Continue Dawn Song?

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Rusty_Griswald
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 9:35 am
Location: Sterling, NE

I’m a newbie and am thrilled to have a SY pair staying the night. They’ve stayed now for about 10 days and may now just be starting to slowly start nest building. I’ve read in other threads that the dawn song can potentially scare off new martins while other threads suggest leaving it play until you’ve got two or more nesting pairs. My SY’s don’t seem to mind it, so I’ve left mine playing but was curious as to what others have had success with when starting out a new colony.

I’ll probably stop the dawn song if/when mine start a more concentrated nest building effort and/or I see any eggs during a nest check if I miss seeing them pick up the pace on building a nest.
randyM
Posts: 101
Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:30 pm
Location: Long Lake SD
Martin Colony History: 2006 - SY pair, unsuccessful nest attempt, 3 houses = 52 cavities

2010 - ASYM + SYF pair - male disappeared after storm, female fledged all 4 young.

2015 - Lone SYM stayed month of June...added 8 gourds = 60 cavities

2016 - 1 nesting pair (ASYM + SYF) 2/3 eggs hatched 2 young fledged.

2017 - 4 nesting pairs, 16/17 eggs hatched, 16 fledged, 16 banded - 2 banded SY returned in 2018 (12.5%), added housing: 11 houses w/gourds, 4 gourd poles = 376 cavities

2018 - 10 nesting pairs, 46/52 eggs hatched, 45 fledged, 29 banded - 3 banded SY returned in 2019 (10.3%)

2019 - 32 nesting pairs, 145/160 eggs hatched, 139 fledged - 87 banded - 12 banded SY returned in 2020 (13.8%).

2020 - 35 nesting pairs, 180/199 eggs hatched, 178 fledged - 150 banded.

If your pair of martins seem to be fine with the CD playing, keep playing it, it might help attract another bird or two when your resident pair is away from your site out feeding. I played my martin CDs for the first three years of my colony (up until about July 1 each year). First year I had a SY male stay by himself, second year I had ASY male and SY female successfully nest, third year I had 4 pairs successfully nest. After the end of June, it's likely that you won't attract any new birds to nest, so I'd continue to play your CD through the month of June. However, I would recommend cranking up the CD again from about Aug. 1 - Sept. 15 to perhaps entice some migrating martins to visit your site. I do that each year, and typically have 2-3 dozen visitors each fall. Good luck this year!
Rusty_Griswald
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 9:35 am
Location: Sterling, NE

Sounds great; I’ll just leave it alone and then turn it off at the start of July. I’ve read on other threads to turn it on again towards the end of the season for the reasons you listed, so I will do that as well. Thank you for the advice and I hope you have a great season!
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2929
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

I've started two different colonies and I would always turn the player off after martins show up. The real birds will do a better job at attracting martins than the player will. Reason I do is I had observed a martin that would spend all its time trying to attack the player. Mine was a CD player alarm clock that was in a trash bag sitting just off the ground. Once it would start playing the martin would go to the ground and jump on the player flapping it's wings, flogging it. Not sure why this one martin was so bothered by the dawn song playing but it was. The purpose of the dawn song is to draw them to you property, after that it is up to the martins if they decide to stay or not. The dawn song won't keep them there if they don't like your location so I see no need to keep it playing. I've heard others on here mention they've seen some martins seem to be annoyed by the artificial players as well.
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.
Rusty_Griswald
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 9:35 am
Location: Sterling, NE

Good to know and thanks for the info. I’ve got a pair of SY’s that don’t seem bothered by it. On occasion they will circle it and sometimes perch on my internet dish nearby it that is on the garage. They soon fly back to the house though and don’t seem to mind it. I think it has helped attract other martins when the pair that stays the night is out and about during the day. There have been times when visitors (I assume) show up while my normal pair are out and then the normal pair shoes up and reclaims their house. It’s fun watching them all. If I notice any of them seeming to be put off by it, I’ll shut it off. The male SY that stays the night doesn’t seem to mind it and still sings on the porch and stakes his claim when others come by so I’m hoping him singing, when he’s here, mixed with the recorder when he’s not, will increase my odds. I’ll keep an eye out though of any attaching the recorder though and appreciate the heads up.
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Don't fix it if it's not broken. You are there to see what's going on and thought the dawn song brought in visitors while your pair was out feeding. That sounds like a good reason to keep doing what your doing.
Rusty_Griswald
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun May 10, 2020 9:35 am
Location: Sterling, NE

deancamp wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 8:35 pm
Don't fix it if it's not broken. You are there to see what's going on and thought the dawn song brought in visitors while your pair was out feeding. That sounds like a good reason to keep doing what your doing.
Well put, I like the sound of that. I am just going to leave things be at least until July. Thank you.
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