Newbie from NC

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CSXengr
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:33 am
Location: Rockingham, NC

Hello everyone,

I am new to the forum and trying to get a colony started this year. I live in Central NC (Rockingham, NC) and have tried to have martins for years without success. Last year I took an old aluminum box down (that had been up for years) and just threw up four gourds. Well had lots of visitors but none would stay. I think it was due to an aggressive Bluebird that thought the gourds were his. This year I went all out with the help of my brother we put up one of the racks from plans he got offline. And changed out the bluebird house for a better one and they have moved back to it.

I have been having a male show up for about a week now but no one else. Well yesterday he showed up with a female. They spent the night in one of the gourds and hung around all morning. Left around 11 and out of sight all day until just before dusk. Both came back and went to the gourd next to the one they stayed in last night. There were about 4 more birds flying with them but none came in. My question is, if the birds are roosting here does that mean they have established this as their sight?

They don't mind me going around or near the pole as I was mowing and in the garden most of the morning. I know they are mature birds cause they sat still long enough for me to get a good look at them both.

Thanks for any help.

Gary (CSXengr)
SSMartin
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

Yes they have likely chosen your site to nest. Soon they will build a nest and narrow it down to one gourd. The male may still guard both gourds.

Just having one pair can attract new birds so you are on your way to a new colony. You will have sub adult birds coming through and may get a handful of these as well. Good luck!
Black Jack
Posts: 69
Joined: Mon May 06, 2019 4:37 pm
Location: NC

Yes indeed it sounds like you might be in luck. I started 3 years ago and so far each year i have had 1 pr come back to nest. Started out with SY pr and last year had ASY and this year a ASY pair. I have a neighbor across the field he has a full colony. He started around 6 yrs ago. He lives in a more open fly way than me. It has a better chance than a more enclosed area.

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

That sounda like typical behavior for the pair claiming your site. It is common for other birds to come back with them and not stay the first time. They might eventually stay the night or could be from a neighboring colony. Only time will tell. Your pair attracting sy birds is a good possibility as well.
CSXengr
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:33 am
Location: Rockingham, NC

GREAT NEWS! I went out this morning and I now have 5 birds 3 male and two females. Looks like they may stay cause they will fly high then come right back and the three males seem to have chosen a gourd they like. They keep going to the same one! Thanks for everyone's replies. Very excited to say the least!
Archer
Posts: 757
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:09 pm
Location: Manitoba/Altona
Martin Colony History: six pair in 2014, have grown to 52 pairs in 2017.

You are off to a good start. I considered myself having a pair when they start nest building, which should happen for you in a week or two, Once they are committed, you need to protect their efforts with a predator guard and some snake netting above the guard. Happy for you.
2011- first year trying, a few visitors.
2012-One ASY pair, raised two young, lots of subby visitors. So thankfull.
2013-daily subby visits.
2014-Six SY pairs
2015-18 pair, 83 fledglings
2016-36 pair, 147 fledglings
2017-52 pairs, 192 fledglings.
2018-60 pair, 246 fledglings.
2019-59 pair, 238 fledglings.
CSXengr
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:33 am
Location: Rockingham, NC

Update. Nest building has begun. I have been watching the first pair that arrived and they are building a nest. Watched both collecting materials, then while they were on lunch break I did a nest check. Lowered my rack and sure enough they are building a nest. Even better news two more pair have shown up and looks like they have staked out their claim. So if everything goes well I guess I could say I FINALLY have established a colony! So excited to say the least.
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Congratulations, that is great news. Now sit back and enjoy them for a bit before the next dellima arises. It's the landlord life. :)
tor
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:35 pm
Location: Marlboro County, SC
Martin Colony History: Capacity: 72 Troyers on 3 X Super-24 racks

Great news, Gary. By the way, you're just a few miles from me. We live on 15 between Laurinburg and Bennettsville. Are you currently playing dawnsong at your setup? I've got a dawnsong player you can have and use if you're interested.

Just keep in mind that at this stage, your two guys can stay gone almost all day, on the wing, eating, surveying the landscape, or just having fun.

And yes, you will love it, once you're getting in to it :grin:
Location: Marlboro County, SC

2020: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/11 - 71 pair - 298 hatched as of last nest check.
2019: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/22 - 70 pair - 315 fledged
2018: Capacity: 70 - First Scouts: 2/18 - 60 pair - 270 fledged
2017: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 2/25 - 39 pair
2016: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 3/10 - 32 pair
2015: Capacity: 24 - First Scouts: 3/23 - 4 pair

Purple Martins Of South Carolina
2020 Season
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.

Gary,

Way to go my man. And congratulations. You’re on you way to a great life as a Purple Martin landlord.! Some people go years and years and never do get Martin’s. So you can count yourself very lucky indeed. Used to come through Rockingham all the time when I worked down in SC and Georgia. I live in Mount Pleasant, NC about 45 miles north east from Charlotte. I’ve had Martin’s for a long time. And it’s true with my Bird’s too, they don’t particularly like Aluminum houses - at least mine don’t. I have about 180 guards with 14 of them cavities from a T-14.

Last year we had a total of 615 Bird’s and that was with 90 pair, also had some more SY Bird’s that nested but they never laid any eggs. My son in law and I conducted a nest check last week and already have several Nests’ and 2 of them had an egg in them.

Just remember these Bird’s are very social and are community nester’s so it would be a good idea to hang up a few more Gourd’s if you’re inclined to do so. And also please don’t forget the predator guard’s and 3/4” bird netting for snakes. Predators will wipe your Colony out in a heart beat.
Do you have a body of water anywhere near you.?

Rodger
PMCA Member
Have been Hosting and Protecting Martin's for 30 years.
CSXengr
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:33 am
Location: Rockingham, NC

Thanks for the replies. Everything is coming along nicely. I posted an update on another thread. I now have three pair building nests and for this season I should be okay on the rooms. My brother builds a 16 gourd rack he got the plans for. We make them out of Cypress lunmber. So they should last my life time. We used natural gourds and added S&K tunnels with porches on them. I think I had a SY male show up yesterday cause the ASY males went crazy. And would not let him near them. Then just now I think a SY female has shown up! Her belly/breast feather are very white with no spots.

Rodger my son lives in Concord and we sometimes go 73 just for a change. So we are very familiar with Mt Pleasant. My wife's nephew married a girl from there. And as for Bennettsville we go thru there a bunch. I am a retired RR engineer, hence the CSXEngr in my profile.

Thanks again for the help.
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.

Hey Gary,

That’s Cool.! Sounds like you’re well on your way to becoming a successful Landlord.
Yeah, Concord is just eight miles from my home and we do a lot of shopping etc. in Concord. When you get up this way to visit your son sometime stop in and we’ll talk Martin’s. Just send me a private E-Mail under “contact” icon and I’ll send you my address.
Always glad to have and know more folks from North Carolina on this Forum.

Rodger
PMCA Member
Have been Hosting and Protecting Martin's for 30 years.
Courtney-NC
Posts: 591
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:28 pm
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Martin Colony History: 2009-2015-Helped to manage Raleigh site, 36 cavities
2016- 33 pairs at Raleigh site, 1 pair at home site.
2017- 34 pairs at Raleigh site, 3 pairs + extra SYs at home site
2018- 33 pairs at Raleigh site, 5 pairs + extra SYs at home site
2019 - 32 pairs at Raleigh site, 7 pairs at home site, 2 pairs at new Holly Springs park site

Hi to another NC martin landlord! Welcome to the forum, and we're so excited to hear of your success already! Many folks wait several years for that first pair.
As others have said, make sure you have a predator guard on your pole, and adding netting above it is also a good idea. If you need help with those items, we can assist you.
I want to encourage you to also check out our group - the NC Purple Martin Society. We are affiliated with the PMCA. Our website is ncpurplemartin.org and we are also on Facebook.
I'm personally in Wake County, and my hubby is a railfan and a member of the NS Historical Society, so I've learned a lot about trains over the years. :wink: Whenever this Covid-19 business settles down, we will finish out plans for a society meeting, and I hope we can meet in person some time and talk martins (and trains)!

Best wishes for a successful martin season!
:)
-Courtney
-------------------
NC Purple Martin Society (PMCA affiliate)
http://www.ncpurplemartin.org
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