4th Year Trying

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stevenarenson
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 10:19 am
Location: Glencoe, IL

We have several established colonies within a half mile to a mile of my home, but I have had no luck over the last three years. I have tried decoys, recordings of the morning song and have positioned the house as far from trees and as high as I can get it on my property. It's one that I bought as a kit, the Heath aluminum white with six openings. I am vigilant about sparrows. The pole is attached to the second floor of my house and rises about ten feet above the roof line of the third floor. Any other location is just too close to trees.

Am I on a Fool's Mission?
Attachments
aerial 353.jpg
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Purple Martin House3.png
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Last edited by stevenarenson on Sun May 10, 2020 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
Steven Arenson
sjaglencoe@gmail.com
Courtney-NC
Posts: 591
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:28 pm
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Martin Colony History: 2009-2015-Helped to manage Raleigh site, 36 cavities
2016- 33 pairs at Raleigh site, 1 pair at home site.
2017- 34 pairs at Raleigh site, 3 pairs + extra SYs at home site
2018- 33 pairs at Raleigh site, 5 pairs + extra SYs at home site
2019 - 32 pairs at Raleigh site, 7 pairs at home site, 2 pairs at new Holly Springs park site

Hi Steven,

Can you post an aerial/overhead view of your property (perhaps using Google Maps, satellite view)? It's hard to get a bearing from that one picture you posted. I have heard of one other person setting up housing like that and being successful, but honestly, it might be a long shot for you. Let's have a look from another angle, if possible.
-Courtney
-------------------
NC Purple Martin Society (PMCA affiliate)
http://www.ncpurplemartin.org
gmmajor
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:44 pm
Location: Galveston, TX

I tried something like that once atop a boat house. Failure. Also, it would be difficult to enjoy your PMs as the viewing angle is too steep. Better to put the house in the yard away from trees and buildings.
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3005
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

An overhead view from Google earth will indeed help. Martins like to be near human housing because they find safety in the human activity in the area. They like open flyways to help them drop down and take off to fly. Unless you have trees very close on all sides I'm guessing somewhere away from the house would be better than on the house. It would also be tough to keep predators out of that house if you did get some to stay.
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.
Ransom Graham
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:13 pm
Location: Newton, NC

Years ago I was in Florida in the Pensacola area and at a bait shop they had a pole attached to the side of a building with about 24 gourds and everyone had nesting Martins! Had to be 25 ft in the air. Also I have been to Griggsville, Illinois and in the middle of town they have a tower with about 20 Martin houses on it. Tower must be at least 50ft tall. Martin's nesting up and down it. I would add a couple of gourds to the bottom and see what happens.
Bird Brain
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:22 am
Location: Highland Village, TX
Martin Colony History: 2017-nothing
2018-1 visitor
2019-nothing
2020-the most visitors/activity by far after making many site improvements. Unsuccessful SY Male visited for 2 weeks.

There is one problem with being too close to a house or building. Hawks can fly low, avoiding detection, then rise up and swoop over the roof at the last second just a few feet from the martin house. This gives the martins very little time to respond. Perched martins can't see the other side of your house. They seem to instinctively know that a hawk can use your roof to it's advantage in a surprise attack. This is especially true with a two story or three story house. I'm in a similar situation. Martins seem to avoid housing with obstructed views. Obstructed views mean more surprise attacks and more close calls. It's still better than being too close to trees in my opinion. There are more "close to house" success stories than "close to tree" success stories.
Why do Americans only flee blue states? Why don't Americans flee red states?
stevenarenson
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 10:19 am
Location: Glencoe, IL

Thanks. Just attached an aerial view.



Hi Steven,

Can you post an aerial/overhead view of your property (perhaps using Google Maps, satellite view)? It's hard to get a bearing from that one picture you posted. I have heard of one other person setting up housing like that and being successful, but honestly, it might be a long shot for you. Let's have a look from another angle, if possible.
[/quote]
Steven Arenson
sjaglencoe@gmail.com
stevenarenson
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 10:19 am
Location: Glencoe, IL

Just attached an aerial view.


An overhead view from Google earth will indeed help. Martins like to be near human housing because they find safety in the human activity in the area. They like open flyways to help them drop down and take off to fly. Unless you have trees very close on all sides I'm guessing somewhere away from the house would be better than on the house. It would also be tough to keep predators out of that house if you did get some to stay.
[/quote]
Steven Arenson
sjaglencoe@gmail.com
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Too many trees. Not impossible, but improbable.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 162 plastic gourds with tunnels, all with Conley II entrances with the Lewis modification. I have 24 Supergourds and the rest are Troyer Horizontals.
SSMartin
Posts: 188
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

Martins tends to prefer dark and deeper cavities. My MIL has a house like that and the martins won’t touch it. The cavities are small and the light goes right in. I would recommend hanging some gourds under it before giving up and playing the dawnsong all day everyday when the martins are moving through your area.
Try some S&k bo plus gourds if you don’t want to spend a whole lot. I have great success with them and troyer gourds. Good luck
Bird Brain
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:22 am
Location: Highland Village, TX
Martin Colony History: 2017-nothing
2018-1 visitor
2019-nothing
2020-the most visitors/activity by far after making many site improvements. Unsuccessful SY Male visited for 2 weeks.

That martin house looks like something you bought at the bird store or big box store. That house might work in ideal terrain, but not your terrain. You might try upgrading your housing such as larger cavities, more cavities, more variety of cavities. The more geologically challenged your site is, the more appealing your housing needs to be. Your high as possible housing strategy is good. Martins are more picky up north. 40 foot tree limb rule and 2 open flyways are crucial. If you have that, then upgrading your housing will increase your odds. Good Luck.
Why do Americans only flee blue states? Why don't Americans flee red states?
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