tree swallows

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gray fox
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:13 am
Location: Tyrone, PA

tree swallows

Postby gray fox » Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:15 pm

Would you have a better chance of attracting tree swallows if the box was at 10 feet instead of 5 feet?

Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1853
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".

Re: tree swallows

Postby Dave Reynolds » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:37 pm

... Gray fox ... I never had any luck attracting Martins as long as I had Tree Swallows around.. Not until I keep the Tree Swallows away, did I get my first pair.. Other people will tell you that Tree Swallows are great to have, but get your Martins Colony established first and then allow the Tree Swallows to move into housing at least 40 to 50 feet away from your Martin Colony.. Good luck...

Home Site “Little Hocking, Ohio”
2010 / 2018 -- Lots of Visitors
2019 — First pair, 5 Eggs, 5 hatched, 5 fledged. :wink:
2020 — They Showed up on March 28 for another year... :wink:

Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”
2018 -- 15 Pair, 58 Eggs, 38 Hatched and 36 Fledged :wink:
2019 — 26 Pair, 128 Eggs, 99 Hatched and 97 Fledged. :wink:
2020 — They showed up on April 24 for another year... :wink:

PMCA Member

Posts: 99
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:30 pm
Location: Long Lake SD
Martin Colony History: Had 2 wooden and 1 plastic house up since 2004. Added plastic gourds to housing in June of 2015, had SY male stay for 3 weeks. Had lots of late visitors during late fall migration while playing martin chatter CD. Added more decoys and multiple styles of plastic gourds to my spread in worked - 1 pair (ASYM + SYF) fledged both young that hatched!! S & S control done studiously every year.

2017 - 4 nesting pairs, 16/17 eggs hatched and all 16 young banded and fledged. Also had 5 extra SY males and 1 SY female stay during the nesting season.

2018 - 10 nesting pairs (7 ASYM, 3 SYM & 3 ASYF, 7 SYF), 52 eggs, 46 hatched, 45 fledged, 29 banded. Two banded males from 2017 hatch returned home. One successfully nested, the other stayed a few weeks and left.

2019 - 32 nests, 160 eggs - 25 ASYM & 7 SYM. The two males banded in 2017 again returned home now in ASY plumage, and two SY females and one SY male banded in 2018 returned in 2019. 87 HY banded in 2019.

Re: tree swallows

Postby randyM » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:15 am

Gray fox, Dave is correct in that inviting tree swallows to nest on your property prior to martins establishing a colony will make it that much more difficult to establish a martin colony....I learned this the hard way. It took me over a decade to get my martin colony started even though the nesting tree swallows at my site only nested in boxes 5 feet above the ground and never nested in the 12' high martin housing. The TS would just chase away any martins that stopped by for a visit.

If you are just trying to attract swallows and don't intend to attract martins, in my experience tree swallows prefer nest boxes lower than 10 feet above the ground, but will accept higher housing if that is all that is available for them to use.

gray fox
Posts: 114
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:13 am
Location: Tyrone, PA

Re: tree swallows

Postby gray fox » Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:56 am

I had 44 martins fledge at my home site this year. Im in my 3rd year. Maybe thats some of the reason it took me 29 years to get martins. I had tree swallow interference . Now the bluebirds take a box 25 feet from the Martin rack. It seems the tree swallows wont the Martin rack. If they can't have it they don't won't the other bluebird box 10 feet apart. I moved the box about 75 feet to the other side of the garden but they never nested in it. I keep the gourds closed on the Martin rack until martins are supposed to arrive. Tree swallows arrive a little earlier than martins. Thanks for your response and anymore suggestions.

Chris B
Posts: 372
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:10 pm
Location: AL/Toney

Re: tree swallows

Postby Chris B » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:52 am

My tree swallow boxes are about 4'-5' above the ground. The TS compete with the Bluebirds and TS seem to win out. This year the TS fledged and cleared out rather early. Later in the summer I had hundreds of bank swallows hitting the shallow end of my pond in the mornings and evening.

Swallow Hollow
2014 8 gourds, 3 pairs nested. Ended w/ 24 total
2015 24 gourds, 22 nests. Lotsa birds!
2016 24 gourds and good activity.
2017 32 SREH gourds. Great activity.
2018 40 SREH gourds. Good finish despite big storm damage. No more dangling gourds.
2019 56+ SREH gourds, all on 3/8 rods. Birds did very well.

Posts: 2846
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Re: tree swallows

Postby flyin-lowe » Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:22 am

I have never had any problem getting tree swallows to nest. If the house is 15 foot high or 4 foot high. We might have a higher population then you but I have them everywhere. Last year we had one of those portable basketball goals with the large square plastic base laying over in my driveway. There is a hole in it to add sand or water for weight and I had tree swallows going in and out of that hole which was about 18 inches off the ground, sitting on my gravel driveway. I had to close it up.
2020 (HOSP Count 6)
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.

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