Frustrated PM Landlord Looking for Tenants

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
glfriend
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:55 pm
Location: Virginia

I live in Central Virginia near a city named Lynchburg. I have tried for 7 years to get PM's to nest in my 14 hole apartment complex. three years ago I had two PM circle my complex for a solid week. They never came back. Two years later(which was 2019) I put up decoys and had one stop in and go in the house never to return. This year nothing so far (except the starlings I continue to disrupt their nests). I also have two returning tree swallows, which I have built a house for 40 feet away from PM house. This is their second year. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. I recall the PM which showed up last year was late summer

Garry
BillieJR
Posts: 677
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:39 am
Location: Monroe, WI

Welcome, Gary!

I'm waiting for tenants, too......in Wisconsin. I hope we'll both be lucky this year. Good luck!
Billie from south central Wisconsin
SSMartin
Posts: 124
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

I would recommend changing your entrances to a starling resistant type. There are several available. Starlings will chase off curious martins and that May be all it takes for the Martin to look elsewhere.

Are you playing the dawn song or daytime chatter?
Spiderman
Posts: 778
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

You might also buy a couple of gourds and attach them under the house. Martins like to nest in something they are familiar with. Allot of Martins are raised in Gourds today.
2008 - 33 PAIR - FLEDGED 96 YOUNG
2009 - 51 PAIR - FLEDGED 166 YOUNG
2010 - 45 PAIR - FLEDGED 146 YOUNG
2011 - 33 PAIR - 128 HATCHED, 97 FLEDGED
2012 - 37 PAIR - 119 HATCHED, 101 FLEDGED
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

How is your location of pole placement for open flyways and distance from trees. Can you post pictures. The google earth pictures really help in understanding your setup. As stated before, the dawn song is a major attractant.
Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1883
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:35 pm
Location: Little Hocking, Oh.
Martin Colony History: 2018 Success at my Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”.
2019 Success at my home Site "Little Hocking, Ohio".

... glfriend... First ... Welcome to the Forum, great to have you here.. Yes ... The Dawn Song is a good thing to have and play.. It has pulled Martins into my site for years, but the Martins never stayed.. Finally I moved my house in a more wide open space, after removing some big trees, and success happened.. in 2019 after many years of trying.. Send a pic. and maybe we can see something that may stop them from staying... Google maps from above can help.. Good Luck

Dave
Home Site “Little Hocking, Ohio”
2010 / 2018 -- Lots of Visitors
2019 — 1 Pair, 5 Eggs, 5 Babies, 5 fledged. :wink:
2020 — 1 Pair, 4 Eggs, 4 Babies, 4 fledged. :wink:
2021 — Waiting on March 2021

Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”
2018 -- 15 Pair, 58 Eggs, 38 Hatched and 36 Fledged :wink:
2019 — 26 Pair, 128 Eggs, 99 Babies and 97 Fledged. :wink:
2020 — 30 Pair, 156 Eggs, 137 Babies and 137 Fledged. :wink:
2021 — Waiting on March 2021

PMCA Member
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

You’ll never get Martins if you have a pair or two of Starlings building nests in your housing. Even if you’re tearing out the nests, they still see it as their house. They won’t allow a Martin to nest there.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
glfriend
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:55 pm
Location: Virginia

Saw all of the suggestions..........one year I switched all of my doors over to a crescent....no luck. I have tried the dawn song one year ..no luck. The flyway is really open will attach a pic. I also use a gourd with crecsent . The decoy brought them in last year...just one I saw. In the pic the house is 12 ft off the ground and only two of the compartments are open. I tried to send pics. If not there may need assistance
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pm1.jpg
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glfriend
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:55 pm
Location: Virginia

Sorry about sending double of the PM house shots. I attached a close up. Yesterday I drove around a one mile radius of my house and found a sub-division where there was one house full of PM houses & gourds. And of course saw a few flying around. All appeared to be round holes. So I could switch out a few doors to crescent openings & leave the round holes closed? The starlings can not get through the crescents. This is a house I built over 7 years ago from PM guidelines. I also have one more crescent gourd I could attach.
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deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

A couple thoughts. You should be playing the dawn song all day long as it will be your number 1 attractant to get martins to checkout your site. Don't give up on it, because it didn't work the one year. How far is your martin pole from your house or human activity? Looks to be in a very open area, but also needs to be close to human housing or activity.
SSMartin
Posts: 124
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

Yes play the dawnsong all day on repeat. I would just use a CD boom box in a plastic bag to keep it dry from rain. The martins travel so high up in the air they are likely to not notice your house unless you get real lucky. Don’t worry about the round holes you can attract them without them. Your house and site looks great and being close to the house does really help. I see you have a shed nearby so that’s better then just an empty field.
glfriend
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:55 pm
Location: Virginia

The PM house is about 25-30 feet from patio. Lot of activity usually patio. Right now I have two gourds with crescents and two holes open in front of house. I can switch out all doors with the crescents if u think that is the way to go. Will start playing the CD all day. I 'm on a mission!! :grin:
glfriend
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:55 pm
Location: Virginia

One other question...how far would you put the house off the ground. As you can see I have a high pole. Just for what its worth...the neighbor I mentioned in a previous post with "lots" of PM's ...has his right at the driveway & front of house with no open space like I have
Black Jack
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon May 06, 2019 4:37 pm
Location: NC

I wish you the best. I started 3 yrs ago and had 1pr sub adults. Fledged 2. Next year had the same pr come back as adults. Fledged 5. This yr i have the same pr come back and have another pr of adults also. Don't give up. Its well worth the effort. Also please put up a predator guard and some netting for snakes. I lost a colony being started back in 1984 to a raccoon. They never came back. So i got back into being a land lord again.
This time i am looking after my birds. :grin:
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

The 12 feet you mentioned in a previous post is good. I think a decoy helped me start my colony and prenesting the cavities will make it look lived in. Remember martins like company, so anything you can do to make it appear that others are there is a good thing.
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Looking at your picture again. How close are the trees on the left hand side?
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2935
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

A 2 D picture is sometimes hard to get a good feel for the layout. It seems like the house is maybe not in the most open spot of the yard. Further from the trees would be better, even if it means being a little further from your house. If you can do a screen grab from google earth of your property from overhead. That will help determine the best spot, plus it gives you an idea of what the birds see when they look at the housing, which is different then what we as humans see from the ground.
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.
glfriend
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:55 pm
Location: Virginia

The tree to left is about 25 feet
Eastham
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:32 pm
Location: Victoria, Texas

I'm frustrated too. I have had 6-8 pairs for the last 2 years but have 0 this year. I had to replace my old house that was plastic and was taped together after a hurricane. The house is in an ideal location, nearest tree is over 100ft away, a pond is nearby along with power lines for perching. The pole is really high and triangular aluminum and I don't think anything can climb it. I had trouble with sparrows every year but not this one. I have no idea what is going on but no pms or anything else. Ideas?
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Garry, your to close to that tree. It's hard to tell from the pictures, what kind of open area do you have to the right of the pole. If you can do as Lowe suggested with the google earth it is very helpful.

Eastham, make no mistake about it, that pole can be climbed. I seen a raccoon climb a 3/4"x 3/4" square shepherds hook to get to a bird feeder.
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