PORCH DIVIDERS

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ANYONE,
THIS YEAR I HAVE 3 NESTING PAIRS IN A HOUSE THAT WAS LEFT WHEN I MOVED HERE LAST AUGUST. I'VE GOT A NEW HOUSE I,M PUTTING UP NEXT YEAR IN ADDITION TO THE OLD ONE. IT HAS PORCH DIVIDERS. ON THE HOUSE THIS YEAR ALL THE BABIES SPREAD OUT IN THE EMPTY HOLES FOR FEEDING. WILL THE DIVIDERS CROWD THEM UP ?
THANK YOU,
MARK HARPER
Steve Kroenke
Posts: 4342
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:49 pm
Location: Louisiana/Logansport

Hey Mark,

Porch dividers are critical to help eliminate the ?wandering baby martin syndrome? on houses with continuous porches. Porches, unfortunately, can increase the chances that large young will move from one compartment to an adjacent one or even to another nest on the other side of a house. Porches may encourage young to prematurely come out of their nests. This is particularly true in vertically shallow compartments where the entrance holes are only one inch or less above the floors. Baby martins have no difficulty exiting such shallow compartments and sitting/crawling on the porches.

Porch dividers will not cause significant problems with young crowding on the porch in front of their nests. These dividers will not stop young from coming out on the porch in front of their compartment, but they will prevent the young from moving into adjacent nests.

If large young move into nests of smaller babies, the large ones may be accepted and then proceed to consume most of the food. This can result in the malnourishment of the smaller babies or even their deaths. I have seen this happen in Trio houses without porch dividers.

Plus if the young spread out all over the porches, this may increase their chances of attacks by hawks/crows and other martins. When you have a concentration of young martins assembled on a porch, this increases their visibility and makes them more vulnerable to predation and attacks by other martins which do not want these youngsters to move into their nests. Bachelor SY males may assault these youngsters and sometimes force them to prematurely fledge or fall from the house.

Another dividend of porch dividers can be minimization of male martin nest domination where martins control multiple adjacent compartments. The dividers sometimes ?keep the males out of each others? feathers? by offering territorial privacy.

So, porch dividers are a great enhancement to your martin house for next season. I only use houses with separate porches or houses that have porch dividers.

Steve
Guest

STEVE,
THANKS FOR THE INFO.
MARK HARPER
Guest

We added porch dividers to all 3 of our Trio Grandpa houses. It really helped to increase the occupancy in every house. :lol:
Sparky
Posts: 1889
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 11:04 pm
Location: Texas/Katy

Yes, a very good recommendation. I observed the "baby out on the porch" scenerio this year in particular. I found the adult parents at least one of them, mostly the mother, standing guard on the porch perch while the young came out on the porch and looked around. Once the young martins had returned back into the nest the adult left for feeding chores. Porch dividers are definitely a must have.
I'm a "nestcamaholic" Is 18 hours a day a bad thing? (I have 2 this year, luckily I have 2 eyes!)
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