An Eastern Kingbird.....

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white-out
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:21 am
Location: ohio

is harassing my nest building martins all the time........all two of them! He's not afraid of me and was wondering if anyone here has had a problem with these birds?
Whippy
Posts: 869
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: See Signature

Does he use the top of the martin housing to perch on? These guys like to perch on things while they hunt so maybe he's using this as his hunting perch and protecting it from the Martins. If that's the case maybe put up a perch pole or something for him to use a good distance from the Martin housing.

I expect others with more experience than me will advise more effectively but thought I'd throw that into the wind.

Coolwhips
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
deancamp
Posts: 682
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

My only experience with them has been that occasionally ( a few times a year) I will see them chasing a Martin that I assume flew into there territory at the wrong time. The Kingbird can stay with them turn for turn until they decide to quit chasing.
Jeff Dean
white-out
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:21 am
Location: ohio

He sits all over the place then darts out for a meal and the back. He tries to enter the gourds but I don't think he can. Very pretty and fun to watch but he's pushing his luck....... :grin:

"The Kingbird can stay with them turn for turn until they decide to quit chasing."

the chase is so fast that it hard to believe!
randyM
Posts: 129
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 - 33 banded SY returned in 2021 (22.0%).
* 2021 - 89 nesting pairs....150 banded.

Two years ago I had a pair of western kingbirds successfully nest in my plastic heath house (modified to 6 rooms, but they built their nest in the "front" cavity and didn't utilize the cavity extention). No martins nested in that plastic house, but were nesting in wooden houses 20 feet from the heath house in all directions. Other than an occasional minor skirmish, all residents were pretty well behaved for the nesting season. I also have more western KB and eastern KB nesting in trees 40 feet from some of my martin housing each year and they frequently perch on top of my martin housing, and, again, only and occasional minor skirmish with martins. I currently have a tree swallow with eggs in a plastic gourd hanging beneath a wood house with 4 martin pairs currently building nests and all is peaceful. I think your martins and the resident eastern kingbird will learn to "peacefully" co-exist in the same general space as a few more days pass.
dsonyay
Posts: 1327
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:10 pm
Location: Louisiana/Broussard
Martin Colony History: 2010-2014 located in Slidell LA. Gourd rack with 16 gourds. Max of 2 pairs during this short period in Slidell. Plenty of fledglings.

2014-present.. moved to Broussard LA. Same Gourd Rack but added a 6 room house (modified from a 12 room)

2020: after a long drought of nothing, 4 pairs and 4 nests, 23 eggs total.
6 fledges.

2021: 9 pair, 47 eggs
36 hatchlings
30 fledged

I love Eastern Kingbirds.. they nest nearby and occasionally will tangle up with the martins. Fiesty birds!
dsonyay
Posts: 1327
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:10 pm
Location: Louisiana/Broussard
Martin Colony History: 2010-2014 located in Slidell LA. Gourd rack with 16 gourds. Max of 2 pairs during this short period in Slidell. Plenty of fledglings.

2014-present.. moved to Broussard LA. Same Gourd Rack but added a 6 room house (modified from a 12 room)

2020: after a long drought of nothing, 4 pairs and 4 nests, 23 eggs total.
6 fledges.

2021: 9 pair, 47 eggs
36 hatchlings
30 fledged

And yes.. these Kingbirds are matched up evenly when it comes to keeping up with martins. They are quick and very maneuverable
white-out
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:21 am
Location: ohio

Now I have 3 and I hope they'll have betters things to do. When the martins would land on the rack, he would go right up there and chase them or try to follow them into the gourd. I hope they play nice ...................... :roll:

Side note not worthy of a new thread........I was watching my two martins pestering a red tailed hawk through my binoculars. I swear that one Martin landed on the hawks back 3 different times. The hawk would tilt rapidly to one side and the Martin would fly off..........have you ever seen this before or should I quit drinking?
randyM
Posts: 129
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 - 33 banded SY returned in 2021 (22.0%).
* 2021 - 89 nesting pairs....150 banded.

I've seen kingbirds jump on the backs of redtail and swainson's hawks in flight before, but not martins. Such aggressive birds might be able to get a way with doing that to buteo-type hawks, but likely would not attempt (or live to tell about) such a daring stunt to much more agile accipiter-type hawks.
Rafke77
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:47 pm
Location: Plymouth, IN
Martin Colony History: 2021 Texas deep freeze, first arrived 4/6.

2020 first arrived 3/27. 21 pair, 92 fledged, 9 non viable.

2019 first time with Martin's, first arrived 4/24 10 pair, 24 fledged, 15 eggs non-viable.

white-out wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 10:40 am
have you ever seen this before or should I quit drinking?
Don't be a quitter! Hahaha
We had an issue with a king bird our first year. Luckily it only stayed for a couple days but it was using the Martin rack to perch on, the Martins tried chasing it away but that little evil demon winged stinker would chase them around regardless of how many were after it. I would run around frantically trying to scare it away but it would rather poop on me than move anywhere else. Like I said, we were lucky it moved on after a couple days. Hopefully yours will do the same. Good luck! Just
Black Jack
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon May 06, 2019 4:37 pm
Location: NC

I have a couple around every year. They flex those muscles a bit then they move on. Happens every year.
white-out
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:21 am
Location: ohio

Thanks all and this is why I like this forum!
Rafke77 wrote:
Fri May 21, 2021 8:31 am
white-out wrote:
Thu May 20, 2021 10:40 am
have you ever seen this before or should I quit drinking?
Don't be a quitter! Hahaha
We had an issue with a king bird our first year. Luckily it only stayed for a couple days but it was using the Martin rack to perch on, the Martins tried chasing it away but that little evil demon winged stinker would chase them around regardless of how many were after it. I would run around frantically trying to scare it away but it would rather poop on me than move anywhere else. Like I said, we were lucky it moved on after a couple days. Hopefully yours will do the same. Good luck! Just
That's me.....jumping up and down and throwing gravel at him in the daytime....in the middle of the front yard.........and then sit on my cabin porch and wait for the nut catcher, that my neighbors called, to come and fit for a straight jacket!.......... They have yet to leave..arrrg!
Rafke77
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:47 pm
Location: Plymouth, IN
Martin Colony History: 2021 Texas deep freeze, first arrived 4/6.

2020 first arrived 3/27. 21 pair, 92 fledged, 9 non viable.

2019 first time with Martin's, first arrived 4/24 10 pair, 24 fledged, 15 eggs non-viable.

As a last resort, have you thought about getting an airsoft gun?? I know some might think wouldn't be the most ethical way of getting rid of it, But a hit or two might feel like a wasp sting to it and that's all you might just need to get rid of it. Obviously as long as no Martins are in the vicinity of it as well.
mwren
Posts: 142
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:43 pm
Location: OH/Athens
Martin Colony History: I have had my martin colony on the dam of one of my ponds for nine years. The colony has grown each year, but I am now concentrating on helping friends and acquaintances who have shown interests in martins. My colony consists of three T-14's with 8 Troyer gourds attatched to each T-14, a Troyer gourd rack with 12 gourds, and another gourd rack with 18 Troyer gourds for a total of 96 nest cavities. I am having serious predation issues with hawks and owls and am experimenting with various hawk guards and "screens". Established successful supplemental feeding the last few seasons and have had a blast flipping mostly meal worms and some crickets. Faculty from Ohio University are using my colony as a research site to study parasites that target cavity nesting birds. In exchange for access to my bird trail nest boxes and martin housing, they are banding all birds involved in their study.

I have had a pair of Eastern Kingbirds around my home colony for going on 4 seasons now. My Martin colony is very well established with 96 nest opportunities in T-14's and also in Troyer gourds. The Martins and the kingbirds do have arguments and flying spats that are really something to watch. The Kingbirds are very acrobatic and amazing air speed. These chases do not last long, and the kingbird returns to wherever he was roosting and watching the colony looking for insect activity. Each season, it has not taken the Kingbirds very long to figure out that Flipping, Supplemental feeding of mealworms is something that they wanted to be involved in! I use the time that the martins are doing their pairing off and nest building to make sure that all my martins are comfortable with "Flipping" . This is one of the ways that I recognize "my" birds when they return to the colony in early spring.......they know right away that the old man with the plastic spoon flipping mealworms skyward is trying to help them through difficult early spring times.
The Kingbirds are very fast learners, and they have their favorite perching areas on the edges of the colony to watch for "flying mealworms". Their flying skills and eyesight is really amazing. Not only do the have uncanny ability to see the flying mealworms, but they have the speed to catch up with them and grab them before they hit the ground. If the don't catch one, they usually find it quickly in the grass, then return to their perch. During these sessions, the Kingbirds are also in competition with Bluebirds who are also very well trained with the Flipping routine. Now that the bluebirds are actively nesting, it is fun to watch them win out the race to the flying mealworms, and then see them head straight to their Bluebird boxes down in the field to feed their growing youngsters. In the next few weeks we can tell from far off when the young bluebirds have fledged because the parents are all of a sudden flying to nearby trees with their food treats to feed the fledglings where they stashed them in the trees. The next step is in another week or two the parents teach the youngsters to come up to the colony to learn "Flipping". In the last few seasons my flipping has grown to include not only the intended Martins, but also the fast flying Kingbirds, the Bluebirds, friendly song sparrow parents who fly up to the Colony from the fields down below where the song sparrows nest, an occasional yellow throated warbler in early spring, and the pesky mocking birds who are often around.
Teaching our martins to understand Flipping has allowed us enjoy hours of interaction with a number of other bird species also. Give it a try !! Order the meal worms online, buy the cheap plastic serving spoons at WalMart and you are ready to go !!

P.S. I have a number of tree swallows nesting in the fields below the colony, but they are the only bird species that for some reason has not caught on to what is going on with the "flying meal worms". They just do not seem to understand what is going on. It might be that they don't like the competition with all the martins involved. I am not really sure.

"Bird"
Mike "Bird" Wren
white-out
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:21 am
Location: ohio

Bird,

Thanks for the priceless info ......and the bright passion/understanding you have for the birds you live with.

Question, do you "flip" close to the Martin houses? If so, does it create a problem with bring these birds to the site? Thanks again
Donnie Hurdt MN
Posts: 1722
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 11:14 pm
Location: North Prairie, MN

Great reading about your "flipping " to train other birds that food is on the table.
But much bigger birds can learn about free food too. For the past three years there has been a pair of Barred owls nesting in a tree at the edge of our yard. But instead of "flipping" they have learned that the sound of a gunshot means that means that dinner is about to be served. This all started a couple of years ago when I would be mowing lawn and the Owls learned that the frogs that I would scare up when mowing would be easy picking for them to catch. To make a long story shorter as time went by they got used to me being out and about in the yard and they quickly learned that if I shot a furry little critter and did not pick it up right away it's mealtime. They have become quite tame often flying by so close to me that I can hear the wind in their feathers.
They seem to know who I am but if anyone is in the yard with me they stay away until the other person is out of sight even if food is offered. Once their young have fledged, either one or two, they become more distant maby to protect their young? I don't know.
These Owls are fun to watch they seem to be as intrsted in me as I am in them.
PMCA member and Martin fanatic....
2011 A pair of subbies fledged three young but none returned in 2012 :-(
2015 One Pair of subbies came and stayed a few nits but got chased away by Bluebirds and Tree swallows. :-(
2017 0ne pair of subbies nested and fledged 4 young
2018 Tree Swallows AGAIN chased away any martins that wanted to nest :evil:
2019 Same old story................ :-(
mwren
Posts: 142
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:43 pm
Location: OH/Athens
Martin Colony History: I have had my martin colony on the dam of one of my ponds for nine years. The colony has grown each year, but I am now concentrating on helping friends and acquaintances who have shown interests in martins. My colony consists of three T-14's with 8 Troyer gourds attatched to each T-14, a Troyer gourd rack with 12 gourds, and another gourd rack with 18 Troyer gourds for a total of 96 nest cavities. I am having serious predation issues with hawks and owls and am experimenting with various hawk guards and "screens". Established successful supplemental feeding the last few seasons and have had a blast flipping mostly meal worms and some crickets. Faculty from Ohio University are using my colony as a research site to study parasites that target cavity nesting birds. In exchange for access to my bird trail nest boxes and martin housing, they are banding all birds involved in their study.

White-out,

I do my flipping around the colony. The birds learn to watch my actions to determine when the flipping is going to begin. They will learn to observe my actions below the colony, as they watch from their perches They learn to drop or jump from their perch to pursue the flying meal worms as soon as the Meal worms are airborne. Their eyesight and their flying ability is amazing to say the least. One thing I will mention as a warning.....Limit the amount of time you are flipping to the martins in the middle of the colony, because Sharp Shinns and Coopers Hawks could gain an advantage and launch successful air raids on the martins who could be letting their guard down while they are concentrating on the flying meal worms. I move around and do my flipping from different areas on the edges of the colony, and sometimes will flip from a good distance from the Colony . I also try to limit the length of time spent flipping so I do not attract too much attention from the small, fast hawks!

Bird
Mike "Bird" Wren
bootjack farm
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:30 am
Location: Russell, Pa
Martin Colony History: 9 years of trying hard...finally in 2017 I had 3 pair w/ 11 babies. T-14 +4 w/ 4 Troyer horiz. gourds. Troyer Super System 24. Fast forward to 2020... 64 fledged.

I had a similar problem w/ Kingbirds. You might check and see if they have a nest nearby. In my case they liked a particular Elderberry bush that was within 100 ft. of my Martins. I did a little "habitat alteration" the following fall and it seemed to have solved the problem.
Northwest PA
white-out
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:21 am
Location: ohio

Hey all......I really appreciate the feedback on the Eastern Kingbird! I was think about giving him a quiet send-off but your replies saved ME! He mated up and has stopped messing with the martins soon after my post. Talk about neat birds........they sit in a small oak by ponds edge and hoover out over the lilies and take the bugs right off the pads. I need to get a video to post here and show just how effortlessly they fly....just beautiful! out
pvelandr
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:45 pm
Location: Michigan/Grass Lake

Kingbirds nest yearly in a mulberry tree 60 feet from my colony. No real problems til the K-bird young are nearing fledge time. Then the attacks begin. Hunting martins near their tree get chased, bullied and harassed. I watched last year as the male took one of my martins to the ground in the adjacent cornfield. I never saw my martin again. These are dangerous birds to your colony. I tolerate their aggressive
behavior each year until their young fledge, or mine do.
Paul V.
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