A little excitement here today/tonight!

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BillieJR
Posts: 668
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:39 am
Location: Monroe, WI

I had 2 or 3 martins here this morning. I'm sure the Dawn song is what drew them in cuz they would fly over our deck, where the CD player is. They sat on the electrical wires. Eventually they disappeared. Then this afternoon at least 2 were here - maybe 3. I'm thinking the same ones from this morning but who knows. One of them actually landed on one of the gourds. I have a pair of sparrows that thinks they own one - it was just a male for about 2 weeks and I would empty the nest but he was very persistent and would rebuild and sit on the pole perches and on the gourd he was claiming as his own and wait for a mate......then a couple days ago I see a female sparrow had finally joined him. It's been rainy here so I didn't get out yesterday to empty the nest and this afternoon I saw the male sparrow chase the purple martin away that had been checking out the gourds. My heart sank. My husband has been ill all spring and passed away 2 weeks ago so he was not here to shoot them stupid sparrows. My son who lives with us doesn't know how to shoot a gun any more than I do. My oldest son does but he lives an hour away. My neighbor across the road who helped me with getting the new rack/pole up has been told he's more than welcome to shoot any sparrows he sees here but he hasn't. He may not even notice them from his place. So after I saw that stupid sparrow chase away the martin I sent a message to another neighbor who I know has an 18 year old son who hunts and I asked him if he would ask his son to come over to get rid of that pair of sparrows. So I'm hoping he will tomorrow.......altho I did go out early this evening and cleaned out the gourd which, of course, was packed full. And I haven't seen the sparrows since. I don't think the neighbor boy came over and shot them cuz I didn't notice anyone driving in and I didn't hear anything. But I was happy cuz soon after that, I saw one martin here again. This time he checked out several of the gourds and landed on the pole perches and also flew around several times and sat on the electrical wires, again. And he checked out the two houses I have. He was around here for probably an hour and then he flew off, not to be seen again tonight. I watched at the patio door for an hour to see if he would return and maybe spend the night but I finally gave up. I mean - I guess he still coulda come back - there was still enough daylight - but it was getting to the time of night that I thought, if he was going to come here to sleep - he woulda been here and probably in a gourd by that time. So I am pretty sure he didn't not come back and is not sleeping here tonight. He may never return - but it was such an exciting day and I know it's late in the season and he's probably just out sightseeing and checking the place out but I can't help but have a teeny bit of hope that maybe he might come back and stay. Even one purple martin is better than no purple martins. So we'll see what tomorrow brings. Fingers crossed!!!
Billie from south central Wisconsin
Kuemic
Posts: 166
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:17 pm
Location: Topeka, KS
Martin Colony History: 2015 1 SY pair, 2 eggs destroyed by sparrow
2016 1 ASY pair, 5 eggs, 2 hatchlings, 2 fledged
2017 1 ASY pair, 5 eggs, 5 hatchlings, 5 fledged; 1 SY pair, 4 eggs not incubated
2018 daily visitors but no takers
2019 1 SY pair, 4 eggs, 2 destroyed by House Wren, 2 hatchlings, 2 fledged

Billie, so sorry for the loss of your husband. I know I depend on mine for so many things relating to our PM houses, gourds, poles. I can trap sparrows but he does the dispatching. Hopefully, your neighbor's son can take care of your sparrow invaders as they appear. Very excited for you to have purple martin visitors, it's awesome that they are checking out your site.

We still have one SY male that keeps trying to attract others to our site, but not looking very good for this season. Still, just to hear and see purple martins is encouraging, and there's always hope for years to come.

Praying for you and wishing you many, many martins!
Michelle in Topeka
BillieJR
Posts: 668
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:39 am
Location: Monroe, WI

Thank you so much, kuemic! Yes - I miss him very much and having a purple martin hanging around gives me something to get my mind off of it.

He's here again this morning so that was fun to wake up and see. I don't know if I should keep playing the Dawn song or if I should shut it off for now. I mean - I don't think he stayed overnight and I only see the one this morning, again. I have no clue which way I should go on this. I hope someone can give me some advice, please.

I'm just thrilled he is back here. I have to be outside doing lots of yard work today - I hope I do not scare him off.
Billie from south central Wisconsin
Ele
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:52 am
Location: Kansas

If you don't have someone to shoot them and the sparrows are sticking to a specific place, you can always try a glue board. We don't have a pellet gun and so we've been managing sparrow control with glue boards.
-=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

Please do not use glue traps. Even if you modify the entrance hole to be too small for a Purple Martin to enter, there are all kinds of other native birds that would be able to enter that hole. You can release a native bird from most traps used for Martin housing but you can't release a native bird from a glue trap. It's DOA.

EDIT: I would also like to add that I personally have caught a House Sparrow and a Purple Martin at the same time in a gourd trap. I was able to release the Martin and eliminate the HS. A glue trap would have been disastrous.
"If at first you don't succeed, keep on suckin' till you do succeed." - Curly Howard
Kuemic
Posts: 166
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:17 pm
Location: Topeka, KS
Martin Colony History: 2015 1 SY pair, 2 eggs destroyed by sparrow
2016 1 ASY pair, 5 eggs, 2 hatchlings, 2 fledged
2017 1 ASY pair, 5 eggs, 5 hatchlings, 5 fledged; 1 SY pair, 4 eggs not incubated
2018 daily visitors but no takers
2019 1 SY pair, 4 eggs, 2 destroyed by House Wren, 2 hatchlings, 2 fledged

Billie, there are differing opinions on using the dawn song, as evident in discussions on this forum earlier this spring. We stopped playing the dawn song as soon as we had a martin trying to attract others to our site. From what I understand, the best attractant to your site is your visitor who is hanging around. If it becomes obvious he is working to bring other martins in, then I wouldn't think you would need to keep playing it. Others will probably have different opinions though!

Good luck!

--Michelle
Michelle in Topeka
BillieJR
Posts: 668
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:39 am
Location: Monroe, WI

Thanks, Michelle. That's kinda what I was thinking, too. He was here this morning but hasn't been around this afternoon.

Our neighbor boy came over and got rid of one sparrow for us - of course, when he was here there were no sparrows around so he had to wait to see even one. The dirty buggers! And I swear he wasn't gone more than 5 minutes and they were back again - probably laughing! That's ok - we'll get them eventually.
Billie from south central Wisconsin
vman
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:42 pm
Location: wisconsin
Martin Colony History: have not had martins for last 20 yrs. trying to re establish a colony
2018 1 asy pair fledged 2

Hi Billie, so sorry to hear of your loss, wish we were a little closer to monroe so we could give you a hand, we're near oshkosh. I would keep playing the dawnsong if you want, it may make your visitor feel more at home. Do you know if it is a sy male, he may attatch to your site and return next year, we have a sy male hanging around as well, sometimes he had a female with him but she would'nt stay. We played our dawnsong until our asy pair started nesting, it didn't seem to bother them at all, best of luck.
Jim
Jim
BillieJR
Posts: 668
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:39 am
Location: Monroe, WI

Thanks so much for your kind words, Jim, and for your advice about the Dawn song. Looks like it would be best to keep playing it. I didn't see him this afternoon or this evening so maybe he's never coming back - or maybe he will. Who knows. :)
Billie from south central Wisconsin
-=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

BillieJR wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:18 pm
Thanks, Michelle. That's kinda what I was thinking, too. He was here this morning but hasn't been around this afternoon.

Our neighbor boy came over and got rid of one sparrow for us - of course, when he was here there were no sparrows around so he had to wait to see even one. The dirty buggers! And I swear he wasn't gone more than 5 minutes and they were back again - probably laughing! That's ok - we'll get them eventually.
If you can set up a little makeshift "hunting" blind near the colony it will make it easier for your neighbor to shoot the House Sparrows. I can't successfully shoot any House Sparrows without a blind. They're too wary.
"If at first you don't succeed, keep on suckin' till you do succeed." - Curly Howard
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