(2015) 2 Martins Visitors passed through
(2016) 35 Days that Martins Visitors/Stopped by but didn't nest
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