What other species are your best watch dogs?

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flyin-lowe
Posts: 2312
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

What other species are your best watch dogs?

Postby flyin-lowe » Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:39 pm

My site is really pretty open but I do have some trees I plan on thinning out. In the past I took down bird feeders when I was starting a martin colony to help keep from having a buffet for the hawks. I also know once you get a decent size colony they will attract more hawks then a bird feeder will.

Last year I just had a few martins but this year ended up with 15 pair and saw hawks almost daily (not sure if it was a sharpie or coopers). I only once saw what I thought was a successful attack as the martins were mobbing a hawk one of them got too low and ended up below the hawk and after the 2 crashed into a been field I think the hawk got one.

Anyway I never saw any hawks get anywhere close to my housing because I have a lot of killdeer birds on and around my property. They were the first ones to sound off and once they did all the birds in the area would take to the sky and I would usually spot a hawk in the area.

No doubt the killdeer saved a lot of my martins, I am curious which other birds you notice that seem to spot the hawks and let everyone know they are in the area?
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.

I heart birds
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: Will always be a wanna be landlord, martins or not!
2016- Two lookers-No takers.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged.
2018-18 pair. 85 fledged.

Oso Bay Preserve Satellite Location (Trio Mini)
2018-ASY visitor pair.

Firm believer in SREH, enlarged compartments, bug control, predator guards, heat insulation and venting.

PMCA member

Re: What other species are your best watch dogs?

Postby I heart birds » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:06 pm

Killdeer are high strung birds and would make outstanding watchdogs! Cant get close without them sounding off, I especially like the broken wing ploy. I like the mockingbirds, they seem to pick the roof tops to spy on their surroundings but the greater grackles nest nearby and they do an ok job of mobbing the hawks and vultures that come by too. during the winter and early in the season I put out crickets in a bowl on the fence to encourage the mockingbirds to stick around. Guess I have to pick the mockingbirds.
Tom

2016-Wanna be LL. Two lookers. nada
2017-5 pairs. 15 Fledged
2018-18 pairs. 85 Fledged.

Dave Duit
Posts: 1249
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: state:Iowa / town:Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2017, 54 pair with 202 fledged youngsters. 73 total compartments available, 48 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified trio metal house units, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit www.iamartin.org and join.

Re: What other species are your best watch dogs?

Postby Dave Duit » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:38 pm

It is great to have a single pair of tree swallows close to your colony, but not in your colony housing. A bluebird or tree swallow house set up about 30 feet from and facing your colony will attract a tree swallow. Why a tree swallow; because they are usually the first to spot and sound the alarm call to other birds in the area if there is a predator in the neighborhood. Instead of a guard dog in my yard to chase away unwanted cats, I have guard Canadian geese. Just a few to set up nests near the colony and they won't allow cats to come near.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.

flyin-lowe
Posts: 2312
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Re: What other species are your best watch dogs?

Postby flyin-lowe » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:18 am

I have mocking birds, TS, and BB's all nesting on my property each year. I've never really noticed the mockers alarming to the hawks. I'll have to pay better attention. Most of my martins are gone now so I doubt I will see as many hawks the rest of this year.
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.

vman
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:42 pm
Location: wisconsin
Martin Colony History: have not had martins for last 20 yrs. trying to re establish a colony
2018 1 asy pair fledged 2

Re: What other species are your best watch dogs?

Postby vman » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:19 am

For us the barnswallows do a great job of sounding the alarm if a hawk is near, probably because we have 30 pair or more and they are the first to spot the hawk and start dive bombing it!!
Jim

~Ray~Gingerich
Posts: 2102
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Delaware/Dover

Re: What other species are your best watch dogs?

Postby ~Ray~Gingerich » Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:23 pm

Red winged black birds are my favorite, they sit on top of my weather vane or any other tall object and tattle on any hawk nearby. The martins are up in the air instantly when the redwings start screeching.
~Ray~ Gingerich
1999 1pair, 2006 2 pair, 2008 2 pair,
2009 23 pair, 2010 39 pair, 2011 67 pair,
2012 115 pair, 2013 160 pair,
2014 152 pair, 2015 174 pair, 2016 178 pair
2017 187 pair, 2018 200 pair

G Saner
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:37 pm
Location: TX/Kerrville
Martin Colony History: Fort Worth, TX (1967-1976), The Colony, TX (1981-1985), Carrollton, TX (1986-2013), Kerrville, TX (2015-present).

Two SuperGourd poles (12 gourds on each) at River Point Assisted Living Center.

Re: What other species are your best watch dogs?

Postby G Saner » Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:02 pm

In my prior location, Blue Jays were great hawk alarms. They would even fly into the tree were a hawk was sitting and harass it until the hawk left the area. When Blue Jays start screeching, you can hear them all over the neighborhood. Usually it was multiple Blue Jays.

Glad to hear Killdeer are also good alarms. There are several nesting near my current colony. I haven't seen a hawk so maybe they are the reason.
G Saner

Spiderman
Posts: 552
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

Re: What other species are your best watch dogs?

Postby Spiderman » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:22 am

G Saner wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 2:02 pm
In my prior location, Blue Jays were great hawk alarms. They would even fly into the tree were a hawk was sitting and harass it until the hawk left the area. When Blue Jays start screeching, you can hear them all over the neighborhood. Usually it was multiple Blue Jays.

Glad to hear Killdeer are also good alarms. There are several nesting near my current colony. I haven't seen a hawk so maybe they are the reason.

This year the Blue Jays were the 1st to Sound the alarm. Unless it was a Merlin, then they would chase after him to try and steal his catch.

In the past King birds were always on look out for Hawks. They would attack the Hawk on approach. Fearless little birds.
2008 - 33 PAIR - FLEDGED 96 YOUNG
2009 - 51 PAIR - FLEDGED 166 YOUNG
2010 - 45 PAIR - FLEDGED 146 YOUNG
2011 - 33 PAIR - 128 HATCHED, 97 FLEDGED
2012 - 37 PAIR - 119 HATCHED, 101 FLEDGED

FarmerHarv
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:18 pm
Location: Saskatchewan
Martin Colony History: 2018 - First house up in late June, lots of visitors.

Re: What other species are your best watch dogs?

Postby FarmerHarv » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:51 pm

Yep, we have a few pair of Western Kingbirds here, and they go out full bore after anything they deem a threat. Love to catch it on video, but they usually chase hawks off so quickly I never have time to get the camera going.

flyin-lowe
Posts: 2312
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Re: What other species are your best watch dogs?

Postby flyin-lowe » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:04 pm

What amazes me is their instinct on what birds are threats and what ones aren't. I have some large hawk species that cruise around and they don't pay them any attention, a coopers or sharpie gets within a few hundred yards and they are all over it.
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.

TheSmiths
Posts: 263
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 1:02 pm
Location: Western KY
Martin Colony History: Trying to attract PMs since 2004; began a more ernest attempt in 2014. Modified Trio M12K at 15' w/3 gourds beneath; multi-rack w/8 gourds mounted at 20'.

2018 — finally have 1 ASY pair & 1 SY pair in the Trio & 1 SY pair in a supergourd on the multi-rack. :D

Re: What other species are your best watch dogs?

Postby TheSmiths » Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:15 pm

The resident mockingbirds alerted my spouse that there were a pair of small hawks (likely Coopers) in our trees yesterday morning when they started pummeling them. We still have two martin families returning in the evening, one of which is a single parent with two fledglings, so we are glad there are extra eyes to the skies!


Edit: The eastern gray squirrels are good tattletales as well. They alerted me to an accipter this evening.
Last edited by TheSmiths on Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

TheSmiths
Posts: 263
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 1:02 pm
Location: Western KY
Martin Colony History: Trying to attract PMs since 2004; began a more ernest attempt in 2014. Modified Trio M12K at 15' w/3 gourds beneath; multi-rack w/8 gourds mounted at 20'.

2018 — finally have 1 ASY pair & 1 SY pair in the Trio & 1 SY pair in a supergourd on the multi-rack. :D

Re: What other species are your best watch dogs?

Postby TheSmiths » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:51 pm

...accidental post.
Last edited by TheSmiths on Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TheSmiths
Posts: 263
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 1:02 pm
Location: Western KY
Martin Colony History: Trying to attract PMs since 2004; began a more ernest attempt in 2014. Modified Trio M12K at 15' w/3 gourds beneath; multi-rack w/8 gourds mounted at 20'.

2018 — finally have 1 ASY pair & 1 SY pair in the Trio & 1 SY pair in a supergourd on the multi-rack. :D

Re: What other species are your best watch dogs?

Postby TheSmiths » Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:52 pm

...accidental post. Apparently my computer has the hiccups.

FarmerHarv
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:18 pm
Location: Saskatchewan
Martin Colony History: 2018 - First house up in late June, lots of visitors.

Re: What other species are your best watch dogs?

Postby FarmerHarv » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:09 pm

You know it's a hot day when you see a hawk splashing in the bird bath like a robin...

Image

He wasn't very popular though, and had a dozen kingbirds and others in hot pursuit after he took off.


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