Around 45 years ago when I was young man my dad put up a Martin house where we lived. He got Martins his first year and we enjoyed them for several more years. I grew up loving these birds, enjoying their chatter, and watching their aerobatics as they chased insects on the wing. This past year my wife and I purchased my parents home. I put up an S and K barn style Martin house and hung 6 Sand K gourds on a rack underneath it. I possibly may have opened my housing too early. I won the battle with the sparrows who were trying to nest in the house. After cleaning out their nests multiple times they finally gave up. Next I had to deal with some tree swallows who were attempting to nest in one of the Gourds. I moved the gourd they were building in about 35 feet from the Martin house and placed it on a shepherds hook. The tree swallows moved in within a day and have raised and fledged one brood and now have laid another. Next I had to deal with some bluebirds who were attempting to build in the house. I placed a bluebird house that my granddaughter made on a T post about 10 feet behind the tree swallows gourd. The bluebirds built a nest within one day of me putting it up! They laid a clutch of eggs who appeared to be just about ready to fledge. For the past six weeks I have seen 3-4 Pairs Of Martin’s checking my housing out. One of them has spent considerable time building a nest in one of the gourds. However, 2 to 3 days will go by and I won’t see any Martin’s. I’ve given up on having any nesting pairs this year, it almost being July 1.
My question is this: I seem to have multiple tree swallows possibly because of my house. I counted no less than 27 tree swallows sitting on the powerline that runs through my backyard. I assume some of these could be the five that fledged from the gourd that I hung . I don’t mind these birds, and enjoy watching them almost as much as purple martins. I’ve closed down all but three compartments on the house and have closed down three of the remaining gourds. I still have purple martins stopping by every few days or so. Should I close all my housing down to be less attractive to these tree swallows? My fear is that when they return Next year this is where they’ll try to set up shop. I don’t want to run them off entirely, I just don’t want to hurt my chances or increase my difficulty attempting to get nesting Martin’s next year.Any advice would be appreciated.
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