South/Central Texas question

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Elmo
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:40 am
Location: TX/San Antonio

South/Central Texas question

Postby Elmo » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:46 am

Does anyone in the San Antonio/Hill country/Valley area use pine needles as a prep for your houses? If so does it help your martins? If not, do you prep your houses with anything?
I was thinking of using dead live oak leaves. Any thoughts?

-=DKC=-
Posts: 359
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:26 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
Martin Colony History: ................
2019: 11 pairs
2018: 11 pairs - 43 fledged
2017: 4 pairs - 17 fledged

Re: South/Central Texas question

Postby -=DKC=- » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:35 am

Does anyone in the San Antonio/Hill country/Valley area use pine needles as a prep for your houses? If so does it help your martins? If not, do you prep your houses with anything?
I was thinking of using dead live oak leaves. Any thoughts?
I'm in Corpus Christi. My Purple Martins use dead/brown Live Oak leaves to build their nests. So that's what I use for prenests and nest replacement.

I haven't prepped the gourds with leaves this year but I hope to do so before they arrive. I don't think they need it but it does allow me to add a tiny bit of 7dust under the leaves.

Also, I have a vegetable garden near the pole. I mulch the garden with Live Oak leaves and that's where they get the majority of their nesting material.
"If at first you don't succeed, keep on suckin' till you do succeed." - Curly Howard

rrmartins
Posts: 1340
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

Re: South/Central Texas question

Postby rrmartins » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:13 am

I don’t my put anything in mine, they do a good job at nest buildings. Good luck to you this year.
T14
2018
12 pair
53 fledged

C.C.Martins
Posts: 621
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.
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
Home colony: 12 natural gourds, one modified house. 18 cavities in total.
PMCA member

Re: South/Central Texas question

Postby C.C.Martins » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:09 pm

I use pine needles, a small handfull of wood shavings but pine needles mostly. Its a good idea to give them something to bed down in especially after their flight and the early start of the year temps.
It also conserves their energy for egg laying and eating plus reduces their vulnerability while on the ground searching for nest material...why not give them a boost? Its like inviting someone over for dinner and forgetting to cook, lol.
My first year, i didnt do anything like that although it was great watching them build nests i realise i could have saved them an effort. Avoid straw or hay, it turns to mush!
Point is to set the birds up for a sucessful season and enjoy their short stay with us.
Tom

2016-Wanna be LL. Two lookers. nada
2017-5 pairs. 15 Fledged
2018-18 pairs. 85 Fledged.
2019-17 pair. 81 fledged.
Offering: 12 natural gourds, w/crescents and WDC openings. 6 modified compartment house, crescents with tunnels.

G Saner
Posts: 80
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: South/Central Texas question

Postby G Saner » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:53 pm

Elmo,

Yes. I use pine needles in my 24 gourds. Like Tom mentioned, it is a good idea to keep the martins off the ground where they could have a problem with predators. My second reason is to shorten the nest building phase and get them to lay eggs a little earlier so the babies fledge before it gets too hot.

My ASY pair add sticks, mud and leaves to the nest. Most of the SY pair just add leaves.

Gary
G Saner

Elmo
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:40 am
Location: TX/San Antonio

Re: South/Central Texas question

Postby Elmo » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:18 pm

Thanks to all for the advice.

Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 586
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: Georgetown, TX

Re: South/Central Texas question

Postby Sharon - Central TX » Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:06 pm

We live in Georgetown and don’t have any pine trees. We have always started out with fresh aspen shavings with a little Seven mixed in. We have oak trees nearby. When the birds begin nest building, some kick out all the shavings and bring in oak leaves and sticks. Others leave some of the shavings and top it off with oak leaves and sticks. Occasionally some build mud and stick dams. A few SY’s have even gone so far as using the aspen alone for nesting. Guess they haven’t learned yet :grin:. None have ever taken it out until they start nest building so I think they appreciate having something warm and cushiony until then.
Today is extremely cold, in the 30’s, and rainy so I’m glad they have that extra layer of protection.

Anthony Neira
Posts: 1290
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:12 pm
Location: San Antonio /Texas
Martin Colony History: Started in 1992 From neighbors old 1950-60's colonies. Have 8 Trio 6 Room Houses, 4 MPP Poles, 1 Heath Deluxe Gourd with Troyer Porch, 8 NatureLine Gourds with Troyer Porches, 5 Troyer Horizontals ,& 2 S&K 11" WITH Troyer Porches ready for 2019 Season !

Re: South/Central Texas question

Postby Anthony Neira » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:02 pm

Elmo, I use Pine Needles ( I Order them ) AND I'm Sure Glad I did ! My only Scout pair here right now, have chosen the # 1 spot, the upper left corner room in my # 1 ( most southern ) Trio House. I am so glad that I had prepared it with a sub floor & a nice amount of Pine Needles as a bed for them, and i covered the vent holes in the back & front doors & on the side wall. The past week +, I'll go outside around 6:10 pm & by 6:30 they circled the colony & then ZIP right in for the night. Again, I'm so happy knowing that they have a bed to sleep on in the past cold nights, instead of a cold metal floor. Best of luck, Anthony :grin:
PMCA Member, 8 Trio 6 Room Houses, 1 Heath Deluxe Gourd with Troyer Porch, 8 NatureLine Gourds with Troyer Porches, 5 Troyer Horizontals + Tunnels, & 2 S&K Bo 11"s WITH Troyer Porches ! 4 MPPs, For 2019 Season !! :grin: Started in 1992 from Older '50-'60s Colonies.

BW Fowler
Posts: 155
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:01 pm
Location: TX/Buda

Re: South/Central Texas question

Postby BW Fowler » Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:52 pm

Elmo, I have used both pine needles and oak leaves & twigs. Pine needles work fine, but I have to drive out to Bastrop to scavenge the needles. :grin:

The folks above have given you good advice. Oak leaves and twigs are the nest materials of choice for the local martins, and all I have to do is just rake them up from the backyard. Both will work for you though.

All the best,
BW
2009-2013 a few visitors
2014: 1 pair of SY love birds, 5 fledges
2015: 7 pair, 34 fledges
2016: 12 pair (full house), 54 fledges
2017: expand to 15 gourds - 14 pair, 71 fledges
2018: expand to 22 gourds

Elmo
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:40 am
Location: TX/San Antonio

Re: South/Central Texas question

Postby Elmo » Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:24 pm

Thanks to all for the input. As a starter I have ordered some pine needles, and I will see how that is received..As of now I haven’t seen any Martins, maybe a couple of scouts once but I’m not sure.

Beach42
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:38 pm
Location: Galveston, Texas

Re: South/Central Texas question

Postby Beach42 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 9:57 am

Hello Everyone,
I put in cedar shavings in first and shred some queen palm leaves and I spread them out over the ground underneath the houses and the Martians will fly down and pick them up to build their nest. No need to buy stuff that you already have. It's neat to see!! Good Luck!!


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