Is it too late?

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jgprice
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:29 pm
Location: Coleman County, Texas

Hello, All. I'm ready to install my first purple martin house (gourd rack starter bundle w/winch) and wondering if it's already too late. I understand that the sub-adults should arrive 4-12 weeks after the adults, so might we potentially catch that hatch? We live just north of the little West Central Texas town of Coleman, which is about 40 miles south of Abilene, Texas. I'd really appreciate any feedback from experienced landlords! Thank you.
Whippy
Posts: 598
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: 2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged

JG,

Go ahead and set it up. There continues to be Purple Matins arriving both ASY and SY. I got four pair last year starting March 22nd. Granted, arrivals are early this year this doesn't meant you have no chance as I believe there are still birds working their way in.

Get it set up, add a couple of decoys and play the Dawn Song. Even if you don't get nesting pairs, you will get visitors such as SY birds who might return next year as ASY birds to your gourds. This happened to me here in Plano. Got a lot of visitors my first year in April. The following year I got one pair, then two pair then four pair as the years progressed.

Every location and set up is different. I've seen where some have had up to 10 pairs their first year. There is no written rule or expectation. They are birds. Be ready for them.

Good luck to you.

Coolwhips
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

I think Whippy said it all. Your colony could be started by ASY birds or SY birds. Keep playing that Dawn Song and you will get visitors at a minimum if Martins are in the area. Be patient and don't be let down if it doesn't happen this year. Sometimes it can be a process. Good Luck to you.
Rodger Drye
Posts: 671
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:07 am
Location: NC/Mt. Pleasant
Martin Colony History: Have been hosting and providing a sanactuary for Purple Martins for 30 years.

Jgprice,

Be patient and what ever you do don’t give up. That’s the main thing. If your site is “Martin friendly” and you have set up a good quality predator control program you should eventually get Martin’s.

And what I mean by “Martin friendly” is that you have all your bases covered. You have to have all the little things covered as well. Are you close to a source of water? Definitely a plus. Do you have open fly ways.? Do you incorporate a strict regiment of Predator Control.? Including Snakes, Raccoons, Cats, Coyotes, Crows, Hawks, Owls, Mites, Sparrows, and last but not least Starlings. An infestation from any of these critters could wreck havoc on your Bird’s, and your chances of keeping a successful Colony. If you control all the many aspects of negative things that could happen to your Colony you have a good chance of starting and keeping a successful Colony.!

Read everything you can about these Bird’s and educate yourself on every aspect of hosting Purple Martin’s. Provide adequate housing, and perform weekly Nest Checks to allow yourself to ward off any trouble in time before it gets out of hand. There may be some things that I haven’t mentioned that is why I said to read everything.

I wish you the best with your Martin Season.!

Rodger
PMCA Member
Have been Hosting and Protecting Martin's for 30 years.
jgprice
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:29 pm
Location: Coleman County, Texas

Whippy, Deancamp, and Rodger,

Thank you all so much for your responses! As I'm new to the forum, I was unfamiliar with how to see responses. I kept looking at "notifications", and seeing none, I thought that no one had replied. Got it now! So we're moving ahead with installing the housing; I do have a predator guard, as we are replete with snakes and have a few raccoons. I bought the gourds with Excluder II entries, so hope not to have problems with non-Martins, but we'll have to keep an eye on sparrows and possibly swallows.

We have a big, open fly-way; the only consistent water nearby is our saltwater swimming pool. Don't know whether they'd be interested...

I'll post as we make progress and ask for your guidance!

Thank you again,
jgprice
Whippy
Posts: 598
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: 2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged

Glad you got the forum figured out.

I haven't seen all of my birds return yet plus some Texas landlords are seeing their scout for the first time in the last few days so you have a really good chance of getting some birds as they continue to come in.

Good luck to you. Looking forward to your results. Let us know.

Coolwhips
jgprice
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:29 pm
Location: Coleman County, Texas

Appreciate that, Whippy. I should also have asked one more question: what "counts" as a human structure? Our best spot for a very clear fly-way puts the houses at least 50' south of our in-ground pool, which is on the south side of our house, so probably 150' south of the house itself. Is that too far from our house to be viable?

Thanks!
jgprice
Whippy
Posts: 598
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: 2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged

jg,

I have my gourd rack 30 feet from my house and my Trio about 15 feet from my house. I'm not sure the houses are a deterrent rather, I think it makes them more comfortable. THey like human interaction to a point. Just have it clear of trees and offer an open flyway as much as possible.

I posted this photo in a couple of other threads but to save you from looking for it here is the location of my gourds and Trio. The Trio is now where the red "X" is. You can see the gourds and how they are placed related to my house.
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jgprice
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:29 pm
Location: Coleman County, Texas

Much appreciated, Whippy. i was actually concerned about placing the housing TOO far away from the house.
Whippy
Posts: 598
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: 2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged

I'd like to keep it around 30 to 50 feet from the house. The birds will be comfy and you'll get more close up enjoyment from them.

I sit out every night that I can to watch them come home. They swoop into the gourds just feet away from me and it's really cool to watch. I had a female hovering over me several times yesterday evening about 20 feet up just checking me out. Soon after, she peeled off and went into her gourd.

Coolwhips
Rodger Drye
Posts: 671
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:07 am
Location: NC/Mt. Pleasant
Martin Colony History: Have been hosting and providing a sanactuary for Purple Martins for 30 years.

Jgprice,

The PMCA offers some literature in the form of “ Ten Reasons Why People Fail to Attract Purple Martin’s “. Ask them for a copy and they will give it to you free of charge. Very good information for Landlords just getting started. I have several copies on hand and I pass them out to folks hoping to start a Colony.

Good Luck.!

Rodger
PMCA Member
Have been Hosting and Protecting Martin's for 30 years.
jgprice
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:29 pm
Location: Coleman County, Texas

So cool!
jgprice
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:29 pm
Location: Coleman County, Texas

Rodger, thank you for the guidance. I've read a fair amount from PMCA; will do more research.

jgprice
Mike Mack
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:56 pm
Location: Centex

Still plenty time left
jgprice
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2020 5:29 pm
Location: Coleman County, Texas

Mike Mack wrote:
Wed Mar 18, 2020 1:53 pm
Still plenty time left
Thanks, Mike!!
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