S&K barn 12 room modified to 6 large rooms

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jhcox
Posts: 487
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 9:23 am
Location: tennesse
Martin Colony History: Started colony in 2014. First pair to stay and raise young in 2018.

?? Why will the 30 to 40 martins at my colony not use the S&K barn. I did all of the modifications closed the attic area off expanded the rooms from 6+6 to 6 by 6 by 12. I have 24 gourds Bo 9s and super gourds. Lots of activity in all the gourds nest buildings and new green leaves ( no eggs yet). But absolutely no activity in the barn. Why???? Thank for the help.
Whippy
Posts: 574
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: 2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - ?

jhcox,

It's hard to say. I'm in the same boat as you. I have 18 gourd cavities offered and 6 rooms offered in my Trio Wade. After a nest check yesterday I discovered only one nest in the Trio with one dirty egg. My gourds had 9 pair total 35 eggs with heavy nesting activity in 3 others.

I believe they are more attracted to the individual offerings of the gourds and their added security with the tunnels. I figured if the gourds ever become 100% occupied, the over flow will go to the house. I have 10 Troyer Horizontal, 3 Big Bo, and 5 BO11 gourds all with tunnels. I am going to add Troyer Vertical gourds for next year.

This is not a scientific study based reply. I just believe the gourds offer them a better sense of security.

Coolwhips.
jhcox
Posts: 487
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 9:23 am
Location: tennesse
Martin Colony History: Started colony in 2014. First pair to stay and raise young in 2018.

Thanks coolwhip that’s kinda what I thought. I have the 24 gourds and I have about 50 troyer horizontal gourds I plan on putting next season. I thought about letting them get so populated that they over flow to the S&K barn but I’m worried I would lose Potential Martin’s if they chose not to use it potential Martin’s if they chose not to use it.
Whippy
Posts: 574
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: 2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - ?

I don't think they would be so put off by the barn that the leave the colony. There are many landlords who have achieved success with the barn.
They may not have an offering of a gourd rack competing next to it. I've seen gourds hanging off houses that are occupied more so than the house itself so there is something about the gourd that is very attractive. Could be the desire for gourds has become ingrained in their genetics due to the Native Americans offerings 100's of years ago. They probably see a gourd and think to themselves, "Something tells me I need to do something with that. I don't know what it is but I feel like I need to be in there."

My guess is that SY birds would spill into the barn and begin their future there. I'd keep it up and continue to offer its cavities as well as add the 50 Troyers for next year.

The more the merrier.

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

Jh, I had a trio castle last year and the birds refused to use it. Finally an asy pair took to it and nested, but dominated the entire house ( that's another story). This year i replaced it with a gourd rack and put it in the exact same hole I dug the castle out of. They accepted the new gourd rack this year like it had always been there. I also added a Duracraft castle which they have ignored like the trio last year. Gourd racks have filled and the sy birds are slowly accepting the Duracraft. I think it is a preference.
jhcox
Posts: 487
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 9:23 am
Location: tennesse
Martin Colony History: Started colony in 2014. First pair to stay and raise young in 2018.

Thanks guys you make great points and I believe they will take to the barn when there are no other choices. And hopefully there will be more SY birds show up and use it this year. That is if the SY birds are still moving up from Texas and Louisiana. But I will definitely leave it just for Nostalgia because it was the first PM housing that I ever got. My family bought it for me for Christmas for five years ago when I was first talking about trying to get purple martins. God bless and thank for the help.
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

We've got the same thought process going Jh. My Duracraft will stay standing, even if it becomes an ornament.
dsonyay
Posts: 1191
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:10 pm
Location: Louisiana/Broussard
Martin Colony History: 2010-2014 located in Slidell LA. Gourd rack with 16 gourds. Max of 2 pairs during this short period in Slidell. Plenty of fledglings.

2014-present.. moved to Broussard LA. Same Gourd Rack but added a 6 room house (modified from a 12 room)

2020: after a long drought of nothing, 4 pairs and 4 nests, 23 eggs total (May2020)

Oddly enough, it was the opposite for me. I was having the hardest time attracting martins to a new site with perfect layout. After 5 years of zero nesting I added a SK barn to the mix. I had all gourds.

Immediately I had visitors, and as of today I have four neats, all with 5 or 6 eggs. 2 nests are in the barn (modified to double the space).

Go figure

Give it time, I’m sure they’ll move into a condo unit when ready to downsize from a detached single family home. We all do. Lol
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