Next Steps...Still Frustrated

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glfriend
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:55 pm
Location: Virginia

So so far I have just had fly overs & an female stopping in to check out the gourds & PM-14. But not staying. I continue to play the dawn song every day all day. I have nesting material inside gourds. So whats my next step? Just keep other birds from nesting & keep them open? Hope for next year.
phldave
Posts: 513
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:44 pm
Location: Iowa/Pleasant Hill
Martin Colony History: Started trying in 2012 and still trying

Get comfortable, it could be a long wait. I’ve been trying since 2012. Believe me, I’ve tried every reasonable trick in the book. It’s important to trap or shoot the bad guys, but if you have a serious looker stop all trapping. Last year I had a sy male that was really interested, until he got trapped. I released him unharmed, but never saw him again. Live and learn.
2012 late start
2013 nothing yet, lots a lookers
2014 Bust again
2015 Bust again
2016 Bust again
2017 Bust again
2018 April 14 a group joined me, but moved on after a week
2019 Had SY male seriously check me out but didn't stay
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

I agree, keep doing all the right things and be patient. It takes time until one decides to make your site their home.
glfriend
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:55 pm
Location: Virginia

So just keep it open and keep out the other birds until pm season is over ?
phldave
Posts: 513
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:44 pm
Location: Iowa/Pleasant Hill
Martin Colony History: Started trying in 2012 and still trying

You might not want to keep all the compartments open or the the bad guys will drive you crazy. I know here in Iowa if they nest sometime in June or first week of July they still can raise a clutch.
2012 late start
2013 nothing yet, lots a lookers
2014 Bust again
2015 Bust again
2016 Bust again
2017 Bust again
2018 April 14 a group joined me, but moved on after a week
2019 Had SY male seriously check me out but didn't stay
Rediwill
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:06 pm
Location: fredericksburg, va
Martin Colony History: 2016 bought 6 gourds. Pole put up late in June due to HOA approval. Had visitor birds but no pairs that stayed.
2017 12 gourds- Pole up 3/1 and had male and females visit but didn’t pair up.
2018 upgraded to 2 inch sq pole/winch and will have 24 gourds. Many solo visitors but seem to be passing by. Will trim trees and check fly ways.
2019 saw only one or two martins all summer. Brothers Martins didn’t show up at all.
2020 3 pairs, 1st- 5 eggs/ 2nd hatched 2 fledged, 2 - 5 eggs/ 2-5 hatched fledging 7/20-8/1, 3rd formed late July and no nest built.

I feel your pain. I had many of the same. I will say I did go stand by my pole and make sure I had good fly ways. I cut down two trees and trimmed three. I also got the repeating trap for the ground. I caught 8-10 house sparrows already. I only used a gourd trap when I saw a pair of house sparrow in a gourd. I waited until there was an egg and then installed the trap. That way I knew I wouldn’t get a Martin.

I plan to trim two more trees to widen a fly way after this year.

Last 4 years I had visitors and some males staying for days looking for females. Just no luck until this year and got two pairs. However, my brothers colony 10 miles away never showed up. Weather, luck and threats all play a role. Just do your best and keep faith. My wife thought I was crazy sitting on the deck past 4 years 5-7am playing dawn song. Now she understands after seeing the eggs.

Best of luck and keep it going,


P.s.

I stopped playing the dawn song if there were actually Martins on my pole. I only turned it back on if there was no martins on the pole for 30 mins or so. I felt it confused them and they were often looking in the gourds for martins and not finding them since they heard the song playing. I thin the key is to have them keep stopping by during the day and get lucky and have two or three arrive at the same time and pair up. I stopped playing the dawn song once I got one pair. They do the singing for you at that point each day.

Red
jhcox
Posts: 494
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.

Have you tried putting mirrors in the back of the gourds or compartments and a couple of decoys in a few of the compartments are gourds. You can also smear mud on your porch is an entrance and just inside the entrance to make your gourd look like it has been used before. As far as the dawn song I put mine on a timer And I would play it from 4 AM to 9 AM then from 12 to 2 and then in the evening for about an hour just before dark. I never turned the dawn song off if I had Martins Looking Because they’re used to hearing other birds in a colony Also if you put the decoys inside and the mirrors it makes him think it’s an active colony. You can also put a couple decoys on your perches above the housing. I hope this helps sometimes it just takes several years. I was pretty lucky to get a nesting pair in my second or third year and last year I had 10 nesting pair and this year I have 26 nesting pair. So if you keep up the work eventually will pay off. Good luck and have a good season
glfriend
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2020 6:55 pm
Location: Virginia

Thanks for all the thoughts......I have done all which was recommended...except for decoy inside ...I'll try that today. According to the book I have it appears to be an adult female. She frequents daily mostly fly over and swooping down approach to land but doesn't . Like she is trying to see who comes to the door when she fakes a landing. I have an established colony less than a mile from me. I actually built him a quick two compartment PM cedar house.....which has two pair living in them now. I figure perhaps this will help me one day.
phldave
Posts: 513
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:44 pm
Location: Iowa/Pleasant Hill
Martin Colony History: Started trying in 2012 and still trying

Jhcox
Yes I’ve tried all that plus green leaves and dummy eggs only thing I haven’t done is put up a vacancy sign because I’m sure they can’t read “ha ha”. They do have the ability to drive you crazy.
2012 late start
2013 nothing yet, lots a lookers
2014 Bust again
2015 Bust again
2016 Bust again
2017 Bust again
2018 April 14 a group joined me, but moved on after a week
2019 Had SY male seriously check me out but didn't stay
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2935
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

I've started 2 colonies, both took 5 years. The first one I stressed, spread mud, and did every trick people recommended. The second time I pre nested, played the dawn song, and forgot about it. I found my days and nights more enjoyable when I wasn't spending every waking moment trying to think of other things to do. To me I had the philosophy that if there are martins in my area and if they like my location they will stay. So if you have adequate housing, and open site, and keep competitors out, those are the most important steps.
Everyone has differing opinions but I not sure that some mud or a mirror would cause a pair to stay if they weren't already going to stay. I'm sure others will disagree.....
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.
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