First SY Male Purple Martin Has Arrived

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Steve Kroenke
Posts: 4339
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:49 pm
Location: Louisiana/Logansport

Today March 29, I observed my first SY male purple martin at my personal colony. He is feisty and is already trying to take a Troyer Horizontal Gourd that is being dominated by one of my many "tyrant" ASY males. Aprll is the main month for SY martins to come to our colonies in northwest Louisiana and they continue into May.

We visited four of our satellite martin colonies today and all had martins in residence. Bob "discreetly" shot four house sparrows. At one colony where we had removed three sparrow nests several days ago, ASY martins had moved in and evicted the sparrows. At all these colonies the martins once they arrive in force they usually can keep most sparrows at bay. We still have to eliminate a few super aggressive sparrows through trapping/shooting.

Steve
PMCA Member
300+ pairs of martins each season
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2860
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

I had an ASY male at my old place that would wrestle a sparrow to the ground if it landed on the housing. If only we could breed that into more of them.
2020 47 of 52 cavities with nest (5/29)(HOSP Count 7)
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.
PMDavid
Posts: 406
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 8:50 pm
Location: Boyce,Louisiana
Martin Colony History: Second year trying to attract martins. This year I am getting rid of the wooden house and showing something they are used to seeing.
Offering 2 trio grandpaws w/2natural gourds under each and C.Abare gourd rack w/16 natural gourds. And one rehabbed 16 compartment Coates original with two natural gourds.Lots of lookers,a few overnighters and daily activity cruising and looking. All gourds have a rain canopy and wire perch.2019 7 pair moving into 2020 almost double pairs from 2019. Still have most of the month of March to go for new arrivals and April.

Hi there Steve and Lowe,just saw your post about gettin a sy bird. That’s great! I think I have come think I have like thirteen pairs,and maybe a loner to boot. That’s a good solid double from last year, being my second year to try for birds I’m tickled. Since the SY’s are on the way I may pick up a few of those also and that could add to next years adult colonizers. I’ll have another gourd rack ready for next year in order to possibly accommodate that. Good luck to y’all. And I’ll be watching to see if I get some SY’s and let y’all know.
Steve Kroenke
Posts: 4339
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:49 pm
Location: Louisiana/Logansport

Flyin-lowe,

What I have observed over the years is that established martins with strong site fidelity and site tenacity can defend their nests against house sparrows under most situations. If sparrows are allowed to cram the house compartments/gourds full of nesting material, then the larger martins may not be able to easily enter the cavity or not even enter all. Then the sparrows may eventually take over such martin colonies over time.

However, aggressive sparrows may still fight their way into a house/gourd rack and claim an empty cavity, particularly in smaller martin colonies.

Sparrows can easily drive away martins that have never nested at a new colony and are just investigating the cavities. The martins have no bond to the site and haven't developed any territorial drives to protect the cavities.

I wish martins would fight sparrows with the same intensity the way martins fight each other! I have watched battle royals between male martins and between female martins all day long! Savage battles on the ground and in the cavities!

The sparrow does have a more powerful finch beak which can bite and crush like a miniature vise while the martin has a wide flat and softer beak. But the martin is larger and aggressively fights to defend his nest site. So size and threatening behavior can matter when intimidating an opponent!

Steve

David,

My SY male martin succeeded in taking the Troyer Horizontal Gourd today and got a mate!

Your martin colony is thriving and has doubled! You still have all of April and even part of May to attract more martins, particularly SYs. I believe you will attract more martins.

Yes, please keep us posted on how things are going with colony!

Steve
PMCA Member
300+ pairs of martins each season
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