Discouraged in Newton , North Carolina.

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Ransom Graham
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:13 pm
Location: Newton, NC

Bought a beautiful Lonestar gourd rack and pole. With 10 excluded ll gourds, 1 supergourd with excluded and 5 natural gourds that I fitted with excluded plates. Also reworked an old M12 and now it is a M6 with excluded holes. Put everything up in early April. No starling or sparrows. Play the dawnsong early in the morning and late afternoon. No trees closer than 50ft. Also prenested all compartments with pine straw, a few oak leaves and mud dam. You would swear Martin's nested in them last year. And have not seen a Martin since a couple mature ASY flew over in mid April. Maybe next year but it sure is disappointing. Especially when you read people have so many and they just keep coming. Oh well!!!!!!
Hanover Bill
Posts: 616
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 3:10 pm
Location: Pennsylvania/Hanover Township
Martin Colony History: 2009 & 10 - 0
2011 & 12 - Visitors
2013 - 2 pr. fledged 9
2014 - 3 pr. fledged 13
2015 - 7 pr. fledged 27
2016 - 15 pr. fledged 72

Best advice we can probably give you is to be patient. It took me 5 years to finally attract a nesting pair of Martins, and that included playing the Dawn Song every morning during Martin season during those 5 years. Actually my wait was not all that bad when you listen to some of the stories about how long people waited to get their first Martins. I have heard stories of people waiting 20 -30 years, now that's patience.

So hang in there and don't give up. Hard work and perseverance will eventually pay off, and it will be well worth it.

Hanover Bill.
2009 & 10 - 0
2011 & 12 - Visitors
2013 - 2 pr. fledged 9
2014 - 3 pr. fledged 13
2015 - 7 pr. fledged 27
2016 - 15 pr. fledged 72
Dan G
Posts: 403
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:52 pm
Location: PA/Bellefonte
Martin Colony History: Trying since 2014. Visitors, but no nests. Several colonies with in 6 mile radius.
2020- An SY male built a nest but could not attract a mate.

I feel your pain. I’m in my fifth year with only visitors. I have invested quite a bit of time and money in birds I don’t have. I built two T14s and two repeater traps. Bought 12 gourds, decoys, cd’s, cd alarm clocks and boom boxes, cables, winches, hinges, perches, Cable’s, several boxes of quiet 22 rounds, a pellet gun, two box traps, concrete, and that’s just what I can think of.
I was at a green house yesterday in a nearby town and they have two full houses and two across the street with room for their extra birds. I know I shouldn’t, but couldn’t help feeling jealous and frustrated at the same time. All I do is shoot starlings and sparrows. Five just today.
I agree with Bill in that some day our efforts will be worth it, but like others have said on here, what will be, will be. I won’t say ‘it is what it is’. That’s like saying ‘ it’s what it’s ‘. And no one would ever say that. Besides, show me something that ‘isn’t what it is’, and then I’ll say it. Hahah
Bellefonte PA
2014, 1st year-a few lookers, no nests
2015, 'Spot' SY male, here every day from 5-28 to 6-23
2016 added a perch wire between house and gourd rack
offering 22 cavities, T-14 plus 8 gourds
2016, multiple visitors from 6-20 on. Almost daily
2017- Lots of visitors late in season.
2018- Adding another T-14. Few visitors
2019- Hopeful but stopped holding my breath
2020-SY male built a nest.
BillieJR
Posts: 677
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:39 am
Location: Monroe, WI

Ransom Graham, I feel your pain, too. You sure do sound like you've done everything you possibly can to entice some purple martins to stop by and stay - and I can't even tell you to have patience cuz I wouldln't be practicing what I preach then cuz I am the queen of impatience. But what other choice do we have but to wait til it's our turn? I get jealous, too. Don't feel badly about that. It's an emotion that fits, in this case. There's still a chance for those of us who are waiting - patiently or not. This could be our year, yet. I sure hope so. I know, when I do get some, and I know I will eventually, I'll feel badly for those who are still waiting cuz I know the feeling of disappointment and frustration. Hang in there with the rest of us - you're most certainly not alone.
Billie from south central Wisconsin
randy741985
Posts: 160
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:08 pm
Location: NE Alabama
Martin Colony History: 2018-First Year 0 Martins
2019- Lots Lookers
2020- TBD

BillieJR wrote:Ransom Graham, I feel your pain, too. You sure do sound like you've done everything you possibly can to entice some purple martins to stop by and stay - and I can't even tell you to have patience cuz I wouldln't be practicing what I preach then cuz I am the queen of impatience. But what other choice do we have but to wait til it's our turn? I get jealous, too. Don't feel badly about that. It's an emotion that fits, in this case. There's still a chance for those of us who are waiting - patiently or not. This could be our year, yet. I sure hope so. I know, when I do get some, and I know I will eventually, I'll feel badly for those who are still waiting cuz I know the feeling of disappointment and frustration. Hang in there with the rest of us - you're most certainly not alone.
To Endevour and always persevere. :grin:
2018-14 Gourds First Year 0 Martins
2019- 14 Gourds Lots Lookers
2020- 6 Gourds had one male stay 3 weeks.
2021- TBD
BillieJR
Posts: 677
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:39 am
Location: Monroe, WI

LOL! Yah - something like that. :)
Billie from south central Wisconsin
Ransom Graham
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:13 pm
Location: Newton, NC

I haven't given up and appreciate the encouraging comments. As a teenager growing up in Southern Alabama my neighbor gave me a twelve room wooden house and 12 pairs of purple Martin's. Let me clarify. His site was being overgrown by trees.He asked me if I would put the house in my open back yard and I did. Next season the house was full of Martin's. So my 1st landlord experience was very easy. Later after moving to North Carolina I tried to start a colobut had a real poor location but made friends with an elderly man who had a super colony. He got 1 pair his first year and was over 100 pair in 8 years. He had an excellent site. Learned a tremendous amount about Martin's from him and helped him with endless nest checks. I guess I will have a love of Martin's until I leave this good earth.
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3002
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

You will hear 5 years a lot. I am not sure why it takes that long but it can be a reality if you don't live in a very martin rich area. The first colony I ever started took exactly 5 years. I moved from there in 2012 and tried to start another. I had couple years with a single SY pair but last year (5th year) I had 3 pair nest and two additional pair that never laid eggs of fledged young. This year many of them are back, and now I have started two colonies and both of them took 5 years...... Both spots are open, water near by, etc. etc.. The good news is now you can keep trying without investing a lot more money. Put them up in the spring and wait.
2020 Currently 42 nest, 110 babies, 64 eggs left to hatch(6-22-20) HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair last count 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.
Dflowe
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed May 02, 2018 6:50 am
Location: Mint Hill, NC

Don't get discouraged. I'm not far away in the Charlotte area and it took me 10 years to attract martins. However, I had 4 pair nest 4 years ago and I have 16 building nest right now.
Courtney-NC
Posts: 591
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:28 pm
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Martin Colony History: 2009-2015-Helped to manage Raleigh site, 36 cavities
2016- 33 pairs at Raleigh site, 1 pair at home site.
2017- 34 pairs at Raleigh site, 3 pairs + extra SYs at home site
2018- 33 pairs at Raleigh site, 5 pairs + extra SYs at home site
2019 - 32 pairs at Raleigh site, 7 pairs at home site, 2 pairs at new Holly Springs park site

Hello from Holly Springs, NC! Don't give up yet - you have the whole month of May and up until the first week of June to get nesting martins. Keep playing that dawnsong every day. It took me 9 years to get a pair to stay at my home site. (3rd year now with 6 pairs. Relatively low martin numbers here.)
One thought - if you're only using a small cd player to play the dawnsong, and it's at ground level, move it up higher if you can to make the sound carry further. I played it from a powerhorn mounted to the top of my pole, aimed right up at the sky, and turned it up fairly loudly. If you see a visitor coming down, turn the volume down at that time.

Make sure your site is as open as possible. If there are any trees or tall shrubs within even 75 ft of your martin housing (and they are on your property), consider cutting them back or down, if possible.

Hang in there!

Also... the NC Purple Martin Society is having an outdoor meeting Saturday June 3rd at a rural martin colony site in Clayton. I'd be happy to give you directions if you'd like to come and meet other NC martin folks. :) ncpurplemartin.org .
-Courtney
-------------------
NC Purple Martin Society (PMCA affiliate)
http://www.ncpurplemartin.org
Ransom Graham
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:13 pm
Location: Newton, NC

Yes I would be interested in that. Please give me the directions. Thanks.
jhcox
Posts: 498
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 9:23 am
Location: tennesse
Martin Colony History: Started colony in 2014. First pair to stay and raise young in 2018.

Hey Ransom Graham I hope you get some martins this year. But if you don’t don’t give up. I have been trying 5 years this year. I hadn’t seen a martin all year then yesterday I had 3 stop in dont know if they will stay or not. But some time you just have to take solice in the small things. Like 2 or 3 stopping by from time to time. I enjoyed it for the hour or so that they were there. And can only hope that one day they will stay. But like I said I really enjoyed the time that they were there. I found that putting up a Blue bird trail that has attached Blue birds and Tree Swollows. Really helps tied you over until those PM do stay. Good luck from JHCox over in E. Tenn.
Courtney-NC
Posts: 591
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:28 pm
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Martin Colony History: 2009-2015-Helped to manage Raleigh site, 36 cavities
2016- 33 pairs at Raleigh site, 1 pair at home site.
2017- 34 pairs at Raleigh site, 3 pairs + extra SYs at home site
2018- 33 pairs at Raleigh site, 5 pairs + extra SYs at home site
2019 - 32 pairs at Raleigh site, 7 pairs at home site, 2 pairs at new Holly Springs park site

Ransom Graham wrote:Yes I would be interested in that. Please give me the directions. Thanks.
I've sent you a private email message through the forum. Let me know if you don't get it within 24 hours (Make sure to check your spam folder... sometimes they end up in there). :)
-Courtney
-------------------
NC Purple Martin Society (PMCA affiliate)
http://www.ncpurplemartin.org
pmlover
Posts: 806
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:30 pm
Location: OH/New Concord

don't give up it took me 15 years to ger them and look at me now
put som e mud on you gourds if you have any
dick
2015 69 pairs 418 eggs 396 fledged
2019 I have 148 openings now
2016 100 pairs 600 babies fledged added another t-14 and have 126 openings now
2015 Jun 24 360 babies and 58 eggs also found one that had died
2017 632 babies 11died and 20 were killed by hawks
2015 74 pairs and 9 eggs 5/14
2010 3pairss
]JOINED PMCA JUNE 6,2018
2018 651 babies 5 hawk kills 11 floater kills 25 died in houses and 610 fledged

2014 80 pairs 283 babies 282 fledged one died
-=DKC=-
Posts: 356
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:26 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
Martin Colony History: ................
2019: 11 pairs
2018: 11 pairs - 43 fledged
2017: 4 pairs - 17 fledged

I finally got Martins in my 4th year of trying. I was so discouraged that I was not planning to put up the pole the 4th year but my wife persuaded me to add an additional pole section to make it taller and try again. I got 1 ASY male and 7 SY birds that year.

I think in my particular case, raising the pole was my answer but it could have just been a coincidence.

Don't give up.
"If at first you don't succeed, keep on suckin' till you do succeed." - Curly Howard
Glynn B - LA
Posts: 322
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:59 pm
Location: Louisiana West Monroe

I would put up just the MK 12 with just two gourds hanging beneath it. I believe that putting up so much housing can be a detourant. It has to be eary to see all the unoccupied cavities to a prospective martin tenants, like a ghost town. I also would change at least four cavities to another SREH. For a new site, the excluder II SREH that you chose is one of the most restrictive. I would go with the modified excluder, cresent or the clinger SREH. These will allow new prospective martins easier access. After you attract your first martins, then put up additional housing. If your place is large enough and open, you will be a landlord, just don’t give up.

I did exactly what you are doing now. My first three years trying I raised to much housing. Had a lot of lookers but no takers. Late the third year in Louisiana, it was April, I took down everything martin. I was very disappointed to say the least. A friend that didn’t know anything about martins stopped by and convinced me to purchase a small martin house. He also said put out by your small pond. I did and less than a week the small house attracted a ASY pair. Later a SY pair appeared and stayed. This is just a observation with opinion. I wish you luck sir.
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
C.C.Martins
Posts: 886
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA made adjustments and next year was successful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021:
Home colony: mix natural gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 gourds: PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021:
PMCA member

Sir, you have a very good set up and some excellent gourds...maybe crescent openings for a few of the cavities for a new site as Glynn suggested but I would propose that you stay with what you have...stimulate their senses, dawn song, a mix of gourds and a house...give them a choice. You want them to investigate, some prefer the house, some gourds. Sounds like your doing everything right.

It is discouraging, doesnt sound like you want to give up; so keep at it sir. there are a few still coming, I just spoke to an individual near San Antonio who is selling his lonestar rack to me; just before he lowered the rack in prep to sell he had ASYs show up! You never know. Maybe these are displaced birds, dunno.

Good luck,
Tom
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
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