Hello all. New member. Here are the houses I made.

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
i_carumba
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:27 pm
Location: Southern Saskatchewan, Canada

I was out for a walk last year and noticed these nice sounding birds at a birdhouse on a pole (one of many in town) Curious, I researched and found out they were called Purple Martins. I made up a house that I thought would be suitable. I put it on a fixed pole in one corner of our yard. It was a bit late in the season (almost June) and I did not expect much but within 2 hours there was a dark bird sitting on it. Sure enough it was a Martin and we ended up getting 4 nesting pairs (two with purple males and two with the grey ones). They ended up raising 18 baby birds successfully. One bird had jumped out too early but I went up a ladder and put it back in and it was fine after that.

The house sparrows were a big problem at first but I made a trap and caught and relocated (to birdy heaven) about 50 of them. Once the sparrows were under control the Martins were happier and more relaxed. We enjoyed having them for the summer so I just made up a second house for the other corner of the yard.

Here is a photo from last year:
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i_carumba
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:27 pm
Location: Southern Saskatchewan, Canada

The bird houses have a door that opens for removable nest boxes. The compartments are 6" x 12" each. The entrances are on two sides only so that they face our porch area for viewing and the house size is kept manageable since it is not on a winch system. We are fine with the houses being fixed onto the pole as we pretty much leave them alone until the end of the season when we take down the house and clean it out. I only go up there to remove sparrow nests or put a jumper back in.

The houses are made mirror image of each other as they are in opposite corners of the back yard. It is not a large area and there are a lot of trees and power lines around but that does not seem to bother the birds at all. The Martins seemed to enjoy the large porch landings and would lounge on them a lot. It was a good place for them to sit out rain storms as well. The power lines were popular perches also. It is still to early to put the houses up this year (May 1 is when they start arriving in this area I believe)

Here are some photos of the houses I made. I realize they may not be 'correct' according to how most Martin houses are constructed but they worked well for our situation and the birds seemed to like them.
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Last edited by i_carumba on Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.
i_carumba
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:27 pm
Location: Southern Saskatchewan, Canada

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i_carumba
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:27 pm
Location: Southern Saskatchewan, Canada

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i_carumba
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:27 pm
Location: Southern Saskatchewan, Canada

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Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6743
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)
Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

Looks nice, good job.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Those are cool, very well thought out and constructed. As far as I'm concerned if the Martins like them they are "correct". Job well done.
Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1883
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".

,,, Great looking house,,, I think the Martins will like it just fine. ... Best of luck in 2019

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
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2935
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Congrats, getting martins your first year is pretty cool. Especially that far north, almost unheard of.
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.
Bkhollan
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:04 pm
Location: Washington, IN

Great looking houses!
Archer
Posts: 757
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:09 pm
Location: Manitoba/Altona
Martin Colony History: six pair in 2014, have grown to 52 pairs in 2017.

Greetings to you I Curumba. Welcome to the forum. Its is exciting to see another successful landlord from Canada, I am from Southern Manitoba, whereabouts are you from? Your house looks excellent. Wood is a good insulator and martins this far north need protection from the cold. The starling resistant entrances are also much needed, the nest trays are awesome. What I do wonder about is how do you raise and lower the house? It is important to be able to check on the nests to help with any problems the martins may have. Great job on the sparrow trapping too. The Grey males as you call them are last summer's young. Another name for them is SY, which means second year. The all purple males are at least one year older and are called ASY, after second year. Hope you have a great year and keep us posted on your progress. Great pictures too.
2011- first year trying, a few visitors.
2012-One ASY pair, raised two young, lots of subby visitors. So thankfull.
2013-daily subby visits.
2014-Six SY pairs
2015-18 pair, 83 fledglings
2016-36 pair, 147 fledglings
2017-52 pairs, 192 fledglings.
2018-60 pair, 246 fledglings.
2019-59 pair, 238 fledglings.
Wildriver
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:48 pm
Location: Luck Wisconsin
Martin Colony History: Landlord of colony started in 1940 by grandfather. Completely lost colony due to houses that did not provide protection from owls.
New T-14 houses installed. 100% full with no nest abandonment due to owl guards, predator lights and decoys.
Starting new colonies in Minneapolis with new T-14 houses. Planning on community martin houses in park system. Re-claimed wetlands next to city lakes would be excellent site. Currently their are No colonies in Minneapolis, MN. Hoping to have same success as I had in Western Wisconsin

i_carumba wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:49 pm
The bird houses have a door that opens for removable nest boxes. The compartments are 6" x 12" each. The entrances are on two sides only so that they face our porch area for viewing and the house size is kept manageable since it is not on a winch system. We are fine with the houses being fixed onto the pole as we pretty much leave them alone until the end of the season when we take down the house and clean it out. I only go up there to remove sparrow nests or put a jumper back in.

The houses are made mirror image of each other as they are in opposite corners of the back yard. It is not a large area and there are a lot of trees and power lines around but that does not seem to bother the birds at all. The Martins seemed to enjoy the large porch landings and would lounge on them a lot. It was a good place for them to sit out rain storms as well. The power lines were popular perches also. It is still to early to put the houses up this year (May 1 is when they start arriving in this area I believe)

Here are some photos of the houses I made. I realize they may not be 'correct' according to how most Martin houses are constructed but they worked well for our situation and the birds seemed to like them.
If the birds like them. You succeeded ! I have made houses that they didn't care to live in. Such a disappointment as houses are so much work
i_carumba
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:27 pm
Location: Southern Saskatchewan, Canada

Archer, we are in a small town in southern Saskatchewan, about 100 kms north of the border.
The houses are fixed on the poles and stay up all season. I will go up a ladder and help out if I see a problem and I control the sparrows but otherwise the Martins are on their own. They did well last year and I hope this year we have more show up.

I figure the reason we were so successful in attracting tenants right away is that we controlled the sparrows. Perhaps these Martins had been chased out or were unable to claim a nest spot due to the sparrows at another location.

For us the worst part of having these Martins is having to remove the sparrows. I actually like those spunky little birds that live here year round.
But they cause havoc with the Martins so I had to deal with them. Outside of the Martin season I leave the sparrows alone.

The Martin houses will go up in about two weeks so I put my home made sparrow trap out. Caught a male yesterday. Hope to get the sparrows under control before the Martins arrive. Here is the trap and its first guest of the season. The mirror behind the food tray seemed to make the trap even more effective.
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Archer
Posts: 757
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:09 pm
Location: Manitoba/Altona
Martin Colony History: six pair in 2014, have grown to 52 pairs in 2017.

Let me introduce you to nest checks. Everyone can manage their colony as they know best and see fit. Information is usefull in making decisions. https://www.purplemartin.org/uploads/me ... de-331.pdf Also did you know to keep the sparrows alive in the trap, they are the best decoys for more sparrows. Give them food and water, and bring them inside for night, or cover them with a box. Wishing you a great year.
2011- first year trying, a few visitors.
2012-One ASY pair, raised two young, lots of subby visitors. So thankfull.
2013-daily subby visits.
2014-Six SY pairs
2015-18 pair, 83 fledglings
2016-36 pair, 147 fledglings
2017-52 pairs, 192 fledglings.
2018-60 pair, 246 fledglings.
2019-59 pair, 238 fledglings.
Dave Duit
Posts: 1755
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: Iowa / Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2020, 60 pair with 285 fledged youngsters. 83 total cavities available, 58 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified deep trio metal house units, 1 fallout shelter, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President and founder of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit www.iamartin.org and join.

i-carumba,
Impressive craftmanship. Well thought out and solid building skills. I wish you lived in Iowa so I could introduce you to a member in our Iowa organization; he is a martin house builder and is alway building new and improved housing. Some people get in to the hobby for the pleasure of building the housing. Anyway, great work and keep building; your martins will love you for your efforts.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Fuzzmeister
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:02 pm
Location: Saskatchewan Canada

I carumba your sparrow trap looks impressive! Where did you get the plans from to build it? I need one we have a very high population of sparrows and I need to build a trap. What part of Sask are you from? I’m in southern sask as well.
FarmerHarv
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:18 pm
Location: West Central Saskatchewan
Martin Colony History: 2018 - First house up in late June, lots of visitors brought over by “Percy”, a very enthusiastic SY male.
2019 - 10 nests, 51 eggs, 41 hatched, 40 fledged.

Yet another Saskatchewanianite on the forum. :grin: Nice houses! Glad they’re working out for you and the martins like them.

If you keep a couple of sparrows in the trap as bait birds I would highly recommend giving them a shelter box to go into. It’ll keep them much more comfortable and increase your chances of trapping even more.

https://www.purplemartin.org/forum/view ... 08#p281208

Best of luck in the upcoming season.
i_carumba
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:27 pm
Location: Southern Saskatchewan, Canada

Fuzzmeister the trap I built is a repeating one that is probably most similar to the DRST trap.
It is the size it is based on what scrap I had in the shop.
The solid board on one side is to keep the neighbor from seeing the birds that are caught in case they are sparrow lovers.
I enjoyed building it but to get everything sized properly and working correct it took a bit of tinkering. Probably would make
more sense to buy one already made from Sparrow Traps dot Net

I kept a female in the trap as a lure for about a month. I trimmed her flight feathers and but a big blue dot on her head with a sharpie pen.
That made it easier to identify the bait bird when I was removing the others. I kept water and some food in there for her. The bait bird almost became a pet by the end! At night I would cover the trap with a thick towel and if raining I would put a wood cover on top.

I used white bread cut into tiny chunks that I left out on the counter to dry for a couple of days after cutting it up. This worked well as bait. I kept the bait tray full and would place a few on the outside landing. These get eaten by sparrows and other birds so you have to renew it a couple times a day.

Some days I caught none, some days 10. I also caught 3 Grackles and one Martin! I was surprised they were able to get in, especially the large Grackles. They were all released with no issues so you do need to be able to monitor the trap for unwanted prisoners. I would remove the captured sparrows in the evening and dispatch.
Fuzzmeister
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:02 pm
Location: Saskatchewan Canada

I carumba
Thanks for the info on the sparrow traps I have to build one or buy one, we have way to many sparrows in our town some body has to do something, they are taking over. I will use your tips when I get a trap.
i_carumba
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:27 pm
Location: Southern Saskatchewan, Canada

That didn't take long! I put the houses up today after work at 6 pm and 2 hrs later there were 3 Martins on one house and one bird on the other. Not sure if they are here to stay or just passing through but it was neat to see them again. I was going to wait until May but glad we put them up early.
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