Newbie hear from Ga

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killerv
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:40 am
Location: Central Ga

grew up watching martins over my grandparents pond for years. Always wanted a house one day.

We recently moved to house with a roomy backyard and figured I finally could give one a try. We have golf course ponds and several other ponds all within a half mile. I picked up a house and tritel pole from TSC.

I pulled in the driveway the other morning to find a bird circling the yard, it was a single male martin.He flew around for about 10 min, checked out the house several times, sat on the perch for a few.

I haven't seen him since.

What exactly was he doing?

Thanks

Matt
Brad Biddle
Posts: 522
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Checking it out
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
Whippy
Posts: 577
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 - ?

Yep. He was having a look. He may return so keep on looking up.

I have a bachelor group of 8 ASY males working my gourd rack in the last 4 days. They each seemed to have selected a gourd for themselves but only half of them will return to roost in them in the evening. I believe when they get a female they all will begin to roost at night.

I tell you this as this may be some behavior you will see in the next week or so even from just that one Martin you saw.

Good luck to you.

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

That's a good sign, be patient and keep playing dawn song or start if your not already. He could be from a neighboring colony just checking it out or looking for a place to call home. I hope the latter.
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2898
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Do you have the S&K barn style plastic house? If so it would be a good idea to go ahead and convert it to double the room size. Most of the commercially made house just have 6 inch deep rooms. While martins have been using those type of houses for years you can imagine how uncomfortable it is, especially knowing that a full grown martin will be longer then 6 inches. Try cramming 4 or 5 in there and it is not pleasant. Most of the S&K houses are made to where the room sizes can be doubled. It makes for more room and it is also harder for a predator like an owl or raccoon to reach in and grab birds. Good luck with the new colony.
2020 Currently 42 nest, 110 babies, 64 eggs left to hatch(6-22-20) HOSP count-8
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.
killerv
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:40 am
Location: Central Ga

I'm not where I can play the songs in the AM, I have to be at work too early.

Its the royal wing house from tsc. These the same as the s&k? Looks like I can do the room change by simply raising up the doors on each side. I'm assuming I'll need to cover up some of the entry holes too?

Got dive bombed by 4 martins yesterday about mid afternoon. They check out the house, flew around few a minutes but that was about it.

One more question...my house definitely has a sunny side and a shade side. What side do they prefer?

Image

Thanks
jhcox
Posts: 489
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.

Killerv you can get the green bird magnet it comes with a setting to switch it to the Dawn Song. Set it up near your Martin house the get a timer and set it to play in the morning while your at work. Good luck
killerv
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:40 am
Location: Central Ga

Just got it converted to 6x12 rooms and plugged up the holes with some foam after reading about the pool noodle trick

Also. Wasp was starting a nest in one. Anything i can do about that?
SSMartin
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

You can rub a bar of soap on any of the surfaces you don’t want the wasps to build a nest. Good job on expanding the compartments. You may have less but not they are much more suitable
killerv
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:40 am
Location: Central Ga

Well, it looks like I have a couple trying to nest. Been visiting the past week. The male definitely an adult. Saw them yesterday taking stuff inside. They were also there when I got up the morning...just perched and hanging out.

I believe i have a bluebird trying to nest on the other side, does that bother the martins or will the bluebird eventually give up.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 522
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Put up a Bluebird house ASAP within 20’ of the Martin house and remove the Bluebird nest from the Martin house. I don’t think a Bluebird will run off the Martins that you have but they would definitely chase off any SY’s that try to nest on their side of the house. SY’s are much more timid than ASY’s

I’d actually put up 2 Bluebird boxes no more than 30 feet apart, that way when a pair of House Sparrows show up, they’ll be more inclined to take the empty BB house than the Martin house. Then you can trap or shoot them once they start nest building
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1481
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm
Location: TN/Collierville
Martin Colony History: I have been exposed to purple martin sounds in utero when my mother went out to get my father away from his martin colony.
I played around the martin colony every summer and watched as my father maintained his colony. In the late 50's until the 70's he did not notice European Starlings in south Texas.
When old enough, I helped maintain his colony. My primary task was eliminating English House Sparrows with a 1956 Benjamin 317 .177 air rifle.
When I settled into my own home, I started my first colony with an original Trio Castle and Trio Grandpa. When I moved again, I did not put up any martin houses. Frustration with European Starlings in the Southeast US was overwhelming.
Found PMCA Forum and learned about modern enlarged compartments and SREHs.
Inherited my father's last martin house, a Trio Grandma, modified it to modern specifications and have had good results since then.

KIllery,
I knew you were going to have a successful first year when you said that the martins dive bombed you. They were guarding THEIR house from the stranger - YOU!
As you spend more time around them and let them learn you are not a threat, then they will stop dive bombing you. Unless you change your headgear, then you will look like a stranger again.
My Father's colony was next to his garden where he always wore a large straw hat. They paid him no attention until one Sunday afternoon he went out briefly to check on something without his straw hat and they dive bombed him like he was stranger!

No need for me to respond to the bluebird question, Brad Biddle gave you an excellent answer. He is not joking when he said ASAP, I understand him to say NOW. The longer the bluebirds have to imprint on your martin house the harder it will be to convince them to relocate.
Mark.
Firm believer in HOSP/EUST Control, Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.
killerv
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:40 am
Location: Central Ga

I'm gonna hold off on checkin the house for a blue bird nest, if I see one go in, I may do it. There are definitely using it to perch before they head into the wood line. I already have two bb houses in the yard about 100 yards apart. BB are pretty territorial to begin with so a bb house right by the martin house wouldn't still be a conflict? Had a pair of martins fly directly into one hole last night about 830 and never came back out. This morning had an adult male on one side of the house and a juvenile on the other.
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

I have a bluebird house 15 feet from my gourd rack and no problems. The bluebirds use the perches, but the martins and bluebirds ignore each other.
killerv
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2020 9:40 am
Location: Central Ga

Hangin out

Image
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