Time to expand?

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GFB
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:05 pm
Location: Ontario NY
Martin Colony History: I Started my first colony with my father in the late 1960's. Started building custom vinyl Martin houses last year 2018 and was successful with 10 birds fledged and it looks like several dozen birds are hanging around. Time to expand.
2018: 1 T-14 and 6 gourds. Fledged 10
2019: 2 T-14's and 6 gourds. Fledged 70

I have one T14's a half of a T14 with 6 gourds underneath with a total of 28 cavities with 15 active nests. I started with 74 hatchlings and due to a HOSP I'm down to 68. The closest colony I know of is around 5 miles away. I'm thinking of all the the birds I could have next year with all the new SY birds with limited places to nest in this area. Would it be a good idea to add another house or possibly a rack of 12 gourds or do I have enough cavities for next year?
P.S. I forgot to mention I think this area could sustain more birds due to a large number of ponds and lakes in the area that produce a good number of insects for food. Any advice would be appreciated.
ToyinPA
Posts: 2091
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:07 pm
Location: PA/Avis
Martin Colony History: The 1972 St. Agnes flood wiped out all the Martins in my area. One day, in 1997-98, 5 or 6 Martins landed on the power wires crossing my back yard. I had no house for them. They kept coming back day after day. We got a martin house a few weeks later & they have been coming back every year since. I average 12-15 pair per year.

You still have half your housing to fill up yet. Only about 40% of fledged chicks survive migration & return as SY's. Not all will return to your site. You also need to consider how many pair you can properly care for now & in the future. Nest changes, supplemental feeding, etc., all take time & funds.

Toy in PA
PMCA Member
GFB
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:05 pm
Location: Ontario NY
Martin Colony History: I Started my first colony with my father in the late 1960's. Started building custom vinyl Martin houses last year 2018 and was successful with 10 birds fledged and it looks like several dozen birds are hanging around. Time to expand.
2018: 1 T-14 and 6 gourds. Fledged 10
2019: 2 T-14's and 6 gourds. Fledged 70

ToyinPA wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:27 pm
You still have half your housing to fill up yet. Only about 40% of fledged chicks survive migration & return as SY's. Not all will return to your site. You also need to consider how many pair you can properly care for now & in the future. Nest changes, supplemental feeding, etc., all take time & funds.

Toy in PA

Thanks Toy, I agree. I could always put the other two sides on the half T14 if the number of birds in the spring looks good. I just retired this year so I should have a more time taking care of them. I saved a chick last week that was only a few days old that swallowed a long blade of grass, being blind it must have touched its face and thought it was being fed by its parents, so I'm a firm believer of nest checks. Thanks again.
Guy
sugarcreek
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:43 am
Location: Sugarcreek, Ohio
Martin Colony History: 2016 First Yr.

Toy makes a very good point, the idea of more housing is always fun, but make sure you can care for what you put up....
We started with 14 openings and we are up to 108 openings now
We have increased 20-25 pr. per yr over the last 3-4 yrs. and each yr i added another house but we are now done with more housing as 108 openings is what i feel comfortable in keeping under control....
So it all depends on how you want to handle your increase because normally another house does increase your amount of Martins
2016 - 1st Yr. 14 Compartments 4 Active Nests 9 fledged, 2.25 Fledged per Active Nest
2017 - 2nd Yr. 36 Compartments 18 Active Nests 65 Fledged, 3.61 Fledged per Active Nest
2018 - 3rd Yr. 54 Compartments 43 Active Nests 169 Fledged, 3.93 Fledged per Active Nest
2019 - 4th Yr. 108 Compartments 67 Active Nests 209 Fledged, 3.12 Fledged per Active Nest
2020 - 5th Yr. 108 Compartments ?
GFB
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:05 pm
Location: Ontario NY
Martin Colony History: I Started my first colony with my father in the late 1960's. Started building custom vinyl Martin houses last year 2018 and was successful with 10 birds fledged and it looks like several dozen birds are hanging around. Time to expand.
2018: 1 T-14 and 6 gourds. Fledged 10
2019: 2 T-14's and 6 gourds. Fledged 70

Sugarcreek, I see your numbers and I believe I could have a similar amount of birds if I were to put up another house. I think 40 to 50 compartments would be manageable. I wanted to put up another pole for a feeder tray anyway so why not put a house on it? The most difficult time is early spring knocking off the starlings. I just have to learn to shoot them off the perches and not the houses because noticed a lot of extra ventilation in my houses.
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