Decoys

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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.

W was sitting on the back patio this morning when out of nowhere ones a small hawk trying to get a martin. All the Martins scattered and he was only left with a decoy to grab at. All of the Martins chased him into the next county. If you newbie landlords don’t have decoys up get them could save your entire colony from leaving you high and dry. Could take 20 years to get some to stay again.
Whippy
Posts: 598
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: 2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged

JHCox,

Right on, Man. Right on.

Same thing here. Decoys are saving many lives. Two days ago the Coopers Hawk had a battle with one of my decoys I have placed on my fence then went over and battled a decoy I have set on the perch rods of my Trio Wade. I first saw him sitting on the chimney of my neighbors house. Martins and Crows were dive bombing him. He left that perch and mounted an attack on the decoy as just described. That decoy kept him off of my gourd rack as it sits about 6 feet below the level of the gourd rack.

As long as he's battling the decoys, I'm not losing Martins. I have not lost a Martin all season and the Hawks visits are now very few and very far in between since he has not been successful at all here.

I chose not to put decoys on my gourd rack because I do not want a Hawk getting used to busting up my gourds and nests. Mounting the decoys close and below the level of the gourds allows the martins to swoop past them and draw the hawk away from the gourds. In the Spring the hawk tried to snatch a Martin off the porch of a decoy in the evening. I then put up the decoys and he has never hit the gourds since.

Sorry for the lengthy post. Wanted to provide ideas for those who want to put up decoys.

Coolwhips
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.

That’s right Whippy anything we can do to make it safer for our Martins.
Andrew Smith
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:11 am
Location: Burford, Ontario, Canada
Martin Colony History: 2019 - Hundreds of fly-bys August and September
2020- Visitors in April and June

IMG_20200702_044853_01.jpg
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I struggled to find a way to attach the decoies to perches. Found this method is good, you can rotate them in various angles also. Seems to hold very firm. "Gorilla Glue" is used to attach decoy to clamp. See attached photo.
2019 - Set up T14 Multiple flyovers during migration in August
2020 - ASY male visit in April , SY male visits in June
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.

I have all thread rods as my perches at the top of the poles. I drill a hole in the decoy just a bit smaller than the all thread and screw the decoy on to the all thread. It’s on there pretty tight but if a hawk or owl hits it it will turn up or down. Also you can move it back and forth along the all thread to place it in different positions. So the hawk doesn’t get wise to it sitting in the same spot all the time. Has worked well so far.
Whippy
Posts: 598
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: 2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged

I drilled a 1/4 hole in the bottom of my decoy and inserted a 3 foot long by 1/4 inch fiber glass rod at an angle and ran the rod inside the decoy until it got wedged inside the head and neck with no glue involved. I beveled the rod tip so it'll fit a bit snugger than what a squared off tip would. These have been hit several times and I have not had to adjust or reattach them. I've had hawks wrestle with them and try to get them off but to no avail.

I may have mentioned this before about putting decoys on housing. I prefer to draw the hawk away from housing preventing it from crashing around the gourds or house. I think a baby who is due to fledge might get flushed out during the commotion. Maybe not but not worth the risk. Plus I don't want the hawk to associate the housing with being a food source.

What ever your method and no matter how well it works it is well worth the time and effort as these decoys, strategically placed, save Martin lives.

Coolwhips
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Whippy
Posts: 598
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: 2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged

BTW. I got the idea of inserting the rod into the decoy from Steve Kroenke's post a while back.

Thanks, Steve for posting these photos a long time ago. I hope you don't mind me re-posting them. I am grateful for the idea that works so well for me and my Martins and wanted to share with others again.

Coolwhips
Attachments
decoyattached_steve kroenke.jpg
decoyattached_steve kroenke.jpg (30.65 KiB) Viewed 1155 times
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decoydistance1_steve_kroenke.jpg (22.48 KiB) Viewed 1155 times
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.

That’s a good idea Whippy I might figure out a way to give that a try a my sight. O ya I forgot to mention I got some bottle rocks to help scare him away.
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.

Hey Whippy I took you up on the advice. I Used two pieces of bamboo about 8 feet high and mounted them on poles that are around four feet high. I placed a Long ride between the two and placed four decoys along the rod close together to look like several Martin’s perched together. Not sure what kind of hawk it is But it came through again this morning not sure if you got a Martin or not but hopefully this will help control it
Whippy
Posts: 598
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: 2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged

That's good stuff.

As you continue to observe you'll notice the directions the hawk comes from. If he continues to use two or three of the same paths, place decoys in those paths. Not sure your area and set up allows this but, mine did. Regardless, if you can place the decoys below the level of the housing like you did and about 15 feet away from the housing on several sides, you should be able to distract the hawk enough to give the Martins time to flee.

When you see the hawk wrestling with a decoy, your martins are safe. If you see your decoys have been re-positioned, your martins got away.

Coopers hawks are what I have here and a lot of other landlords do as well. But there are also sharp shinned hawks menacing some colonies on here.

Heres a link to the coopers hawk:

https://abcbirds.org/bird/coopers-hawk/ ... jQQAvD_BwE

Heres a link to a sharp shinned hawk:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Sha ... ed_Hawk/id

Coolwhips
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.

Hey Whippy the hawk struck a again one of the decoys was turn face down when I went outside a few minutes ago. I have a long piece of bamboo that I use the right the decoy it annoys the Martins a little but it’s worth it. I have not witnessed him getting any Martins or any evidence that he has gotten one like feathers on the ground. If I could catch him perched somewhere before he attacks I have some bottle rockets to scare him away if I get the chance.
Whippy
Posts: 598
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: 2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged

As long as he is hitting your decoys he's not getting any Martins.

I have Martins dive bombing my decoys all the time. Seems the young ones are using them as target practice. They aren't making any threatening noises that they do when trying to run something off so I'm not real worried about it. The ASY martins buzz past them on the way in and on the way out almost as if they know to use them as cover.

Ig I'm around and see the hawk perched I usually throw something at my fence which make one hell of a loud noise. If he's too far away for that, I just hang out until he leaves. He doesn't come around when I'm outside.

Keep at it. Maybe add a decoy or two in different locations of the area to keep him honest.

Coolwhips
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.

I plan on going just that another setup of decoys on the other side of the racks. That may have to wait until next year.
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