My Quest for Wannabee of the Year

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Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:42 pm
Location: sugarcreek,ohio
Martin Colony History: new in 2017, but ready for lots of birds. 44 gourds and 40 t14 style holes

attached you might find 2 pictures. one is 1.1mb and the other is .468mb. I've seen where pmca won't publish pictures above a certain resolution. anyway, I hereby submit my efforts to the competition for the hardest working wannabee in the whole pmca community. for this, my third year trying, I have:

cleared 200 trees on my property clearing a flyway path over my pond directly to the martin houses.
erected 5 houses including a t16, t14, t10 , and two 12 gourd horizontal Troyer houses, 8 cheaper gourds from rural king, 4 troyer hoizontals on the t10, and 4 troyer verticals on the t14.
3 bluebird houses radiating 75-100 feet around the housing arrangement.
moved housing so that no tree is less than 200' from the houses.
I am mudding entrances, employing a good .22 rifle with scope to discourage starlings and hosp.
keeping houses closed till bluebirds have a chance to establish in the surrounding single houses.
set up 3 recording systems. 2 cd alarm players which play the dawn song 3 times a day from 5am to 8am. the third setup plays the colony chatter on a repeating mp3 which will play from 9am to 5pm.
I will open my best house (T14 with 4 Troyer verticals) which has a core wrapped with a heat tape which only heats when the temp drops below 38 degF. in mid april.
What have I forgotten here?

I live in good martin country in Sugarcreek, Ohio and we have vibrant martin colonies if most directions from my place but none closer than I mile away.
I will keep you posted in my quest and many thanks to the wise mentors, Mike Yoder (Sugarcreek in the forum) and Dick Morgan (pmlover). feel free to add suggestions. My family already thinks, I'm nuts so it won't hurt to try more tricks to get them started!
Tim Boyd (tboydshirt)
martin houses 72dpi.jpg
(458.92 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:42 pm
Location: sugarcreek,ohio
Martin Colony History: new in 2017, but ready for lots of birds. 44 gourds and 40 t14 style holes

It looks like the higher res picture was indeed rejected.
Posts: 806
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:30 pm
Location: OH/New Concord

Great job Tim
You can really be proud of what you did. I'll keep praying that God sends you these wonderful little birds and many double rainbows.
Dick Morrow
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
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
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:05 pm
Location: Ontario NY
Martin Colony History: I Started my first colony with my father in the late 1960's. Started building custom vinyl Martin houses last year 2018 and was successful with 10 birds fledged and it looks like several dozen birds are hanging around. Time to expand.
2018: 1 T-14 and 6 gourds. Fledged 10
2019: 2 T-14's and 6 gourds. Fledged 70

Wow! You definitely got the wannabee of the year award. I would have done the same thing but the wife would have had me committed. Its got to work.
Mitch Booth
Posts: 478
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 -


Great job. My wife also accused myself of being crazy. I have had limited success the past 7 years. I believe last year was my break through year though. I had 4 pair and they fledged all 19 young. I’m completely surrounded by trees but have a 12 acre parcel of land with a 1-1/4 surface area pond in the front yard. You can see the three white circles across the driveway and to the left of the beach which are my gourd racks. I also have a T-14 across the pond with 4 gourds hanging below it. I’m hoping for 10 plus pair this year. I’m confident I’ll have some return. Last year during the pre-migratory roost here at Nimisila Reservoir which is about 1 mile directly east of me I had literally thousands of birds circling the gourd racks every night just before dark. I’m just north of you in Akron. I removed the trees at the one corner of the house and that really seemed to make the biggest difference. I had the Dawnsong playing 24x7 for many years. No more Dawnsong for me! Feel free to give me a call if you have any questions as I’m on the mentor list. We still give boat rides as well for the pre-migratory roost where there must be 30,000 - 40,000 birds. It’s an amazing thing to witness when they are literally flying inches from your head. I have a video on my Facebook page if you want to watch it. Oh I also limited all the blue bird and tree swallow nesting cavities last year (for the first time) and that may have helped.

I’ll be keeping an eye on your posts this year. Trust me I was a wannabe for the longest time and I guess I still am until that first scout shows up. My first male ASY came April 24 last year.

For what ever reason the photo will not attach...?

Good luck!!


Last edited by Mitch Booth on Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2020 -
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
Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1853
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:35 pm
Location: Little Hocking, Oh.
Martin Colony History: 2018 Success at my Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”.
2019 Success at my home Site "Little Hocking, Ohio".

tboydshirt ... I don’t see anything wrong with your set up... Really looks good.. I hate to say this ,,,, But it’s just a matter of time before the Martins find your Colony.. Good Luck in 2019...

Home Site “Little Hocking, Ohio”
2010 / 2018 -- Lots of Visitors
2019 — First pair, 5 Eggs, 5 hatched, 5 fledged. :wink:
2020 — They Showed up on March 28 for another year... :wink:

Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”
2018 -- 15 Pair, 58 Eggs, 38 Hatched and 36 Fledged :wink:
2019 — 26 Pair, 128 Eggs, 99 Hatched and 97 Fledged. :wink:
2020 — They showed up on April 24 for another year... :wink:

PMCA Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:42 pm
Location: sugarcreek,ohio
Martin Colony History: new in 2017, but ready for lots of birds. 44 gourds and 40 t14 style holes

Mitch, I might just call on you in the near future! I grew up in Massillon, and one of my haunts as a kid was the Nimisila Creek. maybe Mike and I will take a motorcycle hike your way to compare notes. you can get to me by my email, if you want to hook up. also, feel free to come our way for a fun day trip. We can cruise Amish country where I tend to check on dozens of martin colonies a couple times a week in the season. I did that today, and saw no martins yet, but maybe 1/3 of the people have a house raised in expectation. Bring your wife so they can commiserate on their crazy husbands...
Doug Martin - PA
Posts: 1919
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:47 am
Location: Pennsylvania/Fombell
Martin Colony History: First pair in 2009 after 28 years of trying. 3 pairs 2010, 17 pairs 2011 and 35-45 pairs since. Many additional colonies are now springing up around mine in an area once completely void of Martins. I offer 50 compartments at my site consisting of primarily Excluder II gourds on Gemini racks. Also a wooden T-14. I utilize electric fence type predator guards on the base of the poles. Supplemental feeding is crucial in maintaining my colony. I platform feed throughout the season as needed. My site tends to be a stop over point for additional birds as they migrate further north.

Supplemental feeding plays a major role in western Pennsylvania. Finally got my 1st pair in 2009 after 28 years of effort. 3 pairs in 2010. 17 pairs in 2011. 35 pairs and 150 young in 2012 & 2013. Plus a new 22 pair colony right down the road from me.
Posts: 668
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:39 am
Location: Monroe, WI

OMG!!! That is amazing - what all you have done!!!! And your place looks perfect for purple martins. I really don't know what else you could possibly do to attract them. It has to be only a matter of time for them to find your place and fall in love with it. Good luck - I hope this is your year. You definitely deserve good fortune after all the hard work and money you have stuck into your preparations for them.
Billie from south central Wisconsin
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

Wow, going all out. Nice work. Keep us posted as to how the season goes.Good Luck to you.
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
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 and join.

You have my vote. Stay strong as is can take years to get your first breeding pair. The first year is vital, as you will need to protect them from any possible threats; predators, mites, supplement feed if needed, etc...
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Posts: 194
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:09 pm
Location: Indiana/ Jamestown
Martin Colony History: 2005-2019. Lots lookers, 2 successful nesting's.
2010- 1 pair nested,eggs destroyed(Wren).
2012- 1 pair nested, 4 eggs, 4 fledged
2019- 1 pair nested, 4 eggs, 4 fledged.

All that work, WOW. You deserve lots of Martins. Good luck.Bev
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