This is first for my Colony

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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

Last night we had a strong band of storms roll through. All is good so not an issue. Just cooler temperatures.

This morning I look out the window to see my gourd rack covered in Martins. Every cavity has a pair of birds on it, in it etc. Seems there was huge influx of SY birds over night and the empty cavities are now being snatched up. The SY males are being harassed by the ASY males but not as much since there is a lot of nest building activity and appears to be plenty of females now to go around.

My Trio Wade has more activity on it today than it has had all year. I guess in a few days when things settle a bit I will know my overall total pair count. Maximum occupancy is 24. 18 gourds and 6 Trio cavities.

In the past 4 years I've seen the Martins arrive with nesting materials but have never seen them drop from the gourd rack to pick them up. Last year I had 4 pair in the gourds and 2 pair in the Trio before I moved it.

So this is a first for me.
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Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Yes they don’t go any further than they have to to get nesting material. I’ll have as many as 20 at a time in my yard picking up things to use.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
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'm going to go gather some leaves I know they like to use and scatter them around a bit to make it easier on them. I've already put out pine straw in that area after the picture was taken. Around here they like to use those small live oak leaves both brown and green on top of the pine straw. I've also seen ticket stubs, zip ties, pieces of paper etc but I'm not going to litter my yard for them.

Coolwhips
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1483
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm
Location: TN/Collierville
Martin Colony History: I have been exposed to purple martin sounds in utero when my mother went out to get my father away from his martin colony.
I played around the martin colony every summer and watched as my father maintained his colony. In the late 50's until the 70's he did not notice European Starlings in south Texas.
When old enough, I helped maintain his colony. My primary task was eliminating English House Sparrows with a 1956 Benjamin 317 .177 air rifle.
When I settled into my own home, I started my first colony with an original Trio Castle and Trio Grandpa. When I moved again, I did not put up any martin houses. Frustration with European Starlings in the Southeast US was overwhelming.
Found PMCA Forum and learned about modern enlarged compartments and SREHs.
Inherited my father's last martin house, a Trio Grandma, modified it to modern specifications and have had good results since then.

Coolwhips,
Do you have egg shells or calcium for your martins?
I suspect that your colony could double. Every time my sister in Seguin, TX doubles her colony it fills up. She is at 36 and believes that 72 would fill up.
My father's colony in Oenaville, TX was always full.
Relocating your Trio Wade proves - "Location, location, location".
Last edited by 4th Gen Martin Fan on Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mark.
Firm believer in HOSP/EUST Control, Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.
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

Yes. I do have Oyster shells for them on a feeding tray.

Coolwhips
PMDavid
Posts: 411
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 8:50 pm
Location: Boyce,Louisiana
Martin Colony History: Second year trying to attract martins. This year I am getting rid of the wooden house and showing something they are used to seeing.
Offering 2 trio grandpaws w/2natural gourds under each and C.Abare gourd rack w/16 natural gourds. And one rehabbed 16 compartment Coates original with two natural gourds.Lots of lookers,a few overnighters and daily activity cruising and looking. All gourds have a rain canopy and wire perch.2019 7 pair moving into 2020 almost double pairs from 2019. Still have most of the month of March to go for new arrivals and April.Here late in season seemed to have as many as 18 Pr of nesting birds. Huge upscale in birds from 2019. Will also have a 20 gourd satellite rack prepared for the 2021 season.

Way to go whippy! Glad to hear ur having such good luck. My birds have been picking wet mud and grass down beside the bayou bank. It rained the other day and it has rose quite a bit and it was going down and left wet muddy grass they love it. Very busy gettin it. I also caught em pulling long dead grass where I had round upped three weeks ago so I to put a bunch of pine straw right where I had seen em and in 20 minutes they were totin that up to the gourds also. Good luck.
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

That's great Whippy. What a nice suprise to find what the storm blew in.
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

deancamp wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:48 pm
That's great Whippy. What a nice surprise to find what the storm blew in.
Soon after that bit of fun, I posted another thread about all that fun being broken up by a hawk. No birds came back until roost time. All the SY birds that were working on finding a home that morning did not return tonight. There's always tomorrow. Hopefully they will all be back. My established pairs all came back.

Coolwhips
Mike Mack
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:56 pm
Location: Centex

Hi Whippy,
That line of storms hit us at around 3 this morning and passed through fairly quick. Same thing happened here was loaded down with new arrivals this morning but most must of moved on later in the day. Mabe they will show up at your house tomorrow morning. Mike.
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