Housing questions

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Birds
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:35 am
Location: Northeast OH
Martin Colony History: 2017: nothing, 2018: discovered the PMCA, new house modifications 2019:Still no Martins. House sparrow and starling hate forever.

Housing questions

Postby Birds » Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:52 pm

Hi I have a heath martin house that I got from a friend and I did some modifications to it. It had 12 compartments that I made into 6 compartments. Do you think it will work? Also, I want to get a heath telescoping pole. what are your thoughts? thanks.
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2017 :installed a Martin house hoping for Martins.
2018 :discovered the PMCA made modifications to a heath house .
2019 : Still no martins yet. House sparrow and starlings hate forever.
Tip :never give up

flyin-lowe
Posts: 2628
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Re: Housing questions

Postby flyin-lowe » Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:30 pm

I have never used a Heath house but you definitely are on the right track expanding the compartments. Someone else can chime in as to the strength of there poles. I have a different brand telescoping pole that is only used as a perching station and it has bent in the wind, with no real weight on it. I can't imagine having a house on it. Nothing wrong with trying this house for a while trying to get a new colony started. You can always expand and upgrade in the future if you feel the need.
2019- Currently 31 complete nests (27 with eggs or babies) 94 babies hatched and 19 eggs still to hatch) 6-22-19
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.

jhcox
Posts: 371
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 9:23 am
Location: tennesse

Re: Housing questions

Postby jhcox » Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:21 am

I have the S&K barn style house with SREH did the same thing to it closed the attic of and double the compartment size to just 6 rooms. Its on a telescoping 3 sided pole in 3 sections its I think 12 feet to the bottom of the house. We have had 40+ mph wide and no issues with the pole or the house. But so far the only bird that have been attracted to it has been starling and house sparrows. The few PM I have had have always went to the Bo9 gourds or the Jumbo gourds (not the right name Im sure but they are huge). The nesting pair I had last year choose the Bo9. Had 5 Babies Fledged 4. The said note is that I have not seen a single PM this year even at the surrounding colonies that I have visited. JHCOX Heiskell TN.

Birds
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:35 am
Location: Northeast OH
Martin Colony History: 2017: nothing, 2018: discovered the PMCA, new house modifications 2019:Still no Martins. House sparrow and starling hate forever.

Re: Housing questions

Postby Birds » Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:14 pm

Thanks I will update if I see any birds. Hope you have good luck this year.
Attachments
IMG_20190323_140438.jpg
(499.62 KiB) Not downloaded yet
2017 :installed a Martin house hoping for Martins.
2018 :discovered the PMCA made modifications to a heath house .
2019 : Still no martins yet. House sparrow and starlings hate forever.
Tip :never give up

jhcox
Posts: 371
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 9:23 am
Location: tennesse

Re: Housing questions

Postby jhcox » Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:23 pm

Just a thought I can’t really tell from that photo. But I would clear those trees behind the house or move the house more to the middle of that field to open up the flight path alittle more from all directions. Good luck I wish you The best don’t get discouraged I’m on my fifth year and only had one breading pair last year for the first time and some visitors that came and went. JHCox Heiskell TN

Birds
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:35 am
Location: Northeast OH
Martin Colony History: 2017: nothing, 2018: discovered the PMCA, new house modifications 2019:Still no Martins. House sparrow and starling hate forever.

Re: Housing questions

Postby Birds » Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:55 pm

I'm not sure how to use a chainsaw. but I can move the house. Thanks
Last edited by Birds on Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
2017 :installed a Martin house hoping for Martins.
2018 :discovered the PMCA made modifications to a heath house .
2019 : Still no martins yet. House sparrow and starlings hate forever.
Tip :never give up

deancamp
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: MO

Re: Housing questions

Postby deancamp » Sat Mar 23, 2019 5:07 pm

Birds,
How far is your martin house from your house. It looks a long way from any buildings etc.. I'm definitely not an expert, but they do like to be near human activity and feel safe near human houses.
Jeff

Birds
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:35 am
Location: Northeast OH
Martin Colony History: 2017: nothing, 2018: discovered the PMCA, new house modifications 2019:Still no Martins. House sparrow and starling hate forever.

Re: Housing questions

Postby Birds » Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:11 pm

Thanks for the reply. The Martin house is 300ft from our house and 400ft from the barn. I thought that they may not like people. I can move them,how close to the house should they be?
2017 :installed a Martin house hoping for Martins.
2018 :discovered the PMCA made modifications to a heath house .
2019 : Still no martins yet. House sparrow and starlings hate forever.
Tip :never give up

jhcox
Posts: 371
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 9:23 am
Location: tennesse

Re: Housing questions

Postby jhcox » Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:39 pm

The pair that I had last year that fledged young choose the gourd closes to my house maybe 30 feet from my back porch. They do love human activity near by because they feel safer from predators be it from the air or the ground. Because we are outside so much mowing weed eating doing cookouts it tends to detour predators from coming around as much. I would move it no further from your house than maybe 60 to 80 feet. Obviously you can’t put them one on top of another but as close as you can so that they feel safe. Good luck. JHCox 👍

Birds
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:35 am
Location: Northeast OH
Martin Colony History: 2017: nothing, 2018: discovered the PMCA, new house modifications 2019:Still no Martins. House sparrow and starling hate forever.

Re: Housing questions

Postby Birds » Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:47 pm

Jhcox just so you know those trees are 50ft away from the house. It's hard to tell from the picture. My camera only takes 400kb picture in the darkness of are house but I will move the house, thanks for the good advice.
2017 :installed a Martin house hoping for Martins.
2018 :discovered the PMCA made modifications to a heath house .
2019 : Still no martins yet. House sparrow and starlings hate forever.
Tip :never give up

deancamp
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: MO

Re: Housing questions

Postby deancamp » Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:06 pm

Hopefully others will respond with their setup that they have had sucess with as well. I have a large open area to the South of my house, so I put my housing approximately 90 foot from the trees around my house. My trees are within 15 to 20 feet of my house, so we're talking 100 to 110 feet from my house. I would have put the Martin housing closer had those trees not been there. I hope this helps you with your setup and best of luck starting your colony.
Jeff

Birds
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:35 am
Location: Northeast OH
Martin Colony History: 2017: nothing, 2018: discovered the PMCA, new house modifications 2019:Still no Martins. House sparrow and starling hate forever.

Re: Housing questions

Postby Birds » Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:29 pm

I am getting a new telescoping pole this year. The old pole is a flag pole and will not come down unless you pole it out of the ground. So that just makes more sense to move it any way.
2017 :installed a Martin house hoping for Martins.
2018 :discovered the PMCA made modifications to a heath house .
2019 : Still no martins yet. House sparrow and starlings hate forever.
Tip :never give up

flyin-lowe
Posts: 2628
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Re: Housing questions

Postby flyin-lowe » Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:38 pm

If you are 300 feet from your house and 50 feet from the trees I would flip flop that, get the house closer to your house. I don't think being 50 foot from those trees would stop them from moving in but they would be easier prey for hawks which would cause them to move out. They do not mind at all being close to humans, and actually prefer it to being in an area void of human activity.
2019- Currently 31 complete nests (27 with eggs or babies) 94 babies hatched and 19 eggs still to hatch) 6-22-19
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.

Archer
Posts: 704
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:09 pm
Location: Manitoba/Altona
Martin Colony History: six pair in 2014, have grown to 52 pairs in 2017.

Re: Housing questions

Postby Archer » Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:02 am

Another benefit of moving it closer is you get to enjoy the martins more. In you first years you can get to know individuals and their antics. Once you have a colony started you can add feeding platform. My platform is 4 feet high and 15 feet from my deck. The martins need calcium and I supply them with egg shells. They learned to find eggs shells on my feeding platform and its a great place to get a close look and take pictures of your martins. Hope it happens for you.
2011- first year trying, a few visitors.
2012-One ASY pair, raised two young, lots of subby visitors. So thankfull.
2013-daily subby visits.
2014-Six SY pairs
2015-18 pair, 83 fledglings
2016-36 pair, 147 fledglings
2017-52 pairs, 192 fledglings.
2018-60 pair, 246 fledglings.

Birds
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:35 am
Location: Northeast OH
Martin Colony History: 2017: nothing, 2018: discovered the PMCA, new house modifications 2019:Still no Martins. House sparrow and starling hate forever.

Re: Housing questions

Postby Birds » Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:47 pm

Ok I will move it in a open area bye the house. Also I have a swing set near the house I could put the eggshell tray on that. Anything else I should know. Sorry if I'm asking too many questions.
2017 :installed a Martin house hoping for Martins.
2018 :discovered the PMCA made modifications to a heath house .
2019 : Still no martins yet. House sparrow and starlings hate forever.
Tip :never give up

deancamp
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: MO

Re: Housing questions

Postby deancamp » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:13 pm

That's what this forum is for, asking questions and learning from each other. I would recommend playing the dawn song near the housing, this will draw in Martins in the area to check out your housing. Prenesting the nest compartments with soft pine needles or the like, it helps them start their nest and also gives your housing that lived in look. Maybe a decoy or two. I'm sure others will have more suggestions that have worked for them.
Jeff

Birds
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:35 am
Location: Northeast OH
Martin Colony History: 2017: nothing, 2018: discovered the PMCA, new house modifications 2019:Still no Martins. House sparrow and starling hate forever.

Re: Housing questions

Postby Birds » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:42 pm

Thanks for the reply. I just read a blog on feeding so I got that covered. I ordered two decoys last night. And started the dawn song at 6:30 in the morning and played it for one hour, I didn't see anything though.
2017 :installed a Martin house hoping for Martins.
2018 :discovered the PMCA made modifications to a heath house .
2019 : Still no martins yet. House sparrow and starlings hate forever.
Tip :never give up

deancamp
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: MO

Re: Housing questions

Postby deancamp » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:56 pm

Don't be afraid to play the dawn song all day. With that being said it has been my experience that most visitors come to the playing of the dawn song from early morning til 11:00 am. Then again a couple hours before dark.
Jeff

Archer
Posts: 704
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:09 pm
Location: Manitoba/Altona
Martin Colony History: six pair in 2014, have grown to 52 pairs in 2017.

Re: Housing questions

Postby Archer » Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:50 pm

Looking at the scouting reports from last year, you have until the later part of May to get a colony started. So don't give up if it doesn't happen right away. The older birds return to their previous nesting sites first, then after about a Month or Six weeks the younger birds born last year start making their way back to the area of their birth. These young birds are the most likely to start a new colony. https://www.purplemartin.org/research/s ... =2018&S=OH
2011- first year trying, a few visitors.
2012-One ASY pair, raised two young, lots of subby visitors. So thankfull.
2013-daily subby visits.
2014-Six SY pairs
2015-18 pair, 83 fledglings
2016-36 pair, 147 fledglings
2017-52 pairs, 192 fledglings.
2018-60 pair, 246 fledglings.

daveh
Posts: 628
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:40 am
Location: Kingsville Mo.

Re: Housing questions

Postby daveh » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:19 pm

I had a heath house like yours and modified it from 12 to 6 compartments. It was hard to do proper nest checks every 4-5 days. The telescoping pole quit telescoping because it got bent a little in a storm so the sections wouldn't slide down into each other. When they did slide down into each other and I wasn't paying attention, skin on my fingers or the skin between my fingers would be sucked into the joint between the first and second sections and pinch the heck out of me.

If you are going to try and use it, I would at least put starling resistant holes on it or the starlings will run you ragged. They loved my heath. I would trap and shoot all day, they still came. It was to much time and work to try and eliminate them. For years now all of my houses and gourds have starling resistant entrances. I no longer have problems with starlings. So nice.

Dave
PMCA member


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