Discouraged Wannabe

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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

Gang I've been trying since 2012, and this has been the worst year yet. My new strategy this year was to play dawnsong from 4a - 8a and then switch to day chatter til dark. The only major difference I have seen is the HOSP must hate the day chatter because I have had vastly reduced pressure from them, I mean nearly zero. Starlings have shown up from time to time but seem to move on because of the resistant entrances I have. I also added a oyster shell feeder this year and I noticed just recently the little song sparrows have found it and visit from time to time.
The emerald ash bore isn't doing its job fast enough for me either, because there is a large ash in the lot behind me and medium sized one in the lot to the east. The tree canopy here in Pleasant Hill just continues to grow. What a disappointment.
The only thing I didn't do was add a perching line between my house and my shed. I have made far fewer sightings this year then any before.
What's wrong?
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
Glynn B - LA
Posts: 322
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:59 pm
Location: Louisiana West Monroe

Where are you located? Do you have a photo of your housing and site that you can post?

Glynn
2019 26 pair 116 fledged
2018 20 pair 76 fledged
2017 19 pair 82 fledged
2016 13 pair 48 fledged
2015 3 pair 13 fledged
2014 1 pair 4 fledged
2013 2 pair 6 fledged
2012 0 pair
2011 0 pair

I don’t have the perfect site. One open flyway with trees within 80 ft. I do have a small pond they utilize during the heat of Summer. (2017) HEAVY HAWK PREDATION
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

Here's my set up. It is in the most open area of my yard.

https://www.purplemartin.org/forum/down ... p?id=11287
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
Matt F.
Posts: 3894
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

Dave,
Are there any colonies near you?
If so, what kind of housing are they using (round hole aluminum, gourds, etc.)
taxidermy lady
Posts: 2989
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:21 am
Location: IL/Ellis Grove
Martin Colony History: Started trying to attract purple martins in 2012! It's finally happened in 2017! 5 years!!! ASY male and SY female came May 1st, fledged 5 babies!

Hi good to hear from you! I was wondering about you! It seems they just are hard headed! Are your big trees in your neighbors yard? How far away are they? If it's at legal distance then keep at it and don't give up. All we can do is keep the bad birds out and wait! Your doing your best. Maybe offer some round holes next year. Then have some sreh on standby. I'm going to give it a go next year because all I see are flat top with round holes! I will have one just like that next year! It hard when they come and not stay. Your not alone! I've busted this year too! Good luck! You still have a slim chance up there.
Sharon from southern Illinois
Glynn B - LA
Posts: 322
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:59 pm
Location: Louisiana West Monroe

You have a beautiful housing setup. It's difficult to tell how close the background trees are. Do you have a photo that would include your intire yard? This type photo would be a great help.
I'm sure others will chime in and help.
2019 26 pair 116 fledged
2018 20 pair 76 fledged
2017 19 pair 82 fledged
2016 13 pair 48 fledged
2015 3 pair 13 fledged
2014 1 pair 4 fledged
2013 2 pair 6 fledged
2012 0 pair
2011 0 pair

I don’t have the perfect site. One open flyway with trees within 80 ft. I do have a small pond they utilize during the heat of Summer. (2017) HEAVY HAWK PREDATION
DebA
Posts: 1941
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 7:43 am
Location: Pratt County/Kansas
Martin Colony History: Start 2009 with one pair. Upgraded from S&K houses to two Trendsetter 12's with gourds beneath in 2013. I have experienced job, pet, and parental losses since '13. The Purple Martins lift my spirits and remind me how life continues forward by flying their little selves from Brazil back to my yard. As one forum person once told me, chin up DebA, look at the martins. Danger all around but yet they soar in the sky without a care in the world.

Dave,
This breaks my heart. You have everything and are doing everything right. I even see smeared mud on your house. The good news is you have everything so no more expense thrown at it. Without housing up you stand zero chance. Deep, aren't I? (Jeez Deb that's no help.) With housing up but empty, I know disappointment comes in big...uh-gain.

I'm hesitant to say this next bit in getting hopes up and then having them dashed but I swear I just had SY's show this past week. Things are quiet and back to normal now. They were definitely trying to find mates and a home.

Irregardless of the lack of martins...get out and enjoy the heat today. ~gasp~
Later,
Deb
PMCA MEMBER
Pratt County, Kansas
2016 34 PAIR
2015 27 PAIR
2014 23 PAIR
2013 13 PAIR
2012 6 PAIR
2011 4 PAIR
2010 2 PAIR
2009 1 PAIR
sugarcreek
Posts: 214
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:43 am
Location: Sugarcreek, Ohio
Martin Colony History: 2016 First Yr.

Went from a Wannabe to a landlord this yr. 4 nesting pair with 5 eggs in each nest, yep its pretty exciting ...The key is no trees within sight from my Bird house from the picture you may have a tree to close to your house....
2016 - 1st Yr. 14 Compartments 4 Active Nests 9 fledged, 2.25 Fledged per Active Nest
2017 - 2nd Yr. 36 Compartments 18 Active Nests 65 Fledged, 3.61 Fledged per Active Nest
2018 - 3rd Yr. 54 Compartments 43 Active Nests 169 Fledged, 3.93 Fledged per Active Nest
2019 - 4th Yr. 108 Compartments 67 Active Nests 209 Fledged, 3.12 Fledged per Active Nest
2020 - 5th Yr. 108 Compartments ?
tlragsdale
Posts: 218
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:22 pm
Location: Wisconsin/New Richmond

Hey Dave….I might have been one of the founding members of the "wannabe" club. Last year, I was ready to cry "uncle"…..even told my wife, "I'm done trying to attract these dang things. Can't take the disappointment any longer". Her response: "You aren't a quitter---just keep at it". I swear, a day-or-two later, I look out and there sits a beautiful ASY male on the Gemini rack…..shortly thereafter, he was able to attract a female. A second pair moved in a week later. Ended last year with 2 pair, 12 fledglings. This season, we have 6 pair and 35 eggs, most all of which have hatched in the past two days.

Keep at it….keep your lovely house in-order and ready. Eliminate/discourage ANY sparrows, starlings. Place a few PM decoys on your housing, if you don't already have 'em, and play the Dawn Song until you can whistle the entire CD from memory :) . It'll happen….and will be worth the wait when it does.

Good luck,

Terry R.
New Richmond, WI
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
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

Once again everybody, thanks for the encouragement. Wish I had a spouse that was supportive like some, mine thinks I'm nuts. Oh well, I've come too far to quit yet. You all should have seen me secretly knock a starling off the top of the pole the other day with my benjy. Still I'd much rather be watching and caring for PM's.
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
tlragsdale
Posts: 218
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:22 pm
Location: Wisconsin/New Richmond

Just for the record, my wife also thinks I'm nuts! We can't let that deter us, now can we!
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
Mitch Booth
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:23 am
Location: Akron, OH
Martin Colony History: 2012 - 0
2013 - 1 pair, 4 eggs, 2 fledged
2014 - 0
2015 - 1 pair, 5 died during week of rain
2016 - 0
2017 - 1 pair, 4 eggs, 4 fledged
2018 - 4 pair, 19 eggs, 19 fledged
2019 - 7 pair
2020 -

Dave,

I'm right there with you! I've had a nesting pair every other year so this is my year off. What I can say is location is everything!! I took a careful look at my site and asked if the martin housing was in the correct spot for me or the martins? My answer came back me. I moved the one system all away across my pond on a Saturday and by Monday I had an SY male sitting all over it. He's been there now for 3 weeks and can't get a female to commit. I have another SY male committed to another gourd rack but can't seem to get a female to stay either. Today I had about 6 martins flying all around but no committed females to my knowledge.

Are you able to take an overhead shot of your site from Google Earth and post a picture to give everyone a sense of the flyways and openness of your site?

Mitch
2020 -
2019 - 7 pair
2018 - 4 pair 19 eggs, 19 fledged
2017 - 1 pair 4 eggs, 4 fledged
2016 - 0 only visits
2015 - 1 pair 5 eggs, 5 hatched, 5 dead on days 6-7
2014 - 0 only visits
2013 - 1 pair 3 eggs, 2 hatched, 2 fledged
2012 - 0
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 !

phdave, if all else fails, buy an inexpensive house, & put it up near, but not too close to your main houses/gourds. We Always hear about stories of a neighbor who throws a "junk" house up with a leaning pole, & They ALWAYS SEEM to get the Martins !! :shock: :evil: :lol: I HAVE to agree with everyone about less trees, ( If you ever saw my place :oops: , it defies the "Less Tree" thinking, ONLY because my colonies were started by a neighbor in the '50s/'60s, Mine LOVE the trees here, in fact, after my neighbor's 2 big trees fell down next to my back yard colony this past winter, there were fewer PMs there, & more showed up in my front yard, where there are BIG Pecan Trees, & my poles are TOO close to my roof ! :shock: , go figure,!) Still, my situation is an exception to the rule, ( Trees, & my House,have me on constant Snake Patrol !! :shock: ) Hang in there !!
Terry R. , A Big Congrats to you ! ( Happy Wife... :roll: :wink: :lol: ) may your colony grow !! :grin:
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.
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