When to open martin house?

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clivia98
Posts: 115
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:14 am
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

When to open martin house?

Postby clivia98 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:22 pm

Hi all,

My houses are ready and up but the entrances are still plugged to keep unwanted birds from entering. Do I remove the plugs once I see martin scouts? Or should I do it now in anticipation of the arriving birds. I live in south Louisiana and noticed that there are 2 postings of martin sightings.
Thanks,

Jerry

randy741985
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:08 pm
Location: NE Alabama
Martin Colony History: 2018-First Year
2019- Eyes open

Re: When to open martin house?

Postby randy741985 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:52 pm

I'm a wannabe myself but if you look on this site "purple martins/attracting/timing" it says unless you have close neighbors with a established colony wait 4 weeks after the scouts arrive to open your gourds. If your lucky and have neighbors with established colony you can open as soon as your areas timeline shows scouts arrive. I have neighbors with established colonys so I'm going to open mine early.

With that said I would keep a close eye out for starlings and other birds that may try to nest in your gourds,if they do shoot them if left it will ruin Your chance to get martins. I had a pair of tree swallow last year and they are very aggressive.

Hope this helps. I'm sure some more experience people out there have some more advice.
2018-14 Gourds First Year
0-Martins

Conrad Baker
Posts: 252
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: Paulina, Louisiana

Re: When to open martin house?

Postby Conrad Baker » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:41 pm

clivia98, how many houses do you have? How many apartments are in each house? I would only open a couple apartments in one of the houses to allow the Martins access. I would then open a couple more apartments after more Martins start to show up. I would not open all compartments this early though. I could be wrong, but that is the way I do it. I live in Paulina, and have not seen any Martins yet. I got excited also when I saw the two sightings in Louisiana, one of which is real close to me (about 10 miles). I'm ready, but don't want to attract too many Sparrows or Starlings.

flyin-lowe
Posts: 2576
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Re: When to open martin house?

Postby flyin-lowe » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:26 pm

I always recommend opening up as soon as you see a visiting martin. In my neck of the woods tree swallows and HOSP will take over anything left open.
2019- Currently 31 complete nests with 10 babies hatched and 95 eggs. (6/9)
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.

Spiderman
Posts: 657
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

Re: When to open martin house?

Postby Spiderman » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:21 am

I would also open one of the houses if you see or hear a Martin.

If I have unwanted birds I trap them before the Martins arrive. It makes being a landlord allot easier.
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

clivia98
Posts: 115
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:14 am
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Re: When to open martin house?

Postby clivia98 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:36 am

clivia98, how many houses do you have? How many apartments are in each house? I would only open a couple apartments in one of the houses to allow the Martins access. I would then open a couple more apartments after more Martins start to show up. I would not open all compartments this early though. I could be wrong, but that is the way I do it. I live in Paulina, and have not seen any Martins yet. I got excited also when I saw the two sightings in Louisiana, one of which is real close to me (about 10 miles). I'm ready, but don't want to attract too many Sparrows or Starlings.
I have 2 martin houses that have 8 compartments each. I'll follow your advice and gradually open the compartments. Thank you!

randy741985
Posts: 102
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:08 pm
Location: NE Alabama
Martin Colony History: 2018-First Year
2019- Eyes open

Re: When to open martin house?

Postby randy741985 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:01 pm

clivia98, how many houses do you have? How many apartments are in each house? I would only open a couple apartments in one of the houses to allow the Martins access. I would then open a couple more apartments after more Martins start to show up. I would not open all compartments this early though. I could be wrong, but that is the way I do it. I live in Paulina, and have not seen any Martins yet. I got excited also when I saw the two sightings in Louisiana, one of which is real close to me (about 10 miles). I'm ready, but don't want to attract too many Sparrows or Starlings.

I have a question, do the scouts begin to nest as soon as they arrive? If they do and a wannabe landlord lucks up and they begin to nest that early having only few compartment open Will the new Martin's defend against tree swallow swallows and other invaders?

Thanks
2018-14 Gourds First Year
0-Martins

Kyler
Posts: 857
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:15 pm
Location: Colby, Kansas
Martin Colony History: The Purple Martin Population Is Very Slim In Northwest Kansas. Before adding additional housing I’m trying to get 100% occupancy. Studying different entrances and larger compartments. Heat tests have been started in 2017. Trying to make a cooler compartment.

PMCA Member - Project MartinWatch - Enlarged Compartments - SREH - S&S Control - Mite Control - Predator Guards - Heat Control ( Vents and Insulation ) - Supplemental Feeding -

Manage 8 Colonies that consist of 250 Cavities in Colby Kansas. These colonies have been going for years. I’m just displaying 2019 pairs

Offer 78 Cavities Main Site
2019 28 Pair
Offer 12 Cavities Golf Course
2019 0 Pair
Offer 30 Cavities Grandpa’s Public Site
2019 7 Pair
Offer 28 Cavities Grandpa’s Site
2019 Not Sure Yet
Offer 12 Cavities Homeowners Site
2019 3 Pair
Offer 48 Cavities Homeowners Site
2019 8 Pair
Offer 6 Cavities Home Site (First Year)
2019 0 Pair
Offer 36 Cavties Homeowners Site (First Year)
2019 4 Pair

Re: When to open martin house?

Postby Kyler » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:02 pm

Randy,
No they don’t start right away! At least here in Kansas they don’t. My martins usually arrive at the end of March and don’t start nesting in till beginning of May when the subadults start arriving. But some do defend there compartment right when they arrive. I don’t have problems with tree swallows but I know they will defend from other martins. I caught this video a while back of two females fighting over a cavity. Hope this helps.

https://youtu.be/LlC8tIH5-cI

Kyler,
Purple Martin Landlords of Northwest KS
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC9HDLGlbCmSYcSExIySwUQA

Main Site:
2013 - 0 Pair
2014 - 1 Pair - 4 Eggs - 3 Hatched - 3 Fledged -
2015 - 0 Pair -
2016 - 5 Pair - 27 Eggs - 24 Hatched - 13 Fledged -
2017 - 18 Pair - 102 Eggs - 78 Hatched - 69 Fledged -
2018 - 22 Pair - 115 Eggs - 92 Hatched - 86 Fledged -
(Moved Housing 300 Yards)
2019 - 28 Pair - 144 Eggs - 7 Hatched So Far - ? Fledged -

clivia98
Posts: 115
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:14 am
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Re: When to open martin house?

Postby clivia98 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:37 pm

Great video. Last year I was a new landlord and put up my first house in 30 years. In February I saw my first martin at the house. Gradually the house filled up and they starting building nests at the beginning of April. I've added another Trendsetter 8 and still have them plugged for fear of unwanted inhabitants. Last year I didn't know better and left the house open but never had a problem with the sparrows (if I saw one around, I'd go out and chase it away). Starlings did investigate but soon realized that they could not fit in the SREH holes. As soon as I see a scout I will begin to open the house. I would hate to have to deal with sparrows and would hate to discourage the martins. There are hundreds of sparrows around here but, interestingly enough, they don't hang around my back yard so much. I do know that if they gain access to the martin house then it will be a challenge for me to get rid of them. A question I have is, should I buy a sparrow trap in the event one tries to occupy a compartment? How does one go about defending the martin house from these pests?

Kyler
Posts: 857
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:15 pm
Location: Colby, Kansas
Martin Colony History: The Purple Martin Population Is Very Slim In Northwest Kansas. Before adding additional housing I’m trying to get 100% occupancy. Studying different entrances and larger compartments. Heat tests have been started in 2017. Trying to make a cooler compartment.

PMCA Member - Project MartinWatch - Enlarged Compartments - SREH - S&S Control - Mite Control - Predator Guards - Heat Control ( Vents and Insulation ) - Supplemental Feeding -

Manage 8 Colonies that consist of 250 Cavities in Colby Kansas. These colonies have been going for years. I’m just displaying 2019 pairs

Offer 78 Cavities Main Site
2019 28 Pair
Offer 12 Cavities Golf Course
2019 0 Pair
Offer 30 Cavities Grandpa’s Public Site
2019 7 Pair
Offer 28 Cavities Grandpa’s Site
2019 Not Sure Yet
Offer 12 Cavities Homeowners Site
2019 3 Pair
Offer 48 Cavities Homeowners Site
2019 8 Pair
Offer 6 Cavities Home Site (First Year)
2019 0 Pair
Offer 36 Cavties Homeowners Site (First Year)
2019 4 Pair

Re: When to open martin house?

Postby Kyler » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:32 pm

Clivia,
Yes a sparrow trap is a must. I’m not familiar with the trendsetter houses but I know that they make the traps for them. If I’m thinking right they only make traps that fit the 2 inch round hole or the SREH holes. I don’t think they make one that has a hole small enough that a martin can not enter. (If they do please correct me) But it still wouldn’t be a problem if you do. Just make sure you monitor it very closely so you can free the martin as soon as possible. I use Trio Houses and they have a trap door that is called the Spare-O-Door that the hole is small enough that a martin can’t fit through. With them you don’t have to monitor them as closely. If you still didn’t want to trap in the houses they make ground traps. You can catch many of them that way as well.

Kyler,
Purple Martin Landlords of Northwest KS
https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC9HDLGlbCmSYcSExIySwUQA

Main Site:
2013 - 0 Pair
2014 - 1 Pair - 4 Eggs - 3 Hatched - 3 Fledged -
2015 - 0 Pair -
2016 - 5 Pair - 27 Eggs - 24 Hatched - 13 Fledged -
2017 - 18 Pair - 102 Eggs - 78 Hatched - 69 Fledged -
2018 - 22 Pair - 115 Eggs - 92 Hatched - 86 Fledged -
(Moved Housing 300 Yards)
2019 - 28 Pair - 144 Eggs - 7 Hatched So Far - ? Fledged -

Badger
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:37 pm
Location: Shenandoah Valley VA

Re: When to open martin house?

Postby Badger » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:42 pm

This is my 4th year as a landlord. I have 2 poles with 32 gourds. I'll open 2 up when I see my first martin. If other birds start going in I wait about 3 days then I close them up and open 2 others. It's like a game. As other Martin's show up I'll open up more gourds. When I get 8 or so birds then I open all of them up.I've had good luck doing it this way.


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