Pre nest materials

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PMDavid
Posts: 64
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 a trio grandpaw w/4 natural gourds and C.Abare gourd rack w/16 natural gourds. And two rehabbed 16 compartment Coates originals. Lots of lookers,a few overnighters and daily activity cruising and looking. All gourds have a rain canopy and wire perch.

Pre nest materials

Postby PMDavid » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:39 pm

Good day all. I have a question concerning pre nest material. This will be my first year to be fully “set up”when the birds arrive later. So,I intend to prenest all 60 cavity’s that I am offering. I have some pine straw from last year and assume it should be fine for this year. But.... I was wondering if anyone here has ever used or heard of using cypress leaves for pre nest and if so ,how well was it accepted.

Robert
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:49 am
Location: South Carolina

Re: Pre nest materials

Postby Robert » Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:56 pm

Hello PMDavid I use pine straw for pre nests put a few hand fulls in and make little nest cup depression in the back they will then adjust the straw and add whatever they what , i like pine straw it drains rain very well , I have never tried cypress leaves but my concern would be it my not drain rain as well making for a wet nest , good luck to you this season
Robert
South Carolina
37 years as landlord
2018 season
21 pairs 107 eggs 99 fledged

PMDavid
Posts: 64
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 a trio grandpaw w/4 natural gourds and C.Abare gourd rack w/16 natural gourds. And two rehabbed 16 compartment Coates originals. Lots of lookers,a few overnighters and daily activity cruising and looking. All gourds have a rain canopy and wire perch.

Re: Pre nest materials

Postby PMDavid » Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:42 am

Thanks rob,I have 16 natural gourds that stay dry with the canopies I have on them so I think I may try some sample ones with pine straw topped off with some cypress maybe 6 or so and see what happens.

Dave Duit
Posts: 1293
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: Pre nest materials

Postby Dave Duit » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:28 am

Hi David,
It is hard to beat soft white pine needles, since they wick away moisture better than any other natural nest material. It has been a proven nesting material over many years for landlords and the benefits are great.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.

PMDavid
Posts: 64
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 a trio grandpaw w/4 natural gourds and C.Abare gourd rack w/16 natural gourds. And two rehabbed 16 compartment Coates originals. Lots of lookers,a few overnighters and daily activity cruising and looking. All gourds have a rain canopy and wire perch.

Re: Pre nest materials

Postby PMDavid » Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:45 pm

Hey there Dave, you should remember corresponding with me last season. I think we talked about poles ,houses ,gourds etc.... I’m trying to get a handle on these pine needles man. I keep seeing on here people from up in your area referring to their pine needles as white pine needles,and as you added “soft white pine needles”. Around here in louisiana we have all types of pines. Short leaf,long leaf,loblolly,slash pine,Ipswich pine......most of all these pine needles are long . Some may be four inches and some up to twelve inches long and they are mostly a bit stiff,not per say soft. Am I’m missing something here ,ya’ll May have a bit different species of pine there. Would there be any way you could shoot me a pic of the type of needles you have? I’m interested to see if there is some sort of difference here in length and texture. I’m getting ready to prenest around 60 holes in around two weeks and would feel better to know we are on the same page with the needles. Thanks in advance.

Dave Duit
Posts: 1293
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: Pre nest materials

Postby Dave Duit » Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:22 pm

Hi PM David,
I looked online and searched eastern white pine trees and it appears as though they do not grow naturally in Louisiana. But, you can buy it online. It sometimes is called baled pine straw. Call the dealer or source before placing an order and ask them if it is soft white pine needles. I do remember chatting with you in the past about poles, housing etc... White Pine Needles or pine straw is 4 to 6 inches in length and turn brown on the ground after they fall of the tree. They are very soft to the touch and flexible. Find google images online by searching for Eastern White Pine or Pinus Strobus. On the tree they are green, once they fall on the ground they eventually turn light brown in color. Up north they are readily available at golf courses for the taking. You won't find them in Louisiana. Your best bet is to order on the internet. I hope this helps in solving the soft white pine question.

Dave Duit
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.

PMDavid
Posts: 64
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 a trio grandpaw w/4 natural gourds and C.Abare gourd rack w/16 natural gourds. And two rehabbed 16 compartment Coates originals. Lots of lookers,a few overnighters and daily activity cruising and looking. All gourds have a rain canopy and wire perch.

Re: Pre nest materials".

Postby PMDavid » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:33 pm

Hey Dave, that’s all exactly as I thought. We got every kind of pine here but those! And they’re green on the tree and turn brown and fall off. I actually think around here ,people don’t actually pre nest! My neighbor three houses down cleans out his houses and puts em back up empty. The birds do the rest. He’s had about 15 pr for 10+ years that way. Some years less some years more. All his birds came and visited my site daily last year,I was just late getting started,call it ...first year stupidity. I think what I’m gonna do is ....cut some of these pine needles short and put a light layer in the bottom and put some soft cypress leaves on top. They dry well ,are brown like the pine straw,and are soft. Some hole will get that and some will get nothing,let’s see what happens. They straw I had gotten last year was bailed and it’s still good. It’s a bit long but it does bend,I think it’s just a stiffer variety than white pine. I had put some in some of my gourds and got it form a bit of a bowl. I think with a little cypress in there that the birds will move things around and do what they do. The neighbors birds build from nothing,so I think I’ll try some with and some without,making note of course which is which and see. Thanks for your input Dave it is appreciated. The cypress are of a pine type family and poccess the pine oils that help em not get too wet and they do dry well,as well as being very soft. Let’s try it and I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m just hoping to get a start this year with some birds! I’ll be in touch on all this and let ya know how it goes. Oh ,and the scedule80 pole we talked about last year for my ChuckAbare gourd rack,I got it and set it last week,so now ,one slick ,tough pole that the rack will slide up and down easily. Thanks again. David

flyin-lowe
Posts: 2323
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Re: Pre nest materials

Postby flyin-lowe » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:41 pm

It won't hurt to leave a few cavities empty. I have had martins show up that select empty cavities first and I have had some show up and removed the pine straw and start with a base material of their own choosing. I usually leave about 25% empty, giving plenty of cavities with a nice warm soft place to come home to in the spring. Every year I have had some that prefer an empty cavity.
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.

PMDavid
Posts: 64
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 a trio grandpaw w/4 natural gourds and C.Abare gourd rack w/16 natural gourds. And two rehabbed 16 compartment Coates originals. Lots of lookers,a few overnighters and daily activity cruising and looking. All gourds have a rain canopy and wire perch.

Re: Pre nest materials

Postby PMDavid » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:43 am

Good deal flyin Lowe,that’s what I was thinking too. I’m going today to collect some cypress leaves,I’m set on trying those. They are in the pine family and seem to dry well and are very soft and fluffy. I’m gonna try a small underpayment of pine needles topped off with a bit of cypress leaves. If they accept white pine needles elsewhere these are native to here materials to this region and I feel like they should accept them. I’m gonna make note of which cavities have something or nothing and see what happens. All my naturals have rain canopies and seven drain holes. I lowered en several times last year after an all day and night rain and they were dry,so I think I should be good. Who knows they may do like some of em and jump in there and chunk it all out and do their own thing. This will be my first year with everything set up and ready ahead of arrival(was too late last year). Thanks for your response. I’ll keep you posted as the season progresses,getting excited to get a colony started this year! Thanks again for your interest. I’m determined to make it happen!

Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6158
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Re: Pre nest materials

Postby Louise Chambers » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:40 am

Southern landlords will do fine with other types of long-needled pine if soft. Loblolly and Slash pine are two that might be easier to find, also look for Longleaf pine, either growing where you can rake needles or perhaps you can buy as mulch at local garden centers.

We have been using Slash pine for years, works great. White pine is certainly the softest to feel, but the goal is to have nest insulation with good drainage - the martins will line the pine needles with leaves, twigs, etc.

PMDavid
Posts: 64
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 a trio grandpaw w/4 natural gourds and C.Abare gourd rack w/16 natural gourds. And two rehabbed 16 compartment Coates originals. Lots of lookers,a few overnighters and daily activity cruising and looking. All gourds have a rain canopy and wire perch.

Re: Pre nest materials

Postby PMDavid » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:57 am

Thanks Louise,pine needles are not in any shortage around here. This entire region is all kisathie national forest ! I have a bail from last year,and it’s been kept in a large bag in the shed,it’s good to go. It is really good to know though that I have some southern friends using the same thing I have. I gonna follow my plan of the needles and a lil bit of cypress leaves in the bowl of the nest,they oughta love it! Thanks a bunch for your response. And .......ya’ll start having birds just prior to us here in central Louisiana. Shoot me a message as soon as you see the first scout so I can begin to watch for em here. Thanks again,David

Dave Duit
Posts: 1293
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: Pre nest materials

Postby Dave Duit » Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:47 am

HI PM David,
Another old trick of the trade in attracting martins to a new set up is to smear just a little mud on the outside of the entrances. It will appear to the new martins that there was a successful pair there the year before. Tis may trigger deep rooted instincts on their desire to start a new faimly in your compartment. Best of luck. I think your approach and plan on pre nest this year is a winner.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.

PMDavid
Posts: 64
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 a trio grandpaw w/4 natural gourds and C.Abare gourd rack w/16 natural gourds. And two rehabbed 16 compartment Coates originals. Lots of lookers,a few overnighters and daily activity cruising and looking. All gourds have a rain canopy and wire perch.

Re: Pre nest materials

Postby PMDavid » Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:58 pm

Thanks for that Dave,I had read that several times on here last year but had really forgotten. I think i’ll do it ! It makes sense to me. Think I’m gonna erect everything at the end of December and then mud things a bit closer to arrival dates. Thanks for the reminder.

Chris B
Posts: 305
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:10 pm
Location: AL/Toney

Re: Pre nest materials

Postby Chris B » Fri Dec 07, 2018 7:06 pm

I use the pine needles that I pick up off my gravelrock drive, as they get driven over and that may soften them up some. I put a little seven on a handful of them, spread them out nice and smooth. They like having a nice base to work from and I think they also wick up moisture. They always add the green leaves on top of the base.
2014 8 gourds, 3 pairs nested. Ended w/ 24 total
2015 24 gourds, 22 nests. Lotsa birds!
2016 24 gourds and good activity.
2017 32 SREH gourds. Great activity.
2018 40 SREH gourds. Cold spring!

PMDavid
Posts: 64
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 a trio grandpaw w/4 natural gourds and C.Abare gourd rack w/16 natural gourds. And two rehabbed 16 compartment Coates originals. Lots of lookers,a few overnighters and daily activity cruising and looking. All gourds have a rain canopy and wire perch.

Re: Pre nest materials

Postby PMDavid » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:21 pm

Hey Chris, where I used to live everyone ran over the pine straw in the street and it would ball up in the center of the road. And it was all soften’d from being run over. I have a whole bale of long leaf pine and after talking with Louise in corpus christy saying they use the same and have good luck with it,I think I’m gonna go with that. It’s gonna all work out fine. Good luck this season .

Chris B
Posts: 305
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:10 pm
Location: AL/Toney

Re: Pre nest materials

Postby Chris B » Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:08 am

Thanks, and it will take more work than luck. I plan to expand the cavities with my new "no dangle" rod system that I employed after the spring disaster we had here. They will get straw, new porches / and, or rivets, and new paint. I also want to have crickets (or whatever) to put in the scout's gourds. No bugs when it is still cold and they need energy!!!.

IMO the straw is nice cause when the scouts show up they are pooped, the weather is still bad, and they need a place to rest.
2014 8 gourds, 3 pairs nested. Ended w/ 24 total
2015 24 gourds, 22 nests. Lotsa birds!
2016 24 gourds and good activity.
2017 32 SREH gourds. Great activity.
2018 40 SREH gourds. Cold spring!


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