Brand New and Learning - Home Question

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Steve VB
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 8:37 pm
Location: Bloomington, IN

Thank you for the help. This is great. My wife and I put up a home this spring and we have 3 martins that have seemed to make our home, theirs. They spend the majority of time sitting at the house or flying around. However, when I pull the house down (maybe every four days) to clear some persistent sparrows out, I do not see any "nesting" material for the martins. They do go in and out of the home and even when I bring the home down to clear the sparrows out (which seem to make an entire nest in a few hours!) the Martins will sometimes fly out (happened twice).
Is it normal for them to wait a while before building or does this mean they have not settled yet?
I believe that I have a SYA and maybe two YA birds. I am not confident yet if they are females. They have the white breasts but seem darker everywhere else. I am reading that the females may not be as dark on their top side.
Thank you in advance,
Steve (Bloomington, Indiana)
I would like to send some pics to someone who may be able to help me identify but I have not figured out how to do so in this forum yet.
Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1863
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".

.... Steve ... Your right ... the Martins may hang around a few weeks before they pair up and start build nest.. Keep after the sparrows, possibly trap or shoot them.. Do double check the ID photos and make sure that the birds that you are seeing are indeed Purple Martins and not Tree Swallows.. When you said white breasts, it made me think you may have some Tree Swallows hanging around.. Good Luck and Have a great season..

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, ... :wink:

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. ... :wink:

PMCA Member
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2898
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

If you have martins, it is not uncommon for them to wait a couple weeks after they arrive before they start nest building. My first martins arrived the last week of March and just started really nest building the last couple weeks.

When you describe the "white breast" is it really snow white with no other color or is it a dull gray color? It is very possible that you have tree swallows as there is a lot of them in Indiana. Tree swallows have a all white breast with no other colors. Female and SY martins will have varying colors of gray, whiteish, purple, depending on sex and age.

As far as your pictures go, the easiest way I have found to post them (assuming you are on a computer) is to right click on the image and hit "open with paint". Once microsoft paint opens the image there is an area at the top that says resize picture. It will give you the option to resize it by percentage or by pixels. Select pixels and then make sure both numbers of pixels is 500 or under. Once it's resized you should be able to add it as an attachment via the attachments tab below.

If you still cant get it let me know and you can email it to me.
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.
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2898
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Dave, you hit the submit button quicker than I did :grin:
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.
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Steve, the sparrows should be eliminated. You could be causing a bigger problem by just pulling the nest out. When they go looking for who did it, they might retaliate on your Martins.
Steve VB
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 8:37 pm
Location: Bloomington, IN

flyin-lowe wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 7:49 am
If you have martins, it is not uncommon for them to wait a couple weeks after they arrive before they start nest building. My first martins arrived the last week of March and just started really nest building the last couple weeks.

When you describe the "white breast" is it really snow white with no other color or is it a dull gray color? It is very possible that you have tree swallows as there is a lot of them in Indiana. Tree swallows have a all white breast with no other colors. Female and SY martins will have varying colors of gray, whiteish, purple, depending on sex and age.

As far as your pictures go, the easiest way I have found to post them (assuming you are on a computer) is to right click on the image and hit "open with paint". Once microsoft paint opens the image there is an area at the top that says resize picture. It will give you the option to resize it by percentage or by pixels. Select pixels and then make sure both numbers of pixels is 500 or under. Once it's resized you should be able to add it as an attachment via the attachments tab below.

If you still cant get it let me know and you can email it to me.
Thank you. I am fairly confident that these are Martins as they are larger than any swallows I have seen and the noises they make are spectacular just like the audio files I have. The "clicking" is obvious as well. Will send you a pic or two. Thanks
Steve VB
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 8:37 pm
Location: Bloomington, IN

deancamp wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 9:34 am
Steve, the sparrows should be eliminated. You could be causing a bigger problem by just pulling the nest out. When they go looking for who did it, they might retaliate on your Martins.
Thank you. Helpful
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2898
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

If you have heard the dawn song or vocalization of martins from youtube videos then you probably have the ID correct. Their vocalizations is very distinct. I have a mockingbird that mimics them but other then that I've never heard their song mistaken for another bird.
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.
Steve VB
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 8:37 pm
Location: Bloomington, IN

flyin-lowe wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 10:14 am
If you have heard the dawn song or vocalization of martins from youtube videos then you probably have the ID correct. Their vocalizations is very distinct. I have a mockingbird that mimics them but other then that I've never heard their song mistaken for another bird.
Thanks. Yes, I play it and they seem to enjoy flying around and "talking" back to it at times.
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2898
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

If they are still in the area and sticking around it won't hurt to turn off the dawnsong. The martins will do a better job at recruiting new martins to your site then the recording will. If have seen martins appear to become annoyed/ confused by the recording and focus their attention toward the player while it is on. If yours don't appear to be concerned with it it probably isn't hurting anything but not necessary at this point if they are staying there.
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.
Steve VB
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2020 8:37 pm
Location: Bloomington, IN

flyin-lowe wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 6:54 am
If they are still in the area and sticking around it won't hurt to turn off the dawnsong. The martins will do a better job at recruiting new martins to your site then the recording will. If have seen martins appear to become annoyed/ confused by the recording and focus their attention toward the player while it is on. If yours don't appear to be concerned with it it probably isn't hurting anything but not necessary at this point if they are staying there.
Thank you for that advise. I actually noticed that to be true. After I saw them consistently, I stopped playing it regularly. They seem to keep themselves busy with the chatter. I currently have 4 that seem to have stayed.
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