Can't believe it, but I have one hanging around

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Ryan
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:19 pm
Location: Eganville, Ontario
Martin Colony History: Visitors are rare. Three SY males seen in 10 years.

Heres the photo I got the other day when installed the oyster feeder and he landed back on the rack as I was cranking it up. Closest I've ever been to one, and just used my phone.


Image
Home site: 12 cedar chalets - Plus two satellite sites which are also empty.
2010- 1 SY male on and off for a couple weeks
2011- 0 visits
2012- 0 visits
2013- 0 visits
2014- 1 SY male stopped in here and there for two weeks.
2015- 0 visits
2016- 0 visits
2017- 0 visits
2018- 0 visits
2019- Break-through year. Had a SY Male stop in on June 7th and stay all day, every day until end of June and built a nest. Hoping he returns in 2020 because I'm getting tired of updating this list.
Matt F.
Posts: 3896
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

Great photo Ryan!
I can only imagine how excited you must be!
Keep the updates coming.
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.

Your description of your martin using the mirrors put a smile on my face. My founding female, yes I had a female before a male, also loved the mirror on my house and choose a hole where she could go out every morning and look at herself in the mirror. I still have the mirrors on my house 5 seasons later. Because she lost her mate this last winter, she has now been pulled to a different hole. I wouldn't change a thing right now. All you need is a good south wind to blow up a female and you have a start.
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.
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2939
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Is he still hanging around?
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.
Ryan
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:19 pm
Location: Eganville, Ontario
Martin Colony History: Visitors are rare. Three SY males seen in 10 years.

Yes, still there all day every day. He was into nest building mode for a few days and now seems to fly around more, singing occasionally. I'm guessing finding the right compartment was first priority, then building a nest and now he seems to be flying high and making some vocalizations more throughout the day, looking to call in someone to show the nest off too.

I got some close pictures of him, he's very calm and tame. I took a look inside at his house as well. Wasn't sure I'd ever see a nest on top of my pine needles. Looks good.


Image

Image

Image

Image
Last edited by Ryan on Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Home site: 12 cedar chalets - Plus two satellite sites which are also empty.
2010- 1 SY male on and off for a couple weeks
2011- 0 visits
2012- 0 visits
2013- 0 visits
2014- 1 SY male stopped in here and there for two weeks.
2015- 0 visits
2016- 0 visits
2017- 0 visits
2018- 0 visits
2019- Break-through year. Had a SY Male stop in on June 7th and stay all day, every day until end of June and built a nest. Hoping he returns in 2020 because I'm getting tired of updating this list.
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2939
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

That's a great sign. I am not sure what timelines are like that far north so I am not sure what this year could bring. Hoping he can survive the migration and come back next year. As an ASY, if there are any females in the area he will get one to stay, hopefully more....
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.
white-out
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:21 am
Location: ohio

Really like this thread and rooting for your success! Great pics and a beautiful pole of houses. Not sure what or why but, It makes me feel a touch sad? I've read this thread to my wife and stated after "I hope he gets a colony even before I do". Have I gone nuts?

P.S. tie your shoes...lol
Andrew Smith
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:11 am
Location: Burford, Ontario, Canada
Martin Colony History: 2019 - Hundreds of fly-bys August and September
2020- Visitors in April and June

Congratulations Ryan. I think I speak for everyone on this site when I say we've all got our fingers crossed! I am going to play the dawn song as soon as I get back from Toronto. Still am holding on to a bit of hope that I can lure a bird to my place this year. Keep us posted on your situation. Again, best of luck!!!!
2019 - Set up T14 Multiple flyovers during migration in August
2020 - ASY male visit in April , SY male visits in June
gotham
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:36 am
Location: Wellington, On, Canada (our summer place)
Martin Colony History: -Wife's family martin house shore Lake Ontario since 1967.
-2017 martin house taken over by starlings.
-2018 did research and purchased new martin house -Lonestar Alamo aluminum 14 compartment with perching rods and nest trays.
-2019 opened new martin house but frustrating season long battle with wily HOSPs (see posts) and martin visitors but no settlers.
-2020 Covid-19-honored request of locals that seasonal home owners stay away and only reached summer home too late to attempt to start colony. Aiming with determination and hope for next year.

Agree with everyone that this is a heartwarming and inspiring story. A really good feeling comes from seeing that your remarkable dedication and perseverance is being rewarded. Like everyone who has been following your story I hope your guy can get a colony started-as people have said, hopefully this year but, if not, then next. I second what others have said re the excellence of all your photos-they help us all feel part of your experience.
I plan to continue to follow your posts and root, along with you, for your continued success!

Gotham
gotham
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:36 am
Location: Wellington, On, Canada (our summer place)
Martin Colony History: -Wife's family martin house shore Lake Ontario since 1967.
-2017 martin house taken over by starlings.
-2018 did research and purchased new martin house -Lonestar Alamo aluminum 14 compartment with perching rods and nest trays.
-2019 opened new martin house but frustrating season long battle with wily HOSPs (see posts) and martin visitors but no settlers.
-2020 Covid-19-honored request of locals that seasonal home owners stay away and only reached summer home too late to attempt to start colony. Aiming with determination and hope for next year.

Hi Ryan,

Any updates to report?

Gotham
Ryan
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:19 pm
Location: Eganville, Ontario
Martin Colony History: Visitors are rare. Three SY males seen in 10 years.

I think he's pretty much taken off.

Late last week his flights got longer with more time away from housing. I took that as a good thing because where Martin's scarce like up here, I think a single bird will have to look further away.

By last weekend he was only seen once or twice in the mornings. I didn't see him at all this week so he's probably hanging out at a colony somewhere I'd guess. Some experienced landlords may know better. And I only check in from time to time so no one watches for most of the day so he could be checking in.

Still pretty happy that he was here everyday for over three weeks, so hopeful for next year. What a long wait that is though, about 10 months ha.
Home site: 12 cedar chalets - Plus two satellite sites which are also empty.
2010- 1 SY male on and off for a couple weeks
2011- 0 visits
2012- 0 visits
2013- 0 visits
2014- 1 SY male stopped in here and there for two weeks.
2015- 0 visits
2016- 0 visits
2017- 0 visits
2018- 0 visits
2019- Break-through year. Had a SY Male stop in on June 7th and stay all day, every day until end of June and built a nest. Hoping he returns in 2020 because I'm getting tired of updating this list.
randyM
Posts: 101
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:30 pm
Location: Long Lake SD
Martin Colony History: 2006 - SY pair, unsuccessful nest attempt, 3 houses = 52 cavities

2010 - ASYM + SYF pair - male disappeared after storm, female fledged all 4 young.

2015 - Lone SYM stayed month of June...added 8 gourds = 60 cavities

2016 - 1 nesting pair (ASYM + SYF) 2/3 eggs hatched 2 young fledged.

2017 - 4 nesting pairs, 16/17 eggs hatched, 16 fledged, 16 banded - 2 banded SY returned in 2018 (12.5%), added housing: 11 houses w/gourds, 4 gourd poles = 376 cavities

2018 - 10 nesting pairs, 46/52 eggs hatched, 45 fledged, 29 banded - 3 banded SY returned in 2019 (10.3%)

2019 - 32 nesting pairs, 145/160 eggs hatched, 139 fledged - 87 banded - 12 banded SY returned in 2020 (13.8%).

2020 - 35 nesting pairs, 180/199 eggs hatched, 178 fledged - 150 banded.

Your SYM is behaving the same as the one that started my colony. He was at my site alone for most of June then left in early July, not to be seen again at my place for a long 10 months until the following May as a male in full adult plumage. He found a mate that next year, successfully nested, fledged their young, and the rest is history. After my lone SYM left that July, I kept my martin decoys up and played the dawn song or daytime chatter CD each day through early September. I attracted up to 7 migrating martins on at least 6 different occasions during fall migration and perhaps one of those young of the year was the female that came back as a SY bird and nested with my returning male to get my colony started. I would suggest you keep your decoys up and play your martin CDs as often as you can through at least Labor Day...it sure can't hurt anything. We're all keeping our fingers crossed for the start of your nesting colony next year!
gotham
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:36 am
Location: Wellington, On, Canada (our summer place)
Martin Colony History: -Wife's family martin house shore Lake Ontario since 1967.
-2017 martin house taken over by starlings.
-2018 did research and purchased new martin house -Lonestar Alamo aluminum 14 compartment with perching rods and nest trays.
-2019 opened new martin house but frustrating season long battle with wily HOSPs (see posts) and martin visitors but no settlers.
-2020 Covid-19-honored request of locals that seasonal home owners stay away and only reached summer home too late to attempt to start colony. Aiming with determination and hope for next year.

Hi Ryan,

I second Randy's good wishes for your success next year, with your guy returning as an ASY, accompanied this time by a mate!

Randy's similar, and ultimately successful, experience is certainly cause for optimism.

I will definitely be on the lookout for your postings next season as I am sure will many others.

I was interested, too, in Randy's account of having left his house up until September after his lone Sy left that first season. In doing so he attracted a number of martins on their migration back south who thus became familiar with his location, suggesting the possibility that one of these may have been the female who paired with his returning male to get his now very successful colony started.

This adds to the similar advice I have received and plan to follow. My hope, too, is that the more martins that are aware of the presence of our house the greater the chance of having at least one returning pair become tenants next year.

Gotham
Ryan
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:19 pm
Location: Eganville, Ontario
Martin Colony History: Visitors are rare. Three SY males seen in 10 years.

Thanks everyone for the kind words. It's been nice to actually see a martin up close after all of these years. I'll be hoping for a return next spring. Is a third year bird pretty late coming back? Let's say he first showed up this year on June 7th, would you expect it back around the same time or a week or two sooner? Curious how the younger birds return schedule works.

randyM: Yes, I read your past story. It's funny when struggling to start a colony, how one can find motivation from others stories. I've been around for a lot of long waits for members to get martins. Yourself, cabin man, taxidermy lady, Doug in PA, Daryl in MN and Gobbler T. I read 'em all and can find similarities in the stories. If anything, it gives one hope. I'm hoping some day someone can find my old posts and say, damn it happened for him, I have a chance too.

Thanks for the help with your story. It is quite similar. Hoping for a similar ending to it.


I'll play the dawnsong into September. I have the chatter CD going now. I bought it 10 years ago but never used it. I kind of like the dawnsong better so may switch back to that in a week or so for the summer migration. I went to the closest colony that's actually in another province, and saw the older guy who has it on the weekend. He has at least 6 pairs feeding babies so he's kind of stabilized his numbers after a nose dive over the last 5 years.

Other good news is the huge colony in Ottawa that's about 70 miles from me is up to 90 pair. That's the highest total in probably 14 years, so that area has been on a climb the last few years. It's been years of decline in this area, so that slight rise will hopefully help.
white-out wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:59 am
P.S. tie your shoes...lol
I noticed that after I took the picture, ha.
Home site: 12 cedar chalets - Plus two satellite sites which are also empty.
2010- 1 SY male on and off for a couple weeks
2011- 0 visits
2012- 0 visits
2013- 0 visits
2014- 1 SY male stopped in here and there for two weeks.
2015- 0 visits
2016- 0 visits
2017- 0 visits
2018- 0 visits
2019- Break-through year. Had a SY Male stop in on June 7th and stay all day, every day until end of June and built a nest. Hoping he returns in 2020 because I'm getting tired of updating this list.
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.

As the martins age, they do tend to arrive earlier in the season. I would think a third year bird would likely show up in May at your location. Probably not early May, more like May 15th to the end of May. Hope he comes back for you.
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.
gotham
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:36 am
Location: Wellington, On, Canada (our summer place)
Martin Colony History: -Wife's family martin house shore Lake Ontario since 1967.
-2017 martin house taken over by starlings.
-2018 did research and purchased new martin house -Lonestar Alamo aluminum 14 compartment with perching rods and nest trays.
-2019 opened new martin house but frustrating season long battle with wily HOSPs (see posts) and martin visitors but no settlers.
-2020 Covid-19-honored request of locals that seasonal home owners stay away and only reached summer home too late to attempt to start colony. Aiming with determination and hope for next year.

Just read your thread again, Ryan.

How did you upload such large photos with such apparently high resolution?

Gotham
Ryan
Posts: 281
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:19 pm
Location: Eganville, Ontario
Martin Colony History: Visitors are rare. Three SY males seen in 10 years.

Archer wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:25 am
As the martins age, they do tend to arrive earlier in the season. I would think a third year bird would likely show up in May at your location. Probably not early May, more like May 15th to the end of May. Hope he comes back for you.

Well, it's been a long 10 months and I will say I'm getting into nail biting territory now. Still no sign of any martin, and I'm really only looking for my SY male from last year in his new dark purple wardrobe.

Damn, this actually is suspenseful. Its certainly not the spring I was hoping to have, needing a safe return from one single bird. Hoping he didnt get caught in the bad weather but I think a lot of east migration seems delayed. After the disastrous early may weather, we have had great weather the last week but still no great south wind days.

I talked to the older guy with a dwindling colony 30 miles away from me and he said the Martins were late this year, first showing April 29th. Soooooo, I still have time but the clock is ticking. Hope he survived.

I'd say I'm down to about 10 realistic days here before hope starts to fade.

What a crazy hobby. Year 10, still in suspense.
Home site: 12 cedar chalets - Plus two satellite sites which are also empty.
2010- 1 SY male on and off for a couple weeks
2011- 0 visits
2012- 0 visits
2013- 0 visits
2014- 1 SY male stopped in here and there for two weeks.
2015- 0 visits
2016- 0 visits
2017- 0 visits
2018- 0 visits
2019- Break-through year. Had a SY Male stop in on June 7th and stay all day, every day until end of June and built a nest. Hoping he returns in 2020 because I'm getting tired of updating this list.
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1483
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.

Ryan,
I read through your 2019 posts including pictures. Your SY Male was very impressive.
I hope he survives the migration and he returns as an ASY male this year. Your story is one of perseverance and dedication to re-establish purple martins in your area of Ontario.
Mark.
Firm believer in HOSP/EUST Control, Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Ryan, I hope he makes it back.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1483
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.

Ryan,
I have always presumed that the female martin gathers the green leaves in anticipation of laying her eggs.
The pictures of your 2019 SY Male Martin show that he not only built a great nest with sticks and even a small dab of mud but he also brought green leaves into the nest. He was ready to impress a female martin.

Your great woodworking skills reminds me of my Great Grandfather who immigrated to Texas in 1901. He was a carpenter and woodworker in the old country and used those skills successfully to build a model farm of that day and time. He saw the martin houses built by German and Czech immigrants in central Texas and built his own version.
As an older man he spoke with my Father and related that his white martin house was full of martins. He thought his success was due to making the perfect size hole for the martins with one of his carpenter's hand drill auger bits. He showed that auger bit to my Father but unfortunately my Father was too young to remember the size and that bit was lost many years ago.
Who knows, maybe his martin house had bigger compartments along with the size of the round entrance hole. European Starlings were not seen by my Father in his south Texas colony before the 1970s. So round holes in the early 1900s were not a problem without EUST.
Mark.
Firm believer in HOSP/EUST Control, Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.
Post Reply