Might have messed up

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ltwalsh
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:25 pm
Location: Poplar Grove, IL
Martin Colony History: 2017 1 pair, 5 eggs non hatched
2018 1 pair 3 fledged

We’ve been landlords since 2009 at our original location. Since then sold that place but know that colony is still going strong. In 2017 we purchased a house in new area. One of our requirements for the new place is it needed to be a place for a potential Purple Martin colony. 😋
In 2017 we got one pair who had 5 eggs but none of those hatched.
In 2018 we got 1 pair who fledged 5.
In 2019 some lookers but none stayed.

Now to this years efforts.

I took down a tree that might have discouraged them and then put the house up on 4/1 relocated it about 15 feet to open up flight ways. Having sparrow issues so made a decision to block holes until I saw some activity (I think now that was a mistake). On 4/9 about 6 pm I see 3 martins circling. 2 males and 1 female eventually sit down on the house. I am panicking because none of the holes are open. Should I leave things closed for the night and see if they stay or go out lower the house knowing they will fly off but hope they come back? I elected to lower the house and open up the holes. As expected they took off. Saw them circling while lowered but by the time I raised the house again, they had gone and have not been seen since. No signs of more birds yet😧😧😧.

I still have faith I’ll get birds this year.

Not happy with my decision. Can I ask what others would have done?
2009 = 1 pair 4 fledged
2010 = 1 pair and 5 fledged
2011= 3 pair and 13 fledged
2012 = 4 pair and 12 fledged
2013 = 7 pair and 21 fledged
2014 = 9 pair and 34 fledged
2015 = 9 Pair and 30 fledged
SSMartin
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

Would have played the dawn song while lowering and opening holes if you had the ability. That might have kept them around for another look.
ltwalsh
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:25 pm
Location: Poplar Grove, IL
Martin Colony History: 2017 1 pair, 5 eggs non hatched
2018 1 pair 3 fledged

Thanks. I was playing day time chatter. Still do. I have the dawn song but seemed to have better luck with the chatter CD. Do you think dawn song is better at certain times?
2009 = 1 pair 4 fledged
2010 = 1 pair and 5 fledged
2011= 3 pair and 13 fledged
2012 = 4 pair and 12 fledged
2013 = 7 pair and 21 fledged
2014 = 9 pair and 34 fledged
2015 = 9 Pair and 30 fledged
SSMartin
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

Dawn song seems to be ‘louder’ but if you’re playing daytime chatter I am sure they’ll be back tomorrow. Get up and play it early if you can if you get up early I would do dawn song. They are singing dawnsong here in FL.

Daytime chatter works well too. Much less loud and annoying if you have neighbors and want to play it all day. I can put daytime chatter on my phone and play it in the evening makes the roosting birds dive down into their housing almost instantly.

Keep us updated please good luck!
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

I don't think you scared them off for good, they very well may have left for the night if unopened anyway. The best thing you did was to observe their reaction to what you did. Every bird is going to be different, so tinker with your approach and adjust to what you see. I have never played the daytime chatter, but they will respond to the dawn song anytime of the day.
Conrad Baker
Posts: 322
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: Paulina, Louisiana

Removing the tree was a good idea IMHO. Open the cavities. Can't keep them closed forever. If you get Sparrows, deal with them. You need to get some Martins !!
randy741985
Posts: 156
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:08 pm
Location: NE Alabama
Martin Colony History: 2018-First Year 0 Martins
2019- Lots Lookers
2020- TBD

I am no expert by no stretch still trying to get them myself, But reading about it you should not have anything to worry in fact I think you did the right thing. They say the martins want to be around Humans as much as possible. I had the same thing happen to me about a week go, I seen a Martin flying around my gourds I went out there Lowered the Rack open up 2 Gourds when I raised it and walked off he flew down went in and has been there ever since. If you go to Chucks Purple http://www.chuckspurplemartinpage.com/ this what he tells you to do.

Landlord Presence

IF...you're outside and see or hear a purple martin in your area, BE around the housing. You don't have to be right under it, just close enough so that they can see you and come and investigate. They instinctively know the site is inhabited by humans and believe it or not, if they're looking for a place to set up housing, they'll investigate it much closer. I don't know how to tell folks this enough...purple martins like human activity. YES, at first when you approach the site, they will fly away, after all, they are wild birds. But once they realize that you are part of the site and don't mean them any harm, they will soon begin to completely ignore you. PLEASE trust me on this one. Your being around the site WILL NOT scare your martins away. I try to drive this point home at every site I try to get established.
2018-14 Gourds First Year 0 Martins
2019- 14 Gourds Lots Lookers
2020- 6 Gourds TBD
ltwalsh
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:25 pm
Location: Poplar Grove, IL
Martin Colony History: 2017 1 pair, 5 eggs non hatched
2018 1 pair 3 fledged

Update. Still the martins have not returned. Will continue playing both the dawn song as well as the chatter.

We had a wind storm here the other night and woke up in the AM with the Martin house on the ground! The wind was strong enough to blow the top portion of the pole up and out!!! It was smashed on the ground after failing almost 12 feet. I am thinking if birds had been in there they could have been killed. So them not being there was probably a good thing.

I got the house repaired (upgraded actually) and back up. Secured against any more wind issues.

Staying positive and knowing they will be here soon.

I’ll keep you posted!
2009 = 1 pair 4 fledged
2010 = 1 pair and 5 fledged
2011= 3 pair and 13 fledged
2012 = 4 pair and 12 fledged
2013 = 7 pair and 21 fledged
2014 = 9 pair and 34 fledged
2015 = 9 Pair and 30 fledged
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2898
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

In my opinion if the martins were looking for a place to stay they would have came back around and not left for good just because the cavities were closed up initially. I think you have done things by the book, keeping competitors out and then opening things up when you saw martins.
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.
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