How Far Away Should Martin Housing Be From Power Lines?

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Bird Brain
Posts: 135
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:22 am
Location: Highland Village, TX
Martin Colony History: 2017-nothing
2018-couple of visitors
2019-nothing
2020-Removed 2 trees. Raised height of housing. Offering 12 Chirpy Nests, 8 Troyer Verticals, and 4 Troyer Horizontals. Playing Daytime Chatter C.D. this year and added a couple of decoys on rack. Smeared mud around the entrances. Will see what happens.

How Far Away Should Martin Housing Be From Power Lines?

Postby Bird Brain » Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:10 pm

I have a neighbor who's been trying for years to get martins. His setup is far enough away from trees, but is only 4 or 5 feet away from power lines. Would this discourage martins from nesting? Are martins fearful of close power lines? I know a squirrel can jump around 10 feet sideways. Shouldn't the martin pole be at least 10 feet from power lines? Thanks for any info.
Every time I kill a house sparrow, I make the world a better place.

rrmartins
Posts: 1399
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

Re: How Far Away Should Martin Housing Be From Power Lines?

Postby rrmartins » Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:14 pm

I have some about thirty feet from mine and they love sitting on the wires. Good luck!!
2019
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
Rat breached bird netting and nearly wiped out entire colony over a four day period. Problem was fixed!!

jhcox
Posts: 420
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 9:23 am
Location: tennesse
Martin Colony History: Started colony in 2014. First pair to stay and raise young in 2018.

Re: How Far Away Should Martin Housing Be From Power Lines?

Postby jhcox » Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:32 pm

I have phone lines and even the very large power lines with in 20 to 40 feet from my sight and like rrmartins said they do love to perch on those. lines. It is and excellent area for many of them to sit and see any predators coming from a good distance and sound their alarm so all other birds in the cavities have time to take to the air. Hope this helps have a blessed season.

God bless JHCOX Heiskell Tn

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: How Far Away Should Martin Housing Be From Power Lines?

Postby C.C.Martins » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:36 am

Yep they like them a lot, its not a worry.
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!!!

Bird Brain
Posts: 135
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:22 am
Location: Highland Village, TX
Martin Colony History: 2017-nothing
2018-couple of visitors
2019-nothing
2020-Removed 2 trees. Raised height of housing. Offering 12 Chirpy Nests, 8 Troyer Verticals, and 4 Troyer Horizontals. Playing Daytime Chatter C.D. this year and added a couple of decoys on rack. Smeared mud around the entrances. Will see what happens.

Re: How Far Away Should Martin Housing Be From Power Lines?

Postby Bird Brain » Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:02 am

So power lines 30 feet away are fine. What about 4 to 5 feet away? Is that OK too?
Every time I kill a house sparrow, I make the world a better place.

ToyinPA
Posts: 2067
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.

Re: How Far Away Should Martin Housing Be From Power Lines?

Postby ToyinPA » Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:04 pm

I have power lines only 3-5 feet from my martin houses. They love them. I live in town & my yard is pretty much surrounded by power lines. The martins sit on them a lot. They like to sit at a distance & watch the houses. One of my neighbors upgraded his electric service & they took down the one power line that ran diagonally across my property, right past the one house. We got the wire & attached it to the upper back of our house & ran it past the martin house to the garage. It's now a fake wire, but the martins use it all the time. The close power lines are a good thing. Also if a squirrel got close the martins would chase it off. I've seen them chase squirrels off my garage roof.

Toy in PA
PMCA Member

Bird Brain
Posts: 135
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:22 am
Location: Highland Village, TX
Martin Colony History: 2017-nothing
2018-couple of visitors
2019-nothing
2020-Removed 2 trees. Raised height of housing. Offering 12 Chirpy Nests, 8 Troyer Verticals, and 4 Troyer Horizontals. Playing Daytime Chatter C.D. this year and added a couple of decoys on rack. Smeared mud around the entrances. Will see what happens.

Re: How Far Away Should Martin Housing Be From Power Lines?

Postby Bird Brain » Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:25 pm

Thanks for the replies. One never stops learning as a result of the knowledge on this site.
Every time I kill a house sparrow, I make the world a better place.

rrmartins
Posts: 1399
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

Re: How Far Away Should Martin Housing Be From Power Lines?

Postby rrmartins » Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:43 pm

I could see the worry you have also. Can you add tunnels to your entrances?
2019
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
Rat breached bird netting and nearly wiped out entire colony over a four day period. Problem was fixed!!

Laverne
Posts: 2216
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:58 pm
Location: TX/Alvin
Martin Colony History: Erected 1st house in 1997. Birds were checking it out before Mike got down from the ladder. Six cavities had a little colony 1st year. Grown to 88 cavities all gourds with near 100% occupancy. Most important factor for success is rain = bugs.

Re: How Far Away Should Martin Housing Be From Power Lines?

Postby Laverne » Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:58 pm

Hmmm. I have not been thinking about the squirrel. He's never been a problem for us. Thanks for the heads up. You are correct in keeping that potential predator in mind when locating housing. Best wishes to all for a successful season 💜
Sincerely,
Laverne

John Barrow
Posts: 929
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 4:12 pm
Location: Corpus Christi / Sandia , Texas

Re: How Far Away Should Martin Housing Be From Power Lines?

Postby John Barrow » Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:16 pm

I have 3 systems about 10 feet from power lines with cable lines beneath them. Power lines are about 10 feet above systems. Systems are 14 and 16 feet high and martins use all three as well as perch on power lines. Lower line is ground line. I have seen squirrels cross lines, but none have ever jumped off and I doubt any will. They would prefer a cavity attached to a pole or tree. Martins love power lines. The pertinent question to consider, IMO, is whether the system might come in contact with the power lines and electrocute whoever is holding it (and those standing around him/her).
~~TEAMED WITH A MARTIN GODDESS~~

Member/Mentor-PMCA. I do regular nestchecks and participate in PROJECT MARTINWATCH!! Coordinated 3 geolocator studies-2009,2010 & 2013. State and Fed licensed bander


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