I need help identifying these birds

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Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:58 pm
Location: Moneta, Virginia

These birds have been spending their days in dead pine trees across the cove from me for the last week.

Today they spent about 10 minutes checking out my Martin house.

Anyone know what species they are?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/9kjahoh0pp8q2 ... M.mp4?dl=0
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

they are purple martins, probably done nesting from a nearby colony checking out your site.
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:58 pm
Location: Moneta, Virginia

Thank you Jim
I thought they were Martins, but unsure after spending two months mistaking Tree Swallows for Martins!

It seems odd, but I have 20-40 Martins nesting in dead pines in the forest. They buzz my house then fly across the cove and perch in the pines and the tops of oak, maple and ash trees. They lift off from the tree tops around 6 every morning and spend all day in groups of 10-15 coming and going from the trees... occasionally swarming around my Martin house.
Dave Duit
Posts: 1619
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: Iowa / Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2019, 54 pair with 218 fledged youngsters. 83 total compartments available, 58 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified trio metal house units, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit www.iamartin.org and join.

Those are purple martins; probably young martins that hatched this year from a near by colony. Keep your housing open as these youngsters may be returning to your martin hose next season. Be sure to check the migration map for your location to ensure you have the housing up in time for their arrival.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1424
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm
Location: TN/Collierville
Martin Colony History: I have been exposed to purple martin sounds in utero when my mother went out to get my father away from his martin colony.
I played around the martin colony every summer and watched as my father maintained his colony. In the late 50's until the 70's he did not notice European Starlings in south Texas.
When old enough, I helped maintain his colony. My primary task was eliminating English House Sparrows with a 1956 Benjamin 317 .177 air rifle.
When I settled into my own home, I started my first colony with an original Trio Castle and Trio Grandpa. When I moved again, I did not put up any martin houses. Frustration with European Starlings in the Southeast US was overwhelming.
Found PMCA Forum and learned about modern enlarged compartments and SREHs.
Inherited my father's last martin house, a Trio Grandma, modified it to modern specifications and have had good results since then.

Those are definitely purple martins checking out your Trio house for next year.
If you modify that Trio house to modern specifications with 6 enlarged compartments and SREH (starling resistant entrance holes) and a pole predator guard, then you will be full next year.
https://www.purplemartin.org/uploads/me ... ee-259.pdf
Overcome new landlord anxiety and make the modifications. Ditch the round holes and safe yourself a lot of grief. As much attention you are getting this season, you do not need the round holes.
Firm believer in Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, HOSP/EUST Control, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:58 pm
Location: Moneta, Virginia

Thank you for the link on improving my house. I’ll enlarge the compartments and add porch dividers over the winter.
I’ve never seen a Starling at this location (doesn’t mean they aren’t around). Could I do some, but not all, SREH on a house?
I think I will install something to prevent snakes and coons from climbing the pole.

I’m expecting a second house as a b-day present tomorrow and I asked for a “condo” style unit... not sure about the doors. How far away from the existing house should I set the second house?
Posts: 2860
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

You can set the house anywhere that is convenient for you. I put mine about 10 feet apart just so I have plenty of room to get my mower between them.
2020 47 of 52 cavities with nest (5/29)(HOSP Count 7)
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.
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