New Colony question

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Post Reply
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon May 18, 2020 7:30 am
Location: central Illinois

Good afternoon, this is our 2nd year trying to start a colony. We had lots of interest last year and now this year we've had a committed couple.
We have an ASY couple that have been here since May 7 staying overnight coming and going all day bringing back 2 Sy martins most days (this morning a ASY male was in the mix which was exciting) but the prospects don't stay and our couple takes off after them when they leave. Our male is really trying to show them our deluxe accommodations being quite vocal about our place. lol.. gourds and house.
Just when you think you have them the martins then you start to worry if they will start a family! :lol:
We are in central Illinois so we do realize it is still early in the season.
Do we have a chance that they will nest without other martins joining our colony or will they go elsewhere? Opinions please and thank you!
Posts: 682
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

If they are committed and it sounds like they are, they will nest at your site even if no others decide to join them. The ASY males are very good at pulling in more pair, so there is a good chance of you adding a couple more pair. Watch for them bringing in nesting materials. Good Luck
Jeff Dean
Dave Duit
Posts: 1955
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: Iowa / Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2020, 60 pair with 285 fledged youngsters. 83 total cavities available, 58 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified deep trio metal house units, 1 fallout shelter, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President and founder of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit and join.

The SY (second year) martins will be arriving soon in your area. The ASY will pull them in if possible. It is in his best interest to grow a colony regardless of the human landlords. There is strength in numbers and more protection with larger numbers, so that male will be pulling double duty in attracting any and all lookers. Best of luck my friend.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon May 18, 2020 7:30 am
Location: central Illinois

Thank you for your insights. We watch these two obsessively and will be crushed if they would leave!
We for sure have some SY in the area but can't tell if they are male or female at this point.
We saw the male ASY come in tonight like a rocket and into the Troyer Horizontal Conley II he went.
We did peek in the gourd and they have a nicely cupped nest with the pine needles we put in but no leaves yet.
Posts: 3158
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

With an ASY pair I would be surprised if they don't attract a few pair of SY's this season. With each the warm up in the Midwest this week the SY's should be showing up in big numbers going forward.
2021 Currently 62 nest 138 babies plus 110 eggs (6-317-21) HOSP count-9
2020 42 nest, Fledged 164 HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional lone SY's
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 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair 14 fledged.
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon May 18, 2020 7:30 am
Location: central Illinois

Update, we aren't sure our pair have been staying overnight anymore which worries us. I am usually up about 4-4:30am everyday and watch for them to come out of their gourd. The evenings we haven't noticed them either. We also feel throughout the day we see them somewhat less. We do know they are trying hard to get some prospects to join the colony. There has been one SY female with them quite a bit but she just doesn't know what our guy is selling/isn't ready yet to commit. They also have another SY with them who could be a male, maybe she likes both IDK.
They come in the morning I'd say every day, sometimes with prospects, go in the gourd for a short time and then it just seems like our girl won't stay. We noticed the male on the 22nd bring leaves in the gourd so we checked, yes, we have leaves. If she brings them, we can't say.
Throughout the day, he comes sits on the perch, chatters and then takes off after her. We will see her up in the air but she doesn't land. This is happening more and more.
The gourds were pre-nested and we do know if we see leaves that is a great sign, she just seems a little aloof when here. I would expect them to hang here but without another pair maybe not?
In my head is that she likes another colony, likes our place too but has been building at the other place and committed to that colony more so than our. He is quite committed to us that much we know.
Are we just nuts!!! :lol:
Looking for some reassurance I guess and opinions. The nest says eggs will happen, behavior by her is not what we expected.
Post Reply