When to expect nest building?

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Post Reply
Joe W
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:04 am
Location: FL/Lynn Haven (near Panama City, FL)
Martin Colony History: 2020 10 pairs
2019 finally success! 8 pairs
Oct 10, 2018 Hurricane Michael
2018 visitors in April
2017 visitors in April
2016 visitors in April
2015 visitors in June
PMCA Member

First year for Martins so I have a question about nest building. I got the first arrivals the first week in March. I’ve had as many as 10 Martins at times but now it seems to be two pairs each day that stay overnight. I’ve checked for evidence of nest building but so far nothing. The days are warming up nicely now in NW Florida so I’m hoping each day I will see some nest building. Is this pretty normal to have pairs staying overnight for a few weeks without starting a nest? Thanks in advance for your input and advice!

Joe
brent
Posts: 306
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Hi and welcome. My martins began to arrive on January 31st when I noticed an ASY male hanging around. Since then I have two houses full of martins. On March 21st I saw some martins bringing in nest materials. Since then, though, I haven't seen much activity. From last year's experience, too, I would say around 6 weeks after the martins begin to arrive nest building activity began. Nest building can be started at different times by different martins. Just depends on when they're ready. When you do your nest checks you'll see some nest are complete with green leaves while others are just beginning. Keep an eye on their activity. When the leaves are brought in eggs soon follow. This has been my experience.

Brent
Joe W
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:04 am
Location: FL/Lynn Haven (near Panama City, FL)
Martin Colony History: 2020 10 pairs
2019 finally success! 8 pairs
Oct 10, 2018 Hurricane Michael
2018 visitors in April
2017 visitors in April
2016 visitors in April
2015 visitors in June
PMCA Member

Brent, thank you! That gives me relief that things are on track. I was worried that I had an unusual situation. Thanks again for the boost of confidence.

Joe
Dale D
Posts: 329
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:11 am
Location: Orlando, Fl
Martin Colony History: Landlord since 2004

Joe W, I have had a colony here in Orlando for 15 years and my Martins generally begin egg laying around Easter most seasons. Watch for them to begin bring in the green leaves and the eggs will follow shortly thereafter. Hope you have a great 2019 season.
Orlando, FL Landlord since 2004
Offer 42 Cavities Total
MorganW_AL
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:21 am
Location: Alabama

Dale D wrote: Joe W, I have had a colony here in Orlando for 15 years and my Martins generally begin egg laying around Easter most seasons. Watch for them to begin bring in the green leaves and the eggs will follow shortly thereafter. Hope you have a great 2019 season.
The problem is, Easter never seems to stay where we left it. 😄
Dale D
Posts: 329
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:11 am
Location: Orlando, Fl
Martin Colony History: Landlord since 2004

MorganW_AL wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:16 pm
Dale D wrote: Joe W, I have had a colony here in Orlando for 15 years and my Martins generally begin egg laying around Easter most seasons. Watch for them to begin bring in the green leaves and the eggs will follow shortly thereafter. Hope you have a great 2019 season.
The problem is, Easter never seems to stay where we left it. 😄
Ain't that the truth. That's why I said most seasons. They claim that part of the reason for the time change is to help keep the kids from having to go to school in the dark. It now stays dark an hour later then it did before the time change so I am still trying to wrap my mind around it. :lol:
Orlando, FL Landlord since 2004
Offer 42 Cavities Total
Joe W
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:04 am
Location: FL/Lynn Haven (near Panama City, FL)
Martin Colony History: 2020 10 pairs
2019 finally success! 8 pairs
Oct 10, 2018 Hurricane Michael
2018 visitors in April
2017 visitors in April
2016 visitors in April
2015 visitors in June
PMCA Member

Thanks Dale. I guess I was a little too impatient, I’ll relax and let the birds be in charge!

Joe
TNMartins
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue May 15, 2018 6:59 pm
Location: Smyrna, TN

Joe - Don't forget to put a little pine straw in the cavities. Last year mine didn't add much of anything to the pine straw other than a few leaves.
12 S&K B09 Gourds w/ 2 S&K barns converted to 6 cavities each

2016 - 0 visits
2017 - Few visitors late summer
2018 - 1 Pair, 5 Fledged
2019 - Visitors
2020 -
Joe W
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:04 am
Location: FL/Lynn Haven (near Panama City, FL)
Martin Colony History: 2020 10 pairs
2019 finally success! 8 pairs
Oct 10, 2018 Hurricane Michael
2018 visitors in April
2017 visitors in April
2016 visitors in April
2015 visitors in June
PMCA Member

Thanks to all who responded to my post. The nest building has started in earnest today. I now have 3 pairs that are actively bringing nesting materials to the gourds. I did provide pre-nesting pine straw in 3 of the 5 gourds. I’m not sure if they are adding to or building from scratch. What surprised me is that they are going to the ground for nesting material. I have an old burn pile about 20 feet away that has yard waste and remnants of several sparrow nests. It seems like this is where the majority of their attention is focused. Again thanks to all who urged me to remain patient. What’s the safe amount of time to wait before I do a nest check?

Joe
Robert
Posts: 67
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:49 am
Location: Columbia , South Carolina

Joe W you can start nest checks when they start bringing in green leaves that way you will have a good idea on when the first eggs are laid , they will lay one egg a day usually in the morning before noon , be sure to look under the green leaves because sometimes the eggs will be under them , eggs begin to hatch 15 days after the first egg is laid , I usually do nest check in the afternoon every five days , good luck to you this season.
Robert , South Carolina
PMCA member
40 year PM landlord
2018 season
21 pairs 107 eggs 99 fledged
2019 season
23 pairs 122 eggs 105 fledged
2020 season
23 pairs 122 eggs 72 fledged
2021
dragonfly
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:59 am
Location: bluff city Ar

nest building is going full blast here at my four year old site , got about 35 pair , they get inturupted by all the flooding rain we get , south Arkansas
Dale D
Posts: 329
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:11 am
Location: Orlando, Fl
Martin Colony History: Landlord since 2004

Joe W, as I predicted Easter is coming this Sunday and I did a nest check yesterday and found 9 nests with 34 eggs.
Orlando, FL Landlord since 2004
Offer 42 Cavities Total
Joe W
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:04 am
Location: FL/Lynn Haven (near Panama City, FL)
Martin Colony History: 2020 10 pairs
2019 finally success! 8 pairs
Oct 10, 2018 Hurricane Michael
2018 visitors in April
2017 visitors in April
2016 visitors in April
2015 visitors in June
PMCA Member

Dale, your right on the money. Eggs in the nest by Easter! I lowered the gourds Monday following Easter to check the security of one of the gourds after the high winds we had on Good Friday. I only checked the one gourd and it had 5 eggs plus mom. She stayed put the entire time while I re-capped the gourd and secured it. I have nest in 5 other gourds/cavities so I’m feeling pretty confident. Thanks to all with the advice and guidance.

Joe
Dale D
Posts: 329
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:11 am
Location: Orlando, Fl
Martin Colony History: Landlord since 2004

Joe W wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:59 pm
Dale, your right on the money. Eggs in the nest by Easter! I lowered the gourds Monday following Easter to check the security of one of the gourds after the high winds we had on Good Friday. I only checked the one gourd and it had 5 eggs plus mom. She stayed put the entire time while I re-capped the gourd and secured it. I have nest in 5 other gourds/cavities so I’m feeling pretty confident. Thanks to all with the advice and guidance.

Joe
Congratulations, Joe on those Easter Eggs.
Orlando, FL Landlord since 2004
Offer 42 Cavities Total
Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1921
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".

Dale D wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:38 pm
MorganW_AL wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:16 pm
Dale D wrote: Joe W, I have had a colony here in Orlando for 15 years and my Martins generally begin egg laying around Easter most seasons. Watch for them to begin bring in the green leaves and the eggs will follow shortly thereafter. Hope you have a great 2019 season.
The problem is, Easter never seems to stay where we left it. 😄
Ain't that the truth. That's why I said most seasons. They claim that part of the reason for the time change is to help keep the kids from having to go to school in the dark. It now stays dark an hour later then it did before the time change so I am still trying to wrap my mind around it. :lol:
..
.
.
Dale ... I always heard that the time change was for the women that worked all day in the factory during the war. It was to give them an extra hour of day light to tend to the family gardens, while the men were off fighting the war... My grandma called her garden the "Victory Garden".

Dave
Home Site “Little Hocking, Ohio”
2010 / 2018 -- Lots of Visitors
2019 — 1 Pair, 5 Eggs, 5 Babies, 5 fledged. :wink:
2020 — 1 Pair, 4 Eggs, 4 Babies, 4 fledged. :wink:
2021 — Waiting on March 2021

Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”
2018 -- 15 Pair, 58 Eggs, 38 Hatched and 36 Fledged :wink:
2019 — 26 Pair, 128 Eggs, 99 Babies and 97 Fledged. :wink:
2020 — 30 Pair, 156 Eggs, 137 Babies and 137 Fledged. :wink:
2021 — Waiting on March 2021

PMCA Member
Joe W
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:04 am
Location: FL/Lynn Haven (near Panama City, FL)
Martin Colony History: 2020 10 pairs
2019 finally success! 8 pairs
Oct 10, 2018 Hurricane Michael
2018 visitors in April
2017 visitors in April
2016 visitors in April
2015 visitors in June
PMCA Member

Nest check, 6 eggs and Mom.
Attachments
A365CF5A-5EFE-4677-8866-8EDAED129348.jpeg
(435.81 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Post Reply