Will all the new landlords please standup!

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Mitch Booth
Posts: 479
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 - 17 pair

handyman315 wrote:
Yes I'm actually in a martin rich area. Our area which is known as the Portage Lakes was recently named the Purple Martin Capital of Ohio. I have probably 40 colonies within a 5 mile radius with one being a super colony with over 100 cavities. I truly feel this year will be my year and I'll be okay if it doesn't happen as there is really nothing else I can do at this stage of time. In the past I had to severally fight the tree swallows and bluebirds but I'm not opening any of their housing until after I have a few martins spending the night.

Mitch
Whole-heartedly agree about keeping those cavities closed as long as possible; in my case it was to discourage Tree Swallows and House Sparrows, and last year it was one of the factors that seemed to get my first-year nesting going. My colony is also in Ohio, and I had been guilty of opening my housing too soon the prior three years, which only made the already-bad Tree Swallow situation worse. I also have a couple super colonies (at least) within three miles. Although I was (finally) elated with last season's results after four years, your story makes me wonder about next year. Was this just a flash in the pan? Obviously a colony is not truly "started" after just one year. Maybe I'm just having off-season frets. :shock:
No doubt about that!! You can see from my past results that I've had nesters and young fledged only to end up empty handed the following year. Half of my battle is certainly the tree swallows and they arrive about 3 weeks before the martins but there will be NO cavaties available this year until after the martins arrive!!

Mitch
2020 - 17 pair 77 eggs 69 fledged
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
M130carbine
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:14 pm
Location: AL

I wanted to be. I had several Martins to come to my house this year. I built a house with the SREH on each hole. Also owl guards on the front. The Martins landed on the house flew all around it. I played the dawn song every morning. They wanted to fly in the house but acted as if they were afraid of the owl guards or something. The plans were from Chuck Abare so I feel good about the design. Any ideas what could have kept them from nesting?

Marty Adams
Athens, AL
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!

They want very open areas. I think they also like housing they are familiar with. I tried to mimick the neighbors sight and it worked. I got my first pair this year. If you are open enough for them to feel safe they will take up residence. BE PATIENT! Their picky! Especially the females!
You had visitors so your half way there! Good luck :)
Sharon from southern Illinois
handyman315
Posts: 297
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 11:03 am
Location: SW Ohio
Martin Colony History: Colony established May 20, 2017 after three unsuccessful years. Persistent and aggressive Tree Swallows plagued the site, but beyond learning - and practicing - to control them, was the return in 2017 of a 2016-SY-M previously unable to find a mate. As a handsome ASY-M, he brought along two females and a swagger that soon put the Tree Swallow issue to rest. As the anchor pair, he and his mate hatched all six of their eggs into fat and healthy babies into what settled in to be a three-pair, flourishing new colony with up to 11 birds total, including 3 SY-M trouble makers.

M130carbine wrote:I wanted to be. I had several Martins to come to my house this year. I built a house with the SREH on each hole. Also owl guards on the front. The Martins landed on the house flew all around it. I played the dawn song every morning. They wanted to fly in the house but acted as if they were afraid of the owl guards or something. The plans were from Chuck Abare so I feel good about the design. Any ideas what could have kept them from nesting?

Marty Adams
Athens, AL
Try to be patient. Was this your first year to have PM housing?

Strongly endorse SREHs. PMs can initially act spooked/reluctant, but once they start hunkering down, they'll go in and out with ease.

Took three years of lookers before I had nesters in the fourth season. Keeping my housing closed (but up) for as long as possible seemed to improve my odds; have a serious Tree Swallow issue early in the season, and HOSP that need continuing attention.

Good luck!
2019- 19 Nesting Pair Fledged 84 babies. The Pattern is Full.
2018-ASY-M Arrived April 6, Despite Snow & Cold, Joined Soon by Mate & Two Adult Pairs, Season of 11 Nests W/48 Babies
2017-FIRST-YEAR LANDLORD! :grin: Resident SY-M from 2016 Returned (as ASY-M) on May 20. At Least 11 Resident PMs, with 13 Fledged from Three Nests and Operated a Daily Flying Circus :grin:
2016-Late-Arriving SYs, Resident Lone SY-M, Unable to Find Mate
2015 & 2014-Many Visits
Mitch Booth
Posts: 479
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 - 17 pair

It wont be long for you folks down in Florida and Texas!!! Spring will be here before we know it!!!
2020 - 17 pair 77 eggs 69 fledged
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
Al Denton
Posts: 1465
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 7:31 pm
Location: Carolina Shores NC
Martin Colony History: New site and housing for 2018...Trendsetter 12. 1 pair of subs. Fledged 5...2019...11 pairs

Starting from scratch in 2018 at new location. Repeated street flooding has forced me from my North Myrtle Beach location leaving 14 pair behind. My new site in Carolina Shores NC is ideal for attracting Martins, and my HOA has approved a Trendsetter 12 system which I just purchased from the PMCA. I'm excited to get started again!!
2018-new site...1 pair
2019-11 pairs
avesrun
Posts: 1111
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:10 pm
Location: Iowa/West Des Moines
Martin Colony History: Home Site: 2017- 0
2016 - 1st pair, fledged 5
Satellite Site: 2017 (3rd season)
34 pair
Fledged- 102

Had my first and only pair at my home (asy male/female) two seasons ago and they fledged 5 young. The male made it back this past spring but not the female. The male hung around strong and fought through some VERY nasty spring weather for a good month. We had martin killing weather in Iowa last spring and I heard of at least a few other Iowa landlords that lost martins. Anyway, the asy male finally brought in a finnicky sy female and the two spent the night on and off for a couple few weeks. The sy female REALLY struggled with the sreh entrances. Then more bad weather for a solid week and both disappeared. Had visitors though regulary throughout the period. I really believe the sy female eventually chose a round hole house up the road and that my founding male followed her there. What was the most sad and exciting thing about the season was that after the nesting season; I had a single asy male come and hang around the housing nearly every day and I'm pretty sure it was the founding male. Hoping for new nesters in 2018. I manage a satellite site approx. 2.5 miles from my home which is doing quite well. Fledged 108 young martins in 2017 so hoping that will help bring martins back to my home property .

Congratulations to all new landlords in 2017! For what it's worth, I often say prayers for people who work hard and are trying to attract martins; that they will one day be blessed with the wonderful species that is Progne subis !!
PMCA Member
Home Site: 2012-15 visitors
2016 - 1st pair, fledged 5
2017-18 Zero
2019- 3 Successful Prs.!
Satellite Site: 2014 - visitors
2015 - 2 pair, fledged 9
2016 - 13 pair, fledged 44
2017 - 31 pair, fledged 118
2018 - 44 pair, 163 fledged
2019- 49 or. 219 fledged
handyman315
Posts: 297
Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 11:03 am
Location: SW Ohio
Martin Colony History: Colony established May 20, 2017 after three unsuccessful years. Persistent and aggressive Tree Swallows plagued the site, but beyond learning - and practicing - to control them, was the return in 2017 of a 2016-SY-M previously unable to find a mate. As a handsome ASY-M, he brought along two females and a swagger that soon put the Tree Swallow issue to rest. As the anchor pair, he and his mate hatched all six of their eggs into fat and healthy babies into what settled in to be a three-pair, flourishing new colony with up to 11 birds total, including 3 SY-M trouble makers.

avesrun wrote:Had my first and only pair at my home (asy male/female) two seasons ago and they fledged 5 young. The male made it back this past spring but not the female. The male hung around strong and fought through some VERY nasty spring weather for a good month. We had martin killing weather in Iowa last spring and I heard of at least a few other Iowa landlords that lost martins. Anyway, the asy male finally brought in a finnicky sy female and the two spent the night on and off for a couple few weeks. The sy female REALLY struggled with the sreh entrances. Then more bad weather for a solid week and both disappeared. Had visitors though regulary throughout the period. I really believe the sy female eventually chose a round hole house up the road and that my founding male followed her there. What was the most sad and exciting thing about the season was that after the nesting season; I had a single asy male come and hang around the housing nearly every day and I'm pretty sure it was the founding male. Hoping for new nesters in 2018. I manage a satellite site approx. 2.5 miles from my home which is doing quite well. Fledged 108 young martins in 2017 so hoping that will help bring martins back to my home property .

Congratulations to all new landlords in 2017! For what it's worth, I often say prayers for people who work hard and are trying to attract martins; that they will one day be blessed with the wonderful species that is Progne subis !!
Very much enjoyed reading your recounting of your trials and tribulations at your home site . . . lessons here for new landlords (my 1st year in 2017 after 3 non-nesting years), e.g., clearly having success one year - especially initially - is no guarantee for the following year! :shock: At least the second account I've read like this. Will be sweating out my second-year returns. Thanks for sharing your experiences; continued good luck at your satellite, and better results at home!
2019- 19 Nesting Pair Fledged 84 babies. The Pattern is Full.
2018-ASY-M Arrived April 6, Despite Snow & Cold, Joined Soon by Mate & Two Adult Pairs, Season of 11 Nests W/48 Babies
2017-FIRST-YEAR LANDLORD! :grin: Resident SY-M from 2016 Returned (as ASY-M) on May 20. At Least 11 Resident PMs, with 13 Fledged from Three Nests and Operated a Daily Flying Circus :grin:
2016-Late-Arriving SYs, Resident Lone SY-M, Unable to Find Mate
2015 & 2014-Many Visits
Mitch Booth
Posts: 479
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 - 17 pair

handyman315 wrote:
avesrun wrote:Had my first and only pair at my home (asy male/female) two seasons ago and they fledged 5 young. The male made it back this past spring but not the female. The male hung around strong and fought through some VERY nasty spring weather for a good month. We had martin killing weather in Iowa last spring and I heard of at least a few other Iowa landlords that lost martins. Anyway, the asy male finally brought in a finnicky sy female and the two spent the night on and off for a couple few weeks. The sy female REALLY struggled with the sreh entrances. Then more bad weather for a solid week and both disappeared. Had visitors though regulary throughout the period. I really believe the sy female eventually chose a round hole house up the road and that my founding male followed her there. What was the most sad and exciting thing about the season was that after the nesting season; I had a single asy male come and hang around the housing nearly every day and I'm pretty sure it was the founding male. Hoping for new nesters in 2018. I manage a satellite site approx. 2.5 miles from my home which is doing quite well. Fledged 108 young martins in 2017 so hoping that will help bring martins back to my home property .

Congratulations to all new landlords in 2017! For what it's worth, I often say prayers for people who work hard and are trying to attract martins; that they will one day be blessed with the wonderful species that is Progne subis !!
Very much enjoyed reading your recounting of your trials and tribulations at your home site . . . lessons here for new landlords (my 1st year in 2017 after 3 non-nesting years), e.g., clearly having success one year - especially initially - is no guarantee for the following year! :shock: At least the second account I've read like this. Will be sweating out my second-year returns. Thanks for sharing your experiences; continued good luck at your satellite, and better results at home!

You're preaching to the choir my friends!! If history repeats itself I will be martinless again this year!! The only bright side of the equation is that I'm done with site improvements, tree cutting and house and gourd replacements. It's as good as it's going to get at this stage of the game. I have thousands of dollars in 4 systems. 36 gourds on 3 poles w 12 each and a T-14 w gourds below it for a total of 54 cavities. My biggest problem in the past has been battling the tree swallows and bluebirds!!!! I will not offer a single cavity to either until I have a committed pair of martins and then, and only then, will I open up the the gourd racks on Shepard poles and all the Bluebird houses. Lessons learned from previous seasons.

Good luck everyone!!! It won't be long!!!

Mitch
2020 - 17 pair 77 eggs 69 fledged
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
Bcorbs1217
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:22 am
Location: Silver Spring, Maryland
Martin Colony History: Active colony since 2005.

I had 3 nesting pair this year after reestablishing critter control and replacing substandard gourds. Eleven fledged (one broken egg early on). I’m ready for the early Spring influx of sparrows! Becky
Becky Corbett. PM landlord since 2005; 12 supergourds.
MichaelH
Posts: 586
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:10 am
Location: IL/Gillespie
Martin Colony History: 2015 28 cavities 2 pairs
2016 big upgrade 56cavities 16 pairs great year
2017. 76 cavities 36 pairs
2018. 146 cavities

Good luck to all those who are still trying to get birds at there site and don’t get disheartened if your site is not ideal ,I have a none ideal site with a line of trees 40 feet away and on the other side a large two stores garage prob 30 feet away and I am smack in the middle of town ,and I hosted 36 pairs this year so I am not a firm believer that it is a must to have a totally open site if the birds take to it and your a good landlord you could very well get martins good luck to you all .
2018 146 cavities.
tor
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:35 pm
Location: Marlboro County, SC
Martin Colony History: Capacity: 72 Troyers on 3 X Super-24 racks

If you can get 4-6 pair to establish, the martins that establish after that seem to accept a less than ideal site location and environment. The first 4-5 was the absolute hardest to get when I started, and I have a very big, open site. It took the better part of 5 years to get the 4-5 pair.
So don't give up, just do all you can to make your site as attractive as you can with what you've got.
Location: Marlboro County, SC

2020: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/11 - 71 pair - 298 hatched as of last nest check.
2019: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/22 - 70 pair - 315 fledged
2018: Capacity: 70 - First Scouts: 2/18 - 60 pair - 270 fledged
2017: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 2/25 - 39 pair
2016: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 3/10 - 32 pair
2015: Capacity: 24 - First Scouts: 3/23 - 4 pair

Purple Martins Of South Carolina
2020 Season
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!

It is such an unsure thing when only one pair nested and fledged that first year. It’s just a lot of hoping and praying!
tor wrote:If you can get 4-6 pair to establish, the martins that establish after that seem to accept a less than ideal site location and environment. The first 4-5 was the absolute hardest to get when I started, and I have a very big, open site. It took the better part of 5 years to get the 4-5 pair.
So don't give up, just do all you can to make your site as attractive as you can with what you've got.
I have a question tor... did you have your setup for 5 yrs. before you got your first pairs? Thanks
Sharon from southern Illinois
tor
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:35 pm
Location: Marlboro County, SC
Martin Colony History: Capacity: 72 Troyers on 3 X Super-24 racks

taxidermy lady wrote:It is such an unsure thing when only one pair nested and fledged that first year. It’s just a lot of hoping and praying!
tor wrote:If you can get 4-6 pair to establish, the martins that establish after that seem to accept a less than ideal site location and environment. The first 4-5 was the absolute hardest to get when I started, and I have a very big, open site. It took the better part of 5 years to get the 4-5 pair.
So don't give up, just do all you can to make your site as attractive as you can with what you've got.
I have a question tor... did you have your setup for 5 yrs. before you got your first pairs? Thanks
Yes we did. Then one pair. Next season we had 4 pair. Decided to put up a Super 24 at the end of that season, and ended up having 31 nesting pair the next, then 39 nesting pair, with a capacity of 42. A little tight last season, so we decided to get another Super 24 up. We just finished and now have a capacity of 66. I would not be surprised if the new rack fills up during the coming season. But then again, as you said, nothing is a given.

I have heard that a minimum of 10 pair is needed for a guaranteed return of the next year.
Location: Marlboro County, SC

2020: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/11 - 71 pair - 298 hatched as of last nest check.
2019: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/22 - 70 pair - 315 fledged
2018: Capacity: 70 - First Scouts: 2/18 - 60 pair - 270 fledged
2017: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 2/25 - 39 pair
2016: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 3/10 - 32 pair
2015: Capacity: 24 - First Scouts: 3/23 - 4 pair

Purple Martins Of South Carolina
2020 Season
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

I had been trying to attract Martins for 12 years with a Trio Castle. I have a very open area, but I would relocate from year to year in an attempt to find what they wanted. The last three years I played the Dawn Song extensively. I was not going to give up and I like the looks of the gourd racks, so I purchased a 12 unit rack and installed along with my Trio castle for last season. An ASY male came to my site bypassing the Trio Castle as if it were not there. I ended up with 5 pair this last season and none of them payed much attention to the Trio Castle and all nested in the gourds. I hope this can help someone in not giving up and become a landlord like I have. As of now I am hoping for some of the pairs to return with friends.
Jeff
tor
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:35 pm
Location: Marlboro County, SC
Martin Colony History: Capacity: 72 Troyers on 3 X Super-24 racks

deancamp wrote:I had been trying to attract Martins for 12 years with a Trio Castle. I have a very open area, but I would relocate from year to year in an attempt to find what they wanted. The last three years I played the Dawn Song extensively. I was not going to give up and I like the looks of the gourd racks, so I purchased a 12 unit rack and installed along with my Trio castle for last season. An ASY male came to my site bypassing the Trio Castle as if it were not there. I ended up with 5 pair this last season and none of them payed much attention to the Trio Castle and all nested in the gourds. I hope this can help someone in not giving up and become a landlord like I have. As of now I am hoping for some of the pairs to return with friends.
Jeff
When you get 10 of the 12 gourds filled, put up another rack :)
Location: Marlboro County, SC

2020: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/11 - 71 pair - 298 hatched as of last nest check.
2019: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/22 - 70 pair - 315 fledged
2018: Capacity: 70 - First Scouts: 2/18 - 60 pair - 270 fledged
2017: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 2/25 - 39 pair
2016: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 3/10 - 32 pair
2015: Capacity: 24 - First Scouts: 3/23 - 4 pair

Purple Martins Of South Carolina
2020 Season
mjfog
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:40 pm
Location: Palm City, FL
Martin Colony History: 2018 will be my first try. 6 S&K B09s. 29 eggs - 8 fledged
2019 - 12 Troyer Horizontals with tunnels, 6 S&K B09s and 12 B011s all with tunnels. 43 eggs - 36 fledged
2020 - Rack 1 - 6 B011s, Rack 2 - 24 B011s, and Rack 3 - 24 Troyer Horizontals. All gourds have tunnels, porches and crescent/Conley 11 entrances; racks have predator guards. 161 eggs - 88 fledged

I am a new landlord (hopefully) and I am standing up! I have a 100' e/w x 330' n/s open area in front of my home and erected a 15' S and K pole about 100' north of the south border. The pole supports a hanging bracket with 6 gourds Each gourd has the tunnel extension (owl predation help) and a porch landing platform. Entrances are now plugged. Have my supply of pine shavings, crushed egg shells, diamatomaceous earth and predation control device (10" dia. tube, open side down with a screen closed top supported on the pole by a covered hose clamp - tube wobbles) all on the ready. I am a retired Wildlife Biologist formally with the Florida Fish and Game Commission so I look forward to being an active landlord (examining and recording nesting progression) rather than a passive one.
Am in Palm City, Martin County, Florida. Could be seeing scouts in a few weeks so I am excited. Am looking for any advice available for new colony owners like me. I intend to regularly read the forum; seems like the best place to find good info from people with experience.
Happy New Year everyone and may all your nest cavities be full!
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!

Sounds like you’ve done your homework! Good luck :)
Sharon from southern Illinois
MartinStudent
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:24 pm
Location: Mississippi

Hi all! I'm a NEW Landlord waiting to get my first tenants this year. I've have been scouring the forum over the last week. I've been reading up on them over the last few years and finally feel ready to take the plunge, but I want to do everything right from the outset. I just purchased my first real PM house from PMCA, Predator Guard and Owl Guard for the BirdsChoice WaterEdge Suites with XL rooms,Songbird Magnet, Mealworms, Pine Straw and Oyster Shells. When I bought my home it came with an old run down aluminum hexagon house in the back yard. Birds visited every year but no takers except Blue Birds. I'm taking down the old house (some BBs used) and putting up the new house and not opening until I see PMs. I'm also putting up another new hexagon PM house with all the same precautions nearby for variety. I plan on using member tips and making the houses look already used and play the Songbird Magnet when I see them. We have 20 acres in Mississippi. Most of it is treed on both sides of the property but there is a direct fly in from the west. We have about 5 acres open that we keep mowed down with a few trees scattered about. We plan on putting the house out in the open area about 30ft from our house with flyaway access all around and at least 40ft away from trees. I'm prepared with food for them in bad weather. Thanks so much!!
Animal Lover. Voice for animals. Purple Martin Landlord Wannabe. Proponent for large cavities. :grin:
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!

Well good luck and welcome! Just keep your patience! :)
Sharon from southern Illinois
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