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

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Mark I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a female get a green leaf.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 162 plastic gourds with tunnels, all with Conley II entrances with the Lewis modification. I have 24 Supergourds and the rest are Troyer Horizontals.
deancamp
Posts: 682
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Ryan, I'm pulling for you. I hope he makes it back in full purple color and gets your colony up and running with a mate.
Jeff Dean
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1497
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.

Brad,
I have never paid attention to who pulls the green leaves from the top of trees. I assumed wrong because you have seen that it is only the males who pull green leaves.
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.
Matt F.
Posts: 3924
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

Hi Mark,
You didn't assume wrong.
See this article from Kathy Freeze - which includes a photo of an ASY female gathering green leaves, and mentions both males and females performing this in her writeup.
This is another example of Martin behavior at one colony, not being the same as their behavior at another colony.
https://www.purplemartin.org/blog/2017/ ... ek-inside/
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

Good morning. Before I ask for some advice I just wanted to let Ryan know I've got my fingers crossed for the safe arrival of your ASY male. Hopefully he shows up soon with a female companion. My situation so far this year... I have been playing the dawn song since early April. I did get a ASY male visit once randomly on April 19th. Then yesterday another visit, not sure if it was a SY male or female. Both birds made short appearances and I have not seen them again. First question is about the volume of playing the dawn song. I play my power horn very loud and point it east, it's loud enough to nearly deafened me if I get too close. Is this too loud? Yesterday the martin that stopped nearly landed on the speaker, but then took off making a serious racket of vocals. This was around 6:30pm and like I said flew around one more time and took off without returning. Second question is having a bird feeder near a martin pole okay. It's pretty busy with all types of birds, I am wondering if this may be keeping any potential residents away? Thanks.
Last edited by Andrew Smith on Fri May 29, 2020 2:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
2019 - Set up T14 Multiple flyovers during migration in August
2020 - ASY male visit in April , SY male visits in June
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

Here are few pictures to help. First one is of the ASY male from April. The second one shows my new location of the T14 and bird feeder. The distance between the two is about 55 feet.
Attachments
IMG_20200528_103635_01.jpg
(204.47 KiB) Not downloaded yet
received_576568586308994.jpeg
(181.52 KiB) Not downloaded yet
2019 - Set up T14 Multiple flyovers during migration in August
2020 - ASY male visit in April , SY male visits in June
Ryan
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:19 pm
Location: Eganville, Ontario
Martin Colony History: Visitors are rare. On the northern edge of the martins range.

Uh, still waiting here. It's painful, I will say. I'm starting to not like my odds as the SY showed up here June 7th last year. I really thought he would be back by now if he survived the season.

There's some hope reading a couple threads lately about how late migration is and egg laying and all things this year seems late, so hoping that's the case....but I must say the days start ticking away and so do my chances.

This is one tough hobby.


Andrew Smith wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 9:04 am
Good morning. Before I ask for some advice I just wanted to let Ryan know I've got my fingers crossed for the safe arrival of your ASY male. Hopefully he shows up soon with a female companion. My situation so far this year... I have been playing the dawn song since early April. I did get a ASY male visit once randomly on April 19th. Then yesterday another visit, not sure if it was a SY male or female. Both birds made short appearances and I have not seen them again. First question is about the volume of playing the dawn song. I play my power horn very loud and point it east, it's loud enough to nearly deafened me if I get too close. Is this too loud? Yesterday the martin that stopped nearly landed on the speaker, but then took off making a serious racket of vocals. This was around 6:30pm and like I said flew around one more time and took off without returning. Second question is having a bird feeder near a martin pole okay. It's pretty busy with all types of birds, I am wondering if this may be keeping any potential residents away? Thanks.
Hey congrats on the two visits. One year I played the dawn sing really loud here. I never saw a martin. I play it much lower now. Still loud as I need to travel lots of miles, but not that much louder than an actual bird. I certainly do believe too loud of a dawnsong audio clip will spook them. Learned that the hard way. Good luck, hope you see a few more.
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 by over 2 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.
2020 - The male didn't return. I did see an SY male do a few flyovers.
white-out
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:21 am
Location: ohio

Well Ryan, I've been thinking of you and hope they show up........If they do, I bet your feet won't touch the ground for weeks! Good luck!
QamarCowger
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri May 22, 2020 8:08 pm
Location: Hallowell, Maine

Hi Ryan. Hats off to your patience man. I loved reading all your post it's quite a story. I am a newbie, started this May I also play dawn song but no visitors yet 🙁. I have nice open big wide field 1 mile from a small pond I hope this won't be any problem?

I am from Hallowell, Maine. I think we both are on the same page cause I am also up north and only a few colonies here in Maine. Three colonies up north from me, The closest colony is 12 miles away and the two others are 34 miles and 53 miles straight. I have heard there is another colony down south in Keñnebunk, Maine but I am not sure about it.

I hope the wait won't take too long !
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

Any action at your site this year Ryan? Also any idea what the numbers are like for the older fellow with the active colony closest to you?
2019 - Set up T14 Multiple flyovers during migration in August
2020 - ASY male visit in April , SY male visits in June
Ryan
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:19 pm
Location: Eganville, Ontario
Martin Colony History: Visitors are rare. On the northern edge of the martins range.

So the SY from last year isn't back. That one hurt for sure but I guess I'm back to square one. I was so looking forward to seeing an ASY bird, something that I've never seen before at my site, but it's too late in the year and there's no chance of that happening now.

Back looking for SY's to be drawn in, which is exactly what happened June 9th. It was kind of weird, I didn't see the SY male at the housing, but it landed in a dead tree 30 yards from me and starting singing. I was 200 yards from the housing. It flew around a bit but never did see it at housing. I'm not around much so I can't confirm that it didn't check out housing (I'm sure it circled it since the dawnsong is close to it). I did hear it flying overhead later in the day so it stick around for a few hours but haven't seen it since.

I guess a positive is that I did see martins in back to back years for the first time ever, but the sting of not having the adult male return does hurt.
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 by over 2 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.
2020 - The male didn't return. I did see an SY male do a few flyovers.
Ryan
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:19 pm
Location: Eganville, Ontario
Martin Colony History: Visitors are rare. On the northern edge of the martins range.

Andrew Smith wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:34 am
Any action at your site this year Ryan? Also any idea what the numbers are like for the older fellow with the active colony closest to you?
The older guy has about 12 martins back he says. Same as last year. They're in a large house with round holes and small 6x6 compartments and nesting with starlings so there is little hope of growing it. The housing set-up that I built him a couple years ago has had tree swallows in it for two years and no martins. I'm going to talk him into putting my house up very late next year to hopefully get rid of the tree swallows. He's also talking about putting a few SREH plates on his large house, as he knows the damage the starlings can do, but he needs to enlarge rooms and it's a nearly impossible job on a house that doesn't drop and doesn't have doors that open.

It's frustrating to watch, but at least he still has them. Not a lot I can really do. He's skeptical that martins can even fit in the SREH but I've assured him they can. We'll see. He's quite old and no internet so I can only do so much.
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 by over 2 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.
2020 - The male didn't return. I did see an SY male do a few flyovers.
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

Glad to hear you have seen another martin this year. Keep hope, you still have a few weeks. I have had some birds here every day since June 8th. I think it may be the same SY male each time. Shows up every day. Sometime between 7am to 10am. Files around a bit, looks in a few holes in the T14 and repeat. Usually sticks around for 20-30 minutes. Is this a good sign or just random visits? Any thoughts?
2019 - Set up T14 Multiple flyovers during migration in August
2020 - ASY male visit in April , SY male visits in June
gotham
Posts: 88
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,

Read your posts last year and was really rooting for your guy to return as an ASY.

Have been away from the forum for awhile but returned recently and sought out your entries for this year. Very sorry your fellow didn't make it back.

Glad you are going to keep at it and will be following your posts again next year and hoping along with you.

Gotham
Ryan
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:19 pm
Location: Eganville, Ontario
Martin Colony History: Visitors are rare. On the northern edge of the martins range.

So this just happened the other day. An ASY male landed on my housing in the afternoon. I had never seen an adult male in my 11 years trying, so this was unexpected. Old colonies around here have only had their oldest birds back for a week or two, and I've never seen an SY earlier than late May, so this early of a visitor was unexpected.

I chalked it up to a travelling adult heading to it's home site and using my housing as a stop over in the rain. I've had the Dawnsong playing for the last three days. It was rainy and wet so I figured the bird was taking a break. It did seem tame. I didn't want to scare it but wanted to get a picture of it since it's a pretty big deal. Of course, my good camera had two dead batteries so I walked up and took a phone picture. The bird stayed calm.

I stopped by an hour later before leaving for the night, but no sign of anything. I waited in the car a few minutes hoping to catch one last glimpse but nothing. Then I see something peeking out of the entrance hole. It was the ASY male. I have WDC excluders and I don't think there's many of those in the province, especially not around here. I was surprised that he figured it out that quick.

Then I realize that he's in the same arm of the rack that my SY male spent two months in during the 2019 season. My question is this, I didn't see any martins last year other than a couple brief flyovers by an SY male that I don't think even landed on the housing. After locking onto my housing in 2019, I figured that 2019 SY male that's featured earlier in this thread, didn't survive migration of 2020.

This picture and sighting was on Monday. We've had rain and cool clouds for three days now. I haven't seen him Tuesday or today, but this morning I stopped by (I don't live there) and was parked when I heard a faint purple martin. I thought I had hit the wrong button on my auto-play CD player that plays the dawnsong when I went to turn it off Tuesday as to not to spook him. So I go over and check the machine, and it was off. So I don't think I'm losing my mind, but he must have been high up this morning signing. Wish I would have investigated better but I was sure it was my recording when I heard it.

Is there really any chance this could be the SY male from 2019? I find it hard to believe, that it wouldn't visit for a full year, then return a year later, especially after it was glued to my housing in 2019??

Image
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 by over 2 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.
2020 - The male didn't return. I did see an SY male do a few flyovers.
Matt F.
Posts: 3924
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

Ryan this is the most awesome news! I was getting excited reading your post and seeing the photo - I can only imagine how exciting it is for you!
That would be so cool if he is your resident SY from 2019!
Seems even more likely since as you pointed out, he picked up using the WDCs so quickly, which begs the question - where the heck was he for the 2020 season?
avesrun
Posts: 1123
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:10 pm
Location: Iowa/West Des Moines
Martin Colony History: Home Site: 2017- 0
2016 - 1st pair, fledged 5
Satellite Site: 2017 (3rd season)
34 pair
Fledged- 102

Hang in there Ryan it's been a weird season weather-wise this spring in Iowa for sure and migration indeed seems to be lagging. I have observed no sy martins to date.
TimG
PMCA Member
Home Site: 2012-15 visitors
2016 - 1st pair, fledged 5
2017-18 Zero
2019- 3 Successful Pr
2020- 21pr, fledged 76
Satellite Site: 2014 - visitors
2015 - 2 pair fledged 9
2016 - 13 pair fledged 44
2017 - 31 pair fledged 118
2018 - 44 pair 163 fledged
2019- 49 pr 219 fledged
2020- 47 pr 209 fledged
deancamp
Posts: 682
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Very good news Ryan. I am really hoping he stays and finds a mate. Keep us posted.
Jeff Dean
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3158
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Thats awesome and I hope he stays around and attracts some others. As far as your question I would think it is just luck that this martin was on the same part of the housing as the SY 2 years ago. Anything could happen but it seems unlikely an SY would spend the summer, then choose another location the following year, and then come back to you place this year. I guess it's possible he could have found another colony last year that was populated and chose it over yours and is just passing through now. With mother nature you never really know for sure.
2021 Currently 62 nest 138 babies plus 110 eggs (6-317-21) HOSP count-9
2020 42 nest, Fledged 164 HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional lone SY's
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 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair 14 fledged.
Post Reply