Our Lowes Satellite Martin Colony Destroyed

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Spiderman
Posts: 778
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

Steve & Bob

I read your post last night and didn't really know what to say. This morning is a little better. Steve and I have exchanged emails and he has helped me deal with my hawk problems. I was upset about losing a couple of birds. I can't imagine the loss of an entire colony in one day.

I was thinking if you had an interest you could contact the local newspapers and TV stations. They could do a story on this great loss and you could even ask for donations to replace the martin houses (with a security fence to keep out undesirables and a Lowes camera pointed your way) at the Lowes location.

You could expand public knowledge of the purple martin habitat, the great migration they endure, and the need for people to install housing for them to live in.

I have a sister in the "News" business that lives and works in Shreveport if this is something you would like to pursue, send me an email.

Contrary to how you may feel right now there are still alot of good people in the world that would be willing to help with this situation.
KathyF
Posts: 3518
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

Steve & Bob,
I'm so sorry to hear this. :cry: I saw that colony on a few trips through Shreveport and thought that it was a nice "advertisement" for martineering. There are a lot of good ideas and people-who-know-people in the posts above. I hope you are able to use their help and catch these people.

I have to say though that this seems like something that Bob described happening to your earlier houses. There may be a few, but I don't think crooks would be so brazen and bold as to steal these in broad daylight, as 1) they don't know if someone from Lowe's is watching and 2) they don't know who the owners are and if they are in the parking lot taking the crook's pictures and ready to hit them with a crowbar.

I suspect that it was someone from Lowe's that knew you and Bob had already been there to check on the houses and waited until you left...perhaps they knew your 'house-check' schedule. I don't know - just a gut feeling.

Anyway, I agree with Todd - thank God there were no eggs yet. Please keep us posted. As to your other houses / poles / gourds, I would suggest using an engraving tool and engraving your names or initials or made-up serial numbers into the poles, etc. so that you could verify they are your's at the scrap metal places...or someone's house if you find them there. Best of luck - and as John said above, "don't let the world change you"...you guys are awesome MEN and leaders of this community. :)
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
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Brad-AL
Posts: 566
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 2:00 pm
Location: North AL

Steve, that's awful man. I wouldn't doubt that the guys bought the shovel at Lowes during that trip.

I'm just throwing out an idea for your other public colonies, you may be way ahead of my on this one. Was it possible for the people to lower the housing? I help a guy manage a, so far unestablished, site at the school our kids go to and we have the winch padlocked so it can't be lowered unless we lower it, or the lock gets cut. We did it for safety reasons, to keep a kid from getting hit by a falling gourd rack if they messed with the winch. I guess padlocking them to make them harder to steal would help some too. I have never tried to take one of my poles down with the racks raised, but I don't think it would be very easy.

I'd bet that your Martin houses are lying in a scrap yard this morning, or will be before long. If recording names of sellers, etc actually stopped theft, it would have stopped already. Copper theft here is rampant. Those kind of folks know where they can sell metal without questions being asked. I'd call the media outlets, especially any local TV stations. You'll at least raise public awareness. The general public doesn't care if John Doe's buisiness has $10,000 worth of copper stolen, but these thugs are messing with wildlife. People will be mad about that.
Guest

Hopefully, they'll catch them with the camera. The city I work for, we have a large problem with ppl stealing copper wire... well basically anything thats not welded down, they steal. They've even broke into our shop to steal aluminum cans!
I would check with the local scrap yards and ask that if it comes in, to call you. Atleast they'll know it's stolen and maybe have a heart and call.
Also, see if Lowe's will post a reward, money talks and sooner than later the crooks will to!

We need to lump martin house theives with sparrows and starlings... and trap them all!

Good luck
Chuck
Fred Kaluza~MI
Posts: 602
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 10:40 pm
Location: Warren, Michigan
Martin Colony History: Tried and tried and had some visitors but...not enough good insects around here to keep them interested.

Bring back public flogging! I'm sorry for what's happened there Steve. Around here the idiots steal copper wire from LIVE power transmission lines. A friend of mine took a picture with his cell phone of a hoodlum on a 4.7 KV power-pole in an alley behind a business who was still smoldering as the firefighters were beginning their "removal" process. That "crispy critter" got what he deserved.
Last edited by Fred Kaluza~MI on Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Steve Kroenke
Posts: 4342
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:49 pm
Location: Louisiana/Logansport

Hey friends,

We really appreciate all the support shown on the Forum and suggestions to catch the thieves. We still don't know if they were after the metal or are some really desperate people who wanted martin houses. But we are inclined to believe it was the metal. We still need to file a police report. Your suggestions about contacting a local newspaper is a great one, too and we hope to follow up on that.

We are also seriously considerating NOT giving up the Lowes site after all because the martins have done so well there. This morning Bob is"fired up" and ready! He has an almost completed wooden T-14 that we were going to use for the SYs at my colony. So our tentative (and it could change) plan is to finish the T-14 and place it on a 3 inch size square galvanized steel pole and erect the set-up at Lowes. Maybe lock the winch handle. If the thieves want fancy aluminum, then they will not get it. I don't know how this will work out, but we just can't let these low lifes run us out of the martin business at Lowes. We will see what happens.

Thanks again and we will keep you posted on the status of this once great satellite martin colony.

Steve
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2919
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Has the Lowes showed any interest in helping out with the cause? I know it was in no way their responsibility but I used to work for them and my wife still does and they do have a charitable side.
Donnie Hurdt MN
Posts: 1717
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 11:14 pm
Location: North Prairie, MN

Steve, I am really glad you and Bob are planning to put housing back up there. I think it will be a great morale boost for all of who are saddend by this, and will be an even greater help to the martins who have lost their homes.
It would be your way too, of telling those bas%^#&s that what they did is not going to stop you guys from keeping the martins in good housing. :twisted:
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................ :-(
Carlton
Posts: 1927
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 6:42 pm
Location: Florida/Pompano Beach
Martin Colony History: I moved to South Florida, from Delaware, in August of 2015.

I will have 2 MSS-8 houses, with Excluder entrances, here on my condo grounds. This season I will also have two Delux Gourd Racks with 24 Excluder Gourds with Modified Excluder entrances. In our condo development, along the lake in a different section, I have 7 Excluder Gourds hanging from 84 inch Shepherd's Hooks with predator guards.

At Quiet Waters Park, nearby in Deerfield Beach, I have a Deluxe Gourd Rack with 12 TVG's. I also have an rack with 12 Excluder gourds with Modified Excluder entrances.

At another local park, Tradewinds Park at Coconut Creek, I have a Trendsetter 12, 5 gourds rack with 60 Excluder gourds with Modified Excluder Entrances and 1 Delux Gourd Rack with 12 Troyer Vertical Gourds with wing guards over the Conley II to keep out smaller starlings.

VERY SAD and DISCOURAGED right now. I just do not understand people. We are SUPPOSED to be the intelligent creatures on this earth but sometimes I wonder.
Donna - TX
Posts: 889
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 6:44 pm
Location: Texas/Pearland

Hey Steve and Bob,

What can we do to help. I do not live near there so I can't offer my services that way but what about donations for housing, padlocks, poles, etc.?
Donna Gillbee
lockharttaylor
Posts: 195
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2005 1:33 pm
Location: texas/lockhart

AFTER READING ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED AT LOWE'S IN LOUISIANA, I DON'T KNOW IF I WANT TO CONTINUE WITH MY PLANS TO TRY TO PUT UP HOUSING IN A LOCAL PARK NEAR OUR HOUSE. ONE THING THAT I AM REAL AFRAID OF IS KIDS MESSING WITH IT, THERE IS 2 SCHOOL CLOSE TO THE PARK, ONE OF THEM IS A JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL, WHERE A COUPLE OF CHRISTMAS AGO, MY WIFE HAD PUT OUT A ROW OF LIGHTS ALONG THE SIDEWALK, THE KIDS WOULD COME BY ON THE WAY TO AND FROM SCHOOL AND BREAK THEM . COURSE THE SCHOOL WOULD NOT DO ANY THING ABOUT IT. THIS YEAR WE HAVE A NEW HOUSE GOING UP ACROSS THE STREET FROM US AND THEIR BACKYARD WILL BE FACING THE PARK, WIFE HAVE TALK TO THEM AND THEY ARE INTERESTED IN PUTTING UP HOUSES IN THEIR BACK YARD. IN AUSTIN WHICH IS ABOUT 20 MINUTES , THERE WAS A MAN TRYING TO STEAL COPPER WIRE FROM AN ELECTRIC SUBSTATION, COURSE HE GOT A REAL SHOCK, CAUSING THIRD DEGREE BURNS, LATER HE DIED.
HAVE TALK TO THE CITY SINCE IT IS A CITY PARK ABOUT THE HOUSING, THEY HAVE NO PROBLEMS WITH PUTTING UP THE HOUSES. I JUST DON'T WANT TO SPEND SO MUCH MONEY AND THEN SOMETHING HAPPENS TO THEM.



GARY TAYLOR
8 pairs 2005, 33 pairs 2006, 55 pairs 2007, 65 pairs 227 fledged 2008, 68 pairs 244 fledged 2009, 63 pairs 291 fledged 2010 make 296 2011 73 pairs 2013 59 Pairs 190 Fledged,2014 62 Pairs 2 babies 230 Fledged 2015? 72 pairs 4 babies 273 fledged 2018
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

Great idea Donna. I would be willing to chip in a few dollars. Steve you have been more than helpful to many of us with your ideas and suggestions. I know I have depended on you a few times, especially regarding snakes, and because of your advise I'm sure our colony has been saved numerous times! Please consider it a way for us to show our appreciation for all that you do for ALL of the martins and just a way for us to be in this together supporting each other.
Sharon
Mary Wilson-SW Ont
Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:24 pm
Location: Leamington Ontario

Steve and Bob, I am so sorry to hear this - it is so disheartening. Why some people have so little regard, or I should say none, for wild creatures is beyond me. We SHARE this world, and as it goes, so will we. But thankfully, most people are not that way (I still have to believe that!) and so many others have made the excellent suggestion of getting this out into the media. Most people just don't understand the wanton and deliberate destruction of wildlife or their habitat, and someone might come forward with information. Here's hoping that the martins will return to their colony with the new T14, and be able to live safely there; perhaps Lowes will now be more involved with helping to protect it.

Edit: I just saw Donna's suggestion; count me in as well.
Guest

Steve and Bob,

Although the adjacent Lowes store may not have much in the line of martin stuff, I'll bet the place is chock full of fence of all types and sizes. If you do start over with this colony, a good stout chain link fence would work wonders in deterring these smash and grab pukes.

A little good publicity does wonders when it comes to loosening the purse strings of these corporate types.

Hope things work out for the best, Tim
The Olsons
Posts: 3200
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:57 pm
Location: North Padre Island, TX

If I can help in any way to replace the housing or get another site going, please let me know.
Astrid

I am in as well....anything we can do to get new housing up and maybe even get a security camera that possible future intruders cannot see, but will be seen....Please let us all help!!!!!!
Love it or leave it~~~Astrid :-)
Guest

Steve and Bob,

It sounds like someone spent some time taking your housing. Thieves will spend more time staking out a potential theft location than one would think. They probably watched you on numerous occassions as you went about your business with the martins. That means for one reason or another they are in that area often. Possibly they work in the immediate are where they can see the location. They had to have a vehicle. You would be surprise how many people know who took your items. For some reason be it fear, meanness, loyalty, etc. they won't come forward.

I assure you the old adage of no honor among thieves is true especially when you throw a little money into the mix!! I've worked myself numb on cases to no avail but when the$$$$ appeared they began to snitch on each other. They are low life maggots with no consideration for fellow man or our helpless martins. ( I'm sorry Lord I'm just getting madder as I type). Too many employees and customers frequent those areas for people not to have seen.

I would start by going to that area at the time you think this happened and talk to people you see there in that time frame. Good interviews and contacts have solved many a crime. Some people will talk to you when they wouldn't give the police the time of day.

I'm not putting the police down when I say this ( My brother and I were police officers and we both have sons that are) but the police will help as much as they can but when presented with the choice of working more serious crimes as opposed to the theft of bird houses and poles they will.... do you see what I mean. They may not have any choice. If you have contacts there, that might not be the case.

In any case you need to start talking to people fast. Wish I could be there to help you. Time and distance does not allow.

Good luck I will be praying for Yall,

Still :-( waiting impatiently in Checotah, :shock: :x
Davlyn
Posts: 624
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 8:55 pm
Location: Ga/Pavo

Hey Steve and Bob,

Just like everyone else here on the forum that breaks my heart! I can hardly think about those martins looking for their home and it being gone. I will never know how some one could do such a thing. I will continue to read the post to see what you and Bob end up doing. I'm sure I speak for evey one when I say, I am so sorry!!!
April McClelland


PMCA Member
wyatt
Posts: 823
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 1:24 pm
Location: Florida/Tallahassee

Steve and Bob,

I am so sorry that this has happened. It breaks my heart too. I hate that there are bad people out there. Know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and let us know if there's anything that we can do to help.

Wyatt
Martin man RI
Posts: 416
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 7:04 pm
Location: MA/RI area

I had the yellow PMCA Purple martin Sanctuary sign stolen from the main
street of this farm where i had martins. I am glad it was the sign and not one
of my gourds or houses. Now what in the world would someone want with a
sign like that. And of all places New England where there are so little martins
the person i figured just like the sign cause it read Sanctuary. I never replaced the sign because its more popular than i thought. Ray
Guest

So sorry for your loss and for your Martins.

I had a breakin in '07 at property I own in another State--aluminum was taken among other things. Our world is changing--not just Memphis. :cry:
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