Plugging Martin Entrances Early

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Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 643
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: So. Central TX
Martin Colony History: All Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

All of our martins have fledged. We had one late nest that fledged a week ago. Not once during the season did we see any House Sparrows. We do regular nest checks. Today a pair of HS started building a nest in one of the gourds. Hubby decided to pull out nest and plug all the gourds. When the HS’s came back it was obvious they were stymied they couldn’t get into the gourd. They pecked all around it. They flew off but returned a while later and did the same. Then they started looking for another gourd and of course none were open.
We still have a few martins checking things out but the number has decreased significantly. Will the plugged gourds be a deterrent to attracting martins next year?
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

Sharon,

This is a great opportunity to trap the sparrows for sure. Getting rid of them now will give you a head start next Spring.

I tend to leave my gourds open through the end of August and then some. I don't have any sparrows or starlings so I can do this. I have two nests remaining in my gourds that will fledge in about a week or so and three nests in my Trio that will fledge in the next few days. With those nests still being here, I get a lot of visitors each morning. All of them are checking out gourds and going in and out having a good ole time. I feel that I will have a good season next year as a result.

Also. As Martins start to migrate South, it is possible some of them may stop in your place for the night.

So. I think getting rid of the sparrows and leaving a few gourds open to show visitors that there had been nests in them will help in your growth for next year. I wouldn't let the sparrows call the shots. I would let them receive a shot but not let them call them.

That's my $0.02.

Coolwhips
Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 643
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: So. Central TX
Martin Colony History: All Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

Thanks Whippy. Why we didn’t think about that at the time I’m not sure. We do have the um tool to take them out and live in a somewhat rural area with no one behind us. Chalk it up to brain fog as we just returned from a several day’s stressful trip and are both tired. Plus we’re getting older so that’s always a good excuse :lol: .
It sounds like you’re doing well at your place and building up a nice colony. I’m sure next year will be a banner year for you.
Sharon
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