Would appreciate some coaching, New at this.

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DML
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 7:39 pm
Location: Gallia, OHIO
Martin Colony History: First year

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I think I have two purple martins. They could be SY-M OR SY-F OR ASY-F, They for sure are not ASY-M. My first year at this. I have 4 gourds with rope & pully. I have installed
a snake guard, I have trapped one sparrow and killed it. It had nests in
all 4 of my gourds. I have checked my gourds several times. I have a
handful of straw & cedar shavings in them. I provide washed egg shells.
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Last edited by DML on Fri May 29, 2020 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Anyway to snap a picture for help identifying? There is also pictures on this pmca site that you can compare to your birds. If they have a yellow beak it's a Starling. Make sure to stay after the sparrows and starlings. Do you have starling resistant entrances? If they are indeed Martins have you watched at dark to see if they are spending the night?
DML
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 7:39 pm
Location: Gallia, OHIO
Martin Colony History: First year

Thank you for responding. I have not seen these two birds since Monday. I have not seen any starlings. But I have seen this one bird that has a orange and white breast and royal blue on back. It seems larger than a bluebird, but I really don’t know. Here is the picture. From the book I have it looks like an Eastern Blue Bird.
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2020 one pair, 3 eggs & 3 fledge
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Your description of orange and white chest and royal blue back does sound like a bluebird . It's hard for me to tell from your picture if those are Martins or maybe a tree swallow. It appears to have a snow white chest, which leads me to believe it is a tree swallow. If you search a YouTube video of Martins you can't mistake their vocalizations. They normally are very vocal and that is a good way to identify them versus a tree swallow or other birds.
DML
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 7:39 pm
Location: Gallia, OHIO
Martin Colony History: First year

Nest check today and I had a green leaf nest. So egg laying should be next? This morning I saw one perching (sure looked to me like one in the book) and eating egg shells and the other squeezed out of the hole. I was unaware of that snug of a fit. I put any egg shell around the perches and some inside. I have not seen the blue bird for a few days.
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2020 one pair, 3 eggs & 3 fledge
SSMartin
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

Likely a sy pair. Looks like you may have eggs soon. Good luck!
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.

It is hard to tell from the pictures but the first two pictures look like SY martins. The third picture is too blurry to tell anything but the openness of your site looks very encouraging for a great purple martin colony..
The fourth picture of the inside of a gourd IS a very well made purple martin nest with green leaves in it. You are getting ready to have eggs in that nest!! Congratulations!
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.
DML
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 7:39 pm
Location: Gallia, OHIO
Martin Colony History: First year

I really appreciate you folks responding and helping me out. MUCH APPRECIATED!! How many egg shells are too much? I usually eat one dozen per week and with the shells I wash them, freeze them, crush them and microwave them for 3 minutes. I usually put a small fist full at each groud. They really like them. This week I will start on installing a hawk/owl guard. Might do another next check this evening.
2020 one pair, 3 eggs & 3 fledge
SSMartin
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

They’ll eat the eggshells if they want you can’t over due it but don’t put them inside the gourds. Also I wouldn’t do to much change to the gourds if they are about to lay eggs. You don’t want to confuse or discourage them. You may want to wait until they are setting the eggs before installing any guards.
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

deancamp wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 9:33 pm
Your description of orange and white chest and royal blue back does sound like a bluebird . It's hard for me to tell from your picture if those are Martins or maybe a tree swallow. It appears to have a snow white chest, which leads me to believe it is a tree swallow. If you search a YouTube video of Martins you can't mistake their vocalizations. They normally are very vocal and that is a good way to identify them versus a tree swallow or other birds.
Oops, looks like I missed that one in thinking tree swallow. Looks like your on your way. Congratulations!
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Don't put the eggshells on the porches or in the gourds. That could attract pests and you don't want that. I feed eggshells in a bare dirt spot in my garden. You can also use a raised platform 4' high or so.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
maddaug
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon May 18, 2020 7:30 am
Location: central Illinois

Brad Biddle wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:14 pm
Don't put the eggshells on the porches or in the gourds. That could attract pests and you don't want that. I feed eggshells in a bare dirt spot in my garden. You can also use a raised platform 4' high or so.
Brad could you elaborate on the pest statement? I would think if the eggshells were cleaned pests wouldn't be an issue? Am I missing something? Our female loves the eggshells! Thanks
DML
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 7:39 pm
Location: Gallia, OHIO
Martin Colony History: First year

I am getting confused. One pair is staying here and singing and swirling around each Evening/morning. I did a nest check yesterday and no eggs yet. I will not touch anything for a week and let nature do it’s thing. Is this correct? Also the owl/hawk unit. Who What Where When How?
2020 one pair, 3 eggs & 3 fledge
SSMartin
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

Martins arrive at my site in January and don't usually start laying till end of feb/march. Yet are at the colony everyday. Be patient you will see them nest building and when that's complete the eggs come. I wouldn't worry about owl guards unless you're having an issue. Add them next year if you want I wouldn't modify a gourd they are currently occupying.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

maddaug wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:39 am
Brad Biddle wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:14 pm
Don't put the eggshells on the porches or in the gourds. That could attract pests and you don't want that. I feed eggshells in a bare dirt spot in my garden. You can also use a raised platform 4' high or so.
Brad could you elaborate on the pest statement? I would think if the eggshells were cleaned pests wouldn't be an issue? Am I missing something? Our female loves the eggshells! Thanks
Eggshells, even washed and baked ones like I feed, have a "smell" to them. Not a rotten smell, but a smell. When they get damp, they attract flies. I see this where I feed mine. I would not want flies, especially blow flies, attracted to the entrances on my gourds. It's safer just to feed them on a platform of on the ground as long as you have an open enough area that a cat can't have an ambush point.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
DML
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 7:39 pm
Location: Gallia, OHIO
Martin Colony History: First year

Weed eat all day and this guy was watching me. In the early afternoon he left and another,, lighter color showed up. This one went insid
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e and out several times. There were a few more swirling around but these two showed much interest in the East Groud. I did a nest check and still no eggs. I provided a tray of egg shells (washed, frozen & microwaved for 3 minutes). I did catch a sparrow with the Troller Trap.
2020 one pair, 3 eggs & 3 fledge
Rediwill
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:06 pm
Location: fredericksburg, va
Martin Colony History: 2016 bought 6 gourds. Pole put up late in June due to HOA approval. Had visitor birds but no pairs that stayed.
2017 12 gourds- Pole up 3/1 and had male and females visit but didn’t pair up.
2018 upgraded to 2 inch sq pole/winch and will have 24 gourds. Many solo visitors but seem to be passing by. Will trim trees and check fly ways.
2019 saw only one or two martins all summer. Brothers Martins didn’t show up at all.
2020 3 pairs, 1st- 5 eggs/ 2nd hatched 2 fledged, 2 - 5 eggs/ 2-5 hatched fledging 7/20-8/1, 3rd formed late July and no nest built.

If you saw them nest building in the morning or evenings then they are on their way. You will see a few green leaves in there just prior to egg laying. Give them a few days of good eating and weather and you will probably see an egg. Nest building can take 4-5 days or two weeks depending on whats provided and the birds abilities based on what I have seen and read. I was cutting hay up and spreading it around my pole so they would just drop down and grab some and fly up. Make sure its not too long or they can't get it inside. Once you notice that they are kinda taking turns coming and going from the gourd you have a good chance the female is sitting on eggs. Depending on your nest check schedule you might not see eggs until they have laid 4-5 and probably are in incubation already. Watch the pole and if your female comes out of the gourd when you lower it she is probably incubating and done laying or just has one more egg to go. 12=14 days later you will see some babies hatching. good luck....


Red
DML
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 7:39 pm
Location: Gallia, OHIO
Martin Colony History: First year

Red,
Thank you for the coaching. I have learned so much from this Forum. Everyone is here to help one another.
2020 one pair, 3 eggs & 3 fledge
maddaug
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon May 18, 2020 7:30 am
Location: central Illinois

Brad Biddle wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:19 am
maddaug wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:39 am
Brad Biddle wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:14 pm
Don't put the eggshells on the porches or in the gourds. That could attract pests and you don't want that. I feed eggshells in a bare dirt spot in my garden. You can also use a raised platform 4' high or so.
Brad could you elaborate on the pest statement? I would think if the eggshells were cleaned pests wouldn't be an issue? Am I missing something? Our female loves the eggshells! Thanks
Eggshells, even washed and baked ones like I feed, have a "smell" to them. Not a rotten smell, but a smell. When they get damp, they attract flies. I see this where I feed mine. I would not want flies, especially blow flies, attracted to the entrances on my gourds. It's safer just to feed them on a platform of on the ground as long as you have an open enough area that a cat can't have an ambush point.
Thanks for the info Brad!
DML
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 7:39 pm
Location: Gallia, OHIO
Martin Colony History: First year

I have three eggs!!! I did a nest check after our bad storm last night and re-set the Troyes Tunnel Trap in another gourd. Saturday no eggs, now three. Please give me specific instructions on what to do. I feed egg shells on a platform. I realize how fortunate I am by reading this forum on getting a pair in my first year.
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2020 one pair, 3 eggs & 3 fledge
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