New to Martins and Forum....

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

New to Martins and Forum....

Postby T-Bird » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:05 am

Hello to all!

I am new to the world of birds. I recently decided I wanted to put up a nice place for some birds to call home. After speaking with my local bird store, and doing a little research, I have found that there is a little more to it than just planting a pole and slapping a house on top.

I have spent a little time lurking and reading up on many topics that have been discussed here. Thank you to all who have so generously contributed to this wonderful forum.

T-Bird

C.C.Martins
Posts: 788
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA, made adjustments and next year was sucessful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged.
2018-18 pair. 85 fledged.
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020:?
Home colony: 17 natural gourds, one 6 compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony Oso bay preserve: 12 gourds: excluder, troyer horizontal, super gourds with tunnels. 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: ?
PMCA member

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby C.C.Martins » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:23 am

Welcome! It is defenitely an experience being a martin landlord. And yes its a definite science. What sort of housing were you envisioning?
Many many factors involved in choices and placement. Short and sweet; look in your neighborhood and see if there are other houses or gourds offered. May consider something like theirs unless they are substandard. Cant go wrong with gourds, but id highly suggest that whatever you choose has starling resistant entrances. Lots to learn from here, many experienced landlords to help.
Again welcome, the board will heat up soon, as the martins return.
Tom
Tom

2016- two visitors
2017- 5 pair 15 Fledged
2018-18 pairs 85 Fledged
2019-17 pair 81 fledged
2020:

Satellite location: oso bay preserve 12 gourds, modified trio
2019: Visitors
2020: hopeful!!!

T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby T-Bird » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:09 pm

Welcome! It is defenitely an experience being a martin landlord. And yes its a definite science. What sort of housing were you envisioning?
Many many factors involved in choices and placement. Short and sweet; look in your neighborhood and see if there are other houses or gourds offered. May consider something like theirs unless they are substandard. Cant go wrong with gourds, but id highly suggest that whatever you choose has starling resistant entrances. Lots to learn from here, many experienced landlords to help.
Again welcome, the board will heat up soon, as the martins return.
Tom
Hi Tom,

Thanks for the reply!

I went to my local bird store, showed them pictures of my backyard, and after some back and forth with the nice lady who helped me, we decided on a Trendsetter 12 for my housing. I hope I’m not making a big $$$ mistake. I really like the setup, and hopefully it will workout. I’ve been told it has the crescent openings. Hope that is still considered appropriate?

I live in North Texas, and it can get pretty hot here from June thru October. So it will definitely need to be ventilated. I have driven around my neighborhood, and have seen some other types of martin houses that have been up for awhile. One of my main concerns is that I do have some mature trees on the very back edge of my property. I showed pics of this to the lady at the bird store. She said that I had enough open area to allow the Martins to swoop in and that it shouldn’t be a problem. But the more I read, the more concerned I become.

Do you have any experience with a setup like this?

Thank you for any guidance you can provide! I like the folks at the store, but understand they are there to sell me something!

T-Bird

C.C.Martins
Posts: 788
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA, made adjustments and next year was sucessful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged.
2018-18 pair. 85 fledged.
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020:?
Home colony: 17 natural gourds, one 6 compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony Oso bay preserve: 12 gourds: excluder, troyer horizontal, super gourds with tunnels. 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: ?
PMCA member

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby C.C.Martins » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:42 pm

I too was leery of the store recomendation but who knows sounds like they knew enough to mention open flyways. If you can trim trees please do so, although southern martins seem more forgiving of trees. My set up is fairly close to a tree and martins dont mind but i cut what i can. Trendsetter is Very good, cescents better and coupled with ventilation all contribute to success.
Pick the most open spot you can.
One more thoght for you, can you enlarge the compartments? Not familiar with trendsetters but probable come standard 6x6 rooms, martins are big birds and find roomier compartments attractive...its safer too.
Id also think about a predator guard, when we believe nothing can happen, it does and once threatened to the point they wont return, they are tough to attract back. Effective guards are inexpensive.
Texas is good for martins. I hope this year will be sucessful for you!
Tom

2016- two visitors
2017- 5 pair 15 Fledged
2018-18 pairs 85 Fledged
2019-17 pair 81 fledged
2020:

Satellite location: oso bay preserve 12 gourds, modified trio
2019: Visitors
2020: hopeful!!!

T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby T-Bird » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:09 pm

I too was leery of the store recomendation but who knows sounds like they knew enough to mention open flyways. If you can trim trees please do so, although southern martins seem more forgiving of trees. My set up is fairly close to a tree and martins dont mind but i cut what i can. Trendsetter is Very good, cescents better and coupled with ventilation all contribute to success.
Pick the most open spot you can.
One more thoght for you, can you enlarge the compartments? Not familiar with trendsetters but probable come standard 6x6 rooms, martins are big birds and find roomier compartments attractive...its safer too.
Id also think about a predator guard, when we believe nothing can happen, it does and once threatened to the point they wont return, they are tough to attract back. Effective guards are inexpensive.
Texas is good for martins. I hope this year will be sucessful for you!
The compartments are 6x11. And when the Martin enters, they have to turn 90 degrees left or right. Do you recommend a certain predator guard ? My house will be on a 3” square 14’ aluminum pole.


Image

C.C.Martins
Posts: 788
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA, made adjustments and next year was sucessful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged.
2018-18 pair. 85 fledged.
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020:?
Home colony: 17 natural gourds, one 6 compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony Oso bay preserve: 12 gourds: excluder, troyer horizontal, super gourds with tunnels. 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: ?
PMCA member

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby C.C.Martins » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:24 pm

Its a beautiful house, and compartements are perfect
https://www.purplemartin.org/shop/produ ... uare-pole/.
Id recomend this one, its for a 2 inch square pole, if your pole is 3 inches tbey sell them as well. You can find them under "shop" and "predator guards."
Ihave them, makes life easier and piece of mind.
Tom

2016- two visitors
2017- 5 pair 15 Fledged
2018-18 pairs 85 Fledged
2019-17 pair 81 fledged
2020:

Satellite location: oso bay preserve 12 gourds, modified trio
2019: Visitors
2020: hopeful!!!

brent
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby brent » Mon Dec 30, 2019 7:19 pm

Welcome!! I have two Trendsetters and each have 8 compartments. They're on a 3x3 poles. I bought the pole guards at the PMCA shop. Good luck and welcome, again!

Brent

T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby T-Bird » Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:42 pm

Welcome!! I have two Trendsetters and each have 8 compartments. They're on a 3x3 poles. I bought the pole guards at the PMCA shop. Good luck and welcome, again!

Brent
Hi Brent,

Thanks for the warm welcome!

Are you happy with your Trendsetters? I am a little nervous about my purchase. Are you having success attracting our purple friends? I will definitely be investing in a pole guard.

flyin-lowe
Posts: 2721
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby flyin-lowe » Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:07 pm

Welcome to the forum.

Do you happen to have any overhead pictures of your property, or maybe you could screenshot one from Google Earth. We will be able to help you locate the best spot in your yard for your housing. "Typically" the southern states have higher populations and colonies can be established pretty quickly. If you have some open space, and if there are any colonies nearby I bet you will get some visitors quickly.
2020 (HOSP Count 2)
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.

Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1832
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: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby Dave Reynolds » Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:54 pm

.... T-Bird ,,,, Welcome to the Forum,, Great to have you here with us... Keep asking questions, there are a lot of good people here that can answer any question about Martins that you have.. Hope you have great 2020 season.. Good Luck..

Dave
Home Site “Little Hocking, Ohio”
2010 / 2018 -- Lots of Visitors
2019 — First pair, 5 Eggs, 5 hatched, 5 fledged. :wink:
2020 — They are on the way. :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 are on the way. :wink:

PMCA Member

C.C.Martins
Posts: 788
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA, made adjustments and next year was sucessful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged.
2018-18 pair. 85 fledged.
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020:?
Home colony: 17 natural gourds, one 6 compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony Oso bay preserve: 12 gourds: excluder, troyer horizontal, super gourds with tunnels. 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: ?
PMCA member

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby C.C.Martins » Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:18 am

T-bird,
Happy New year, wish this season is successful for you in attracting that first group. They will be here very soon.
Please see what you can do about sending a picture of your site as flyin-lowe suggests, you'll get good suggestions on placement. If the back is restricted maybe the front...this year Im putting up 8 gourds in the front. Neighbors will love me.

Don't worry too much about your purchase, you got a top of the line system. Many of us here started out with what amounts to yard art, (junk). get some help in placement, dig your hole deep, "bell" it out at the bottom and use plenty of cement. The real nervousness comes when the Martins show up at your site, look around then leave for a bit, come back and leave again, come back, try entrances, leave AGAIN. That is nerve wracking!

When your house is ready to put up, smear a little mud around the entrances and put in pine needles for pre nests. mud makes it look used, (yeah, dirties up the new house but...) pre nests gives the martins a head start, keeps them off the ground where they can be vulnerable to attack and conserves their energy for egg laying and finding food.
You have things in place, just time to pick that spot.
Tom
Tom

2016- two visitors
2017- 5 pair 15 Fledged
2018-18 pairs 85 Fledged
2019-17 pair 81 fledged
2020:

Satellite location: oso bay preserve 12 gourds, modified trio
2019: Visitors
2020: hopeful!!!

T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby T-Bird » Wed Jan 01, 2020 2:39 pm

Welcome to the forum.

Do you happen to have any overhead pictures of your property, or maybe you could screenshot one from Google Earth. We will be able to help you locate the best spot in your yard for your housing. "Typically" the southern states have higher populations and colonies can be established pretty quickly. If you have some open space, and if there are any colonies nearby I bet you will get some visitors quickly.
Hello flyin-lowe ! Here are a few pics of my yard.

Image

Image

https://imgur.com/gallery/HpYUXst
Last edited by T-Bird on Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby T-Bird » Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:02 pm

.... T-Bird ,,,, Welcome to the Forum,, Great to have you here with us... Keep asking questions, there are a lot of good people here that can answer any question about Martins that you have.. Hope you have great 2020 season.. Good Luck..

Dave
Thank you Dave! Good to be here! Here’s to a great 2020!

T-Bird

T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby T-Bird » Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:25 pm

T-bird,
Happy New year, wish this season is successful for you in attracting that first group. They will be here very soon.
Please see what you can do about sending a picture of your site as flyin-lowe suggests, you'll get good suggestions on placement. If the back is restricted maybe the front...this year Im putting up 8 gourds in the front. Neighbors will love me.

Don't worry too much about your purchase, you got a top of the line system. Many of us here started out with what amounts to yard art, (junk). get some help in placement, dig your hole deep, "bell" it out at the bottom and use plenty of cement. The real nervousness comes when the Martins show up at your site, look around then leave for a bit, come back and leave again, come back, try entrances, leave AGAIN. That is nerve wracking!

When your house is ready to put up, smear a little mud around the entrances and put in pine needles for pre nests. mud makes it look used, (yeah, dirties up the new house but...) pre nests gives the martins a head start, keeps them off the ground where they can be vulnerable to attack and conserves their energy for egg laying and finding food.
You have things in place, just time to pick that spot.
Tom
Happy New Year!

I have added some pics and a link to some others. We added a pool in the upper part of our yard, and the pics shown don’t reflect that. But the link has newer pics in it.

We live in an HOA, so I don’t think I’m allowed to have a house or gourds in the front. But congrats on yours! I would like to add some to the bottom of my trendsetter.

This site is great! Thanks to you and everyone else who has given me help and advice.

C.C.Martins
Posts: 788
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA, made adjustments and next year was sucessful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged.
2018-18 pair. 85 fledged.
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020:?
Home colony: 17 natural gourds, one 6 compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony Oso bay preserve: 12 gourds: excluder, troyer horizontal, super gourds with tunnels. 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: ?
PMCA member

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby C.C.Martins » Wed Jan 01, 2020 4:39 pm

I think your place is fantastic for Martins. Id not worry too much, the martins like human activity near by, maybe 10 feet from the wall in the lower grassy area?
Tom

2016- two visitors
2017- 5 pair 15 Fledged
2018-18 pairs 85 Fledged
2019-17 pair 81 fledged
2020:

Satellite location: oso bay preserve 12 gourds, modified trio
2019: Visitors
2020: hopeful!!!

mjfog
Posts: 203
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:40 pm
Location: Palm City, FL
Martin Colony History: 2018 will be my first try. 6 S&K B09s. 29 eggs - 8 fledged
2019 - 12 Troyer Horizontals with tunnels, 6 S&K B09s and 12 B011s all with tunnels. 43 eggs - 36 fledged

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby mjfog » Wed Jan 01, 2020 6:13 pm

T bird - I agree with cc martin. Place your colony on the lower grassy area as close as you like to the wall. You want to keep your colony 50-60 feet from the edge of tree canopy and it appears you have plenty of room to do that. I started doing this landlord thing with a single 6 gourd colony just two years ago. I'm now up the 3 colonies and 54 gourds. Think about where you place your first colony in case you get "hooked" and want to expand. Maybe middle of the wall with the first allowing one to each side later (if you get hooked).

Happy New Year! Mike

kim w.
Posts: 86
Joined: Mon May 05, 2014 6:43 pm
Location: IN/Goshen

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby kim w. » Wed Jan 01, 2020 6:40 pm

T-Bird welcome
You can't go wrong with a Trendsetter. Top quality! Just try to match whatever is in your area.
Kim W.

brent
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby brent » Wed Jan 01, 2020 6:48 pm

T-Bird,

I've had great success with my Trendsetters. Had a house full the first year so I added another 8 compartment house last year. Both were full. No problem attracting the martins. Good luck and if you need any help this is the place to find it. This forum has been a great help for me many times. Opened up a couple of compartments today and added pine needles to the nest trays. I am so exited. Keeping my eyes to the sky! Good luck everyone and Happy New Year!

Brent

T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby T-Bird » Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:23 pm

T bird - I agree with cc martin. Place your colony on the lower grassy area as close as you like to the wall. You want to keep your colony 50-60 feet from the edge of tree canopy and it appears you have plenty of room to do that. I started doing this landlord thing with a single 6 gourd colony just two years ago. I'm now up the 3 colonies and 54 gourds. Think about where you place your first colony in case you get "hooked" and want to expand. Maybe middle of the wall with the first allowing one to each side later (if you get hooked).

Happy New Year! Mike
Hi Mike,
Happy New Year to you as well!
I agree with you and cc as well. My plan is to place the trendsetter a few feet off the retaining wall about midway down. I actually have another Martin house that I purchased last year that I never put up. I didn’t know it was for martins at the time, but have since educated myself a little bit about it. It’s a little different set up and not nearly as functional as the Trendsetter. Would that be too much to start with? 2 different houses? I still need to figure out how I would mount it, as it didn’t come with a pole. I will include a picture of it.

T-Bird

Image

T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby T-Bird » Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:28 pm

T-Bird welcome
You can't go wrong with a Trendsetter. Top quality! Just try to match whatever is in your area.
Thanks Kim!

You know, I have driven around my area, and have seen several Martin houses, but no Trendsetters. Mostly 2 story, 6 cavity houses on round poles.


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