Trio Castle Occupancy Issues

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Evan337
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 11:00 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

I'm running into some issues with occupancy on a couple of modified trio castles. Each system is has 12 double compartment rooms with SREH. Each system has two super gourds with Troyer tunnels hanging below them. Right now my colony has around 50 active nests with 186 eggs. The crazy part is that between the two castles - 24 expanded compartments offer - only one compartment has an active nest. 1/24 is pretty bad. Both t-14's with gourds are 14/18 units occupied. Below is a video of my site from last year. Nothing changed to this year. I'm thinking porch dividers may be the answer but I'm also thinking about building two more t-14s and moving the castles to a line of trios I have at the end of the video. Interested to hear other landlords' success rate with the castles. The grandpas I have always have 3-5 of the 6 compartments full.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/oGUNPcPf4GHUDo3W6
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

For the most part my trio castle was ignored in favor of gourds. Last year I had a trio castle dominated by 1 pair. The male and female both were relentless, so they had the entire house to themselves. I know I lost sy pairs because of this. I replaced it with a gourd rack this year and added a sentimental to me, Duracraft (castle style) with enlarged compartments and porch dividers. They avoid the house and give it very little attention. My gourds are filling up, so I am hoping when the sy birds come they will be pushed into it.
SSMartin
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

I honestly wonder if you painted the castles all white if they would take to them better. I would have to assume at some point the colony size would grow to the point the SY birds will have to use them. My neighbor has a Large castle on the edge of a pond. The martins have never gone to it.
Evan337
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 11:00 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

SSMartin wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:26 pm
I honestly wonder if you painted the castles all white if they would take to them better. I would have to assume at some point the colony size would grow to the point the SY birds will have to use them. My neighbor has a Large castle on the edge of a pond. The martins have never gone to it.
I thought the same thing. I'm offering 112 cavities total and would like to get to 75% - 80% occupancy. The colony is 12 years old and this is the third season in its current configuration. The gourd rack is at 50% occupancy but was around 70% occupied last season. I expect some new nest starts on the gourd rack. I love the look of the castles but they aren't proving to be that productive. I spent over 50 hours restoring the one on the right. I really thought they would be 50% occupied or better based on the success I have had with the grandpas.
G Saner
Posts: 112
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:37 pm
Location: TX/Kerrville
Martin Colony History: Fort Worth, TX (1967-1976), The Colony, TX (1981-1985), Carrollton, TX (1986-2013), Kerrville, TX (2015-present).

Two SuperGourd poles (12 gourds on each) at River Point Assisted Living Center.

Evan,

First, you have a great site. I had an unmodified Trio Castle in the 1990s. When I added a gourd pole, they did not nest in the gourds the first year. Every year after, they slowly moved to the gourds and the number of pair in the castle declined. The highest occupancy I had in the castle was 17 pair. After a few years, the castle got down to 5 pair and I moved to 100% gourds.

I see this sometimes with my mentees. Two have both gourds and a house and are only a mile or so apart. One landlord has martins in the house and the other only in the gourds. Sometimes, there is not a good explanation.

The castles look to be in good locations. I am surprised the young martins haven't moved in. I think it is only a matter of time that your numbers increase and force the overflow into the castles. Porch dividers would help if your single pair are chasing off lookers.
G Saner
John Miller
Posts: 4766
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

An old castle was donated to Forest Park, St Louis, three years ago and martins love it. It has expanded units. Now it's white because the owner had painted the green beige and I repainted all white and think it looks nice, but attributing high occupancy to all white...I dunno...I think it's the large numbers on the blank doors that allow the martins to sign separate leases.
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SSMartin
Posts: 112
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

John Miller wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:54 am
An old castle was donated to Forest Park, St Louis, three years ago and martins love it. It has expanded units. Now it's white because the owner had painted the green beige and I repainted all white and think it looks nice, but attributing high occupancy to all white...I dunno...I think it's the large numbers on the blank doors that allow the martins to sign separate leases.
All white...high occupancy...my theory is gaining traction! 8)
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

My Duracraft castle is al most all white with no occupancy. :(
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