Advice please, I don't know what to try next.

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Post Reply
Duffie
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon May 18, 2020 7:06 pm
Location: Rensselaer,IN

I have an S&K 12 compartment house that's been converted to 6 Compartments. 0 compartments being used, 1 open. I have 3 Natureline plastic gourds open under the house with 2 gourds occupied with SY pairs, 1 with 5 babies and 1 with 5 eggs set to hatch this week. My problem is I can't get rid of some Sparrows trying to take the gourd and house openings. I have been successful with the sparrow trap I purchased from PMCA in trapping my 1st problem Sparrow. Now, this male Sparrow will not go in the house compartment when I have the trap in it. He just sits outside on the porch and protects the cavity. When I take it out for the night and before I can get out there in the morning he has nesting material in it when I put the trap back on for the day. I've tried it bare, I've camouflaged it with his nesting material, I've put pieces of bread in it, and even put bird seed in it, all to no avail, he will not go in and get caught in the trap. I've tried to shoot him but he flies off just as soon as I open the door to shoot him, I've even tried to hide in the yard and wait for him. I can wait forever and he never comes back until I go back in the house, then he's there in less than 5 minutes. Now there is 2 or 3 others trying to get in the empty gourd. Same thing. I spent most of the day today trying to get rid of these #%&! Sparrows. I'm so upset, I don't know what to try now. I'm afraid they are going to kill the babies or destroy the eggs in the other gourd. ANY ADVICE would be appreciated. I'm at a loss with this situation. Thanks, Doug
Spiderman
Posts: 778
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

Why do you take the trap out at night?

I would just leave the trap in there until it does Its job.
2008 - 33 PAIR - FLEDGED 96 YOUNG
2009 - 51 PAIR - FLEDGED 166 YOUNG
2010 - 45 PAIR - FLEDGED 146 YOUNG
2011 - 33 PAIR - 128 HATCHED, 97 FLEDGED
2012 - 37 PAIR - 119 HATCHED, 101 FLEDGED
Duffie
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon May 18, 2020 7:06 pm
Location: Rensselaer,IN

I take it out because the Martins go in that compartment periodically, just being nosey I guess and I don't want one of them being trapped in there all night and the manufacturers instructions says not to leave it unattended for more than a couple hours and close it if it will be unattended as you could trap a non-targeted bird.
Kegger
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:58 am
Location: Awesome Florida
Martin Colony History: Newbie in 2020: 2 pair of SY with 4 eggs each in Troyer Horizontals
fledged a total of 7 Martins

Duffie:

I had a couple persistent older male sparrows early on like this. What worked
for me was closing off the cavity, then re-opening with a little of his nesting
material sticking out the door. Leave trap in when closing so u wont have to
take it in and out. If your trap won't work try a mouse trap or glue trap but
cover the floor of the cavity with paper to protect from glue. A piece of pool
noodle stuffed into cavity opening works good for door closure. 8)
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2939
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

At this time of year it is very unlikely that you would get martins to nest, especially at an un-established colony. If it were me I would change my focus to getting rid of the HOSP. What I do when nothing else will work is use a glue trap. In your situation I would get a piece of plastic (like a cottage cheese container lid) and cut a smaller hole in it that a martin cannot fit into. Attach that over your existing door and block off all other doors. Once the HOSP gets accustomed to going in and out of the cavity with the new opening then you can place a small glue trap inside the cavity. If you do that you need to set it when you have free time to watch it and make sure no native birds go in. The glue traps are very effective on HOSP but they are certain death for any bird that gets in them so you can't just set it and walk away for an extended period of time.

The good news is that HOSP have a fairly small home territory and you can make an impact on their numbers. I started out killing hundreds of them a year, as I have farms all around me. The last few years I have only had 10 or less. Next year I would set your housing up early with some traps. In the early spring the HOSP are aggressive when searching for cavities and insert traps can work really 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.
Cjs180
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu May 28, 2020 8:17 pm
Location: Oshkosh WI

If he comes back within 5 minutes of you going inside just crack the door and be ready to shoot him. No noise or movement just wait him out. When he lands, poof done.

Good luck. Chris
ron20m
Posts: 446
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2004 3:01 pm
Location: Oklahoma/Norman

Once the nesting material is nice and thick and eggs present, I place a black rat trap in there and have been very successful. First time in 25 years with ZERO HSP.
I've also tried, and might work for you, is to set up a live bird trap withing 10 feet of bottom of poles and used that maise bird seed as bait. I use a wwire one that has a trap on both sides. You have to moniter closely because I have caught a bluejay in it. I like that because males go for it good.
If you have to order a trap, then go get some seed and start feeding him on the ground to get him prepped.
Post Reply