Welcome to the Southern Wildlife Network!

This is a great place for the bird lover and wildlife enthusiast alike. Please take a moment to read about our organization on the home page.

Join our free forum and be part of the community! Simply click the button at the button of this box labeled "Register" and follow the directions. You will need an active email address to complete the registration process.

VS Ryan
Founder/Administrator
Southern Wildlife Network
NWF Habitat Steward Host in Training!


 
Sparrow SquadHomeCalendarFAQSearchRegisterLog in

Share | 
 

 purple martin landlord

Go down 
AuthorMessage
mikenlinda
Purple Martin Adviser


Posts : 39
Join date : 2010-02-11
Location : Niceville, Florida

PostSubject: purple martin landlord   Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:27 pm

Hi! My name is Linda. I tried for 4 years to attract purple martins. Last year we finally had success! Very Happy Unfortunately, it was a constant battle with the sparrows. We also had a few issues with starlings. The sparrows however, are virtually impossible to control. We have a repeater trap that we ordered off the internet from a purple martin website. It seems to work but only for a short time. It needs contstant adjustments. Does anyone have any ideas for a good trap?

We had five compartments used last year in our 10-14. Only two pair nested. We haven't seen any this year yet but I know they are already in our area. And of course...so are the sparrows!!!!

Linda
Back to top Go down
VS Ryan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 183
Join date : 2010-02-07
Age : 36
Location : Niceville, FL

PostSubject: Re: purple martin landlord   Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:29 pm

Congratulations on your success and welcome to the community!

Hopefully we can find an effective solutin to your problem.
Back to top Go down
http://www.sparrowsquad.com
mikenlinda
Purple Martin Adviser


Posts : 39
Join date : 2010-02-11
Location : Niceville, Florida

PostSubject: Re: purple martin landlord   Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:32 pm

Any help with traps or ideas will be most appreciated. I have heard lately that we should have been doing sparrow control all year long even though the martins are only here certain months. Do you agree with that?
Back to top Go down
VS Ryan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 183
Join date : 2010-02-07
Age : 36
Location : Niceville, FL

PostSubject: Re: purple martin landlord   Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:02 am

Absolutely, sparrow control can and should be done year round. It is much easier to maintain a low sparrow population than it is to gain control of it. I'm no scientist, but I haven't noticed any reduction in sparrow activity during the colder months. Naturally their breeding would be slowed, but they don't seem to go anywhere thus providing you a window to focus solely on their presence without needing to devote time to the martins.

Either way, trapping in the winter months gives you something to do when outdoor activities are limited. Like I always say, all you have to lose are the sparrows!
Back to top Go down
http://www.sparrowsquad.com
ChyvonnenJeff



Posts : 1
Join date : 2010-02-20

PostSubject: Re: purple martin landlord   Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:11 pm

This is an awesome sight! My husband and I love watching the birds outside in our area. We are actually about to leave now and go birdwatching. I am very grateful to have found this site and look forward to visiting regularly!
Back to top Go down
Monty

avatar

Posts : 57
Join date : 2010-02-20
Location : Wabash, IN

PostSubject: Re: purple martin landlord   Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:09 pm

I love this site too! Finally some freedom. My parents neighbor had martins for over 40 years. Six homemade aluminum houses with 24 holes in each. His colony was maxed. We lived across the road from him, and I decided to "snag" some of his birds. He didn't mind. I cleared a big area on Department of Natural Res. (DNR) ground, they never knew it wasn't ours, and began erecting martin houses.

I bought them from the Nature Society: Two Grandpas, one Trio-Wade, one Castle. I had plenty of visitors, but none ever nested. I had them up for fifteen years. Finally, I cut my losses, since I didn't live there anymore, and posted them on the Society's website for sale. A man in TX, who already has a good colony, bought them. The only thing I had asked when selling them was, that they go to someone with a good, strong colony, and I asked for photos of them in use.

He emailed me some photos of the birds that occupied the Castle. I was satisfied. I'm also happy to report that not one pair of sparrows ever nested in them.

While still at home, I would take my screens out of my east- and south-facing windows, and keep the windows cracked at all times. When I would hear starlings early in the morning, the rifle barrel snuck out the window and CRACK! down came at least one starling. There was a red-bellied woodpecker that had dug a nest hole in a maple behind the house. Once it was done, the starlings attempted to move in. Not on my watch! I heard the red-belly giving his distress call one morning, poked the barrel out. The red-belly was in the cavity and a starling was jabbing at him from the entrance. Not for long. That starling took a nose-dive to the ground soon after. I got his mate, too.

Every morning in spring, you could hear shots in a triangular pattern; either me, Russell to the north, or Jim to the northeast. Sadly, Russell is gone now. And his nephew thinks nothing of the cavities Russell used to protect with his rifle. Starlings have them now. Makes me sick.
Back to top Go down
mikenlinda
Purple Martin Adviser


Posts : 39
Join date : 2010-02-11
Location : Niceville, Florida

PostSubject: Re: purple martin landlord   Sat Feb 20, 2010 10:36 pm

Monty, where do you live now? While I am so sorry to hear that after 15 years of trying you finally gave up on the martins, it is truly wonderful that you sold the houses to another landlord!

Maybe you could try again where you live now. Did you try the Dawnsong or Daytime Chatter CD's? Did you prep the nest chambers prior to pm arrival time? Were the houses properly located?

You may have done all of these things already. One thing I know for certain is that attracting purple martins is not an exact science. None of us know exactly what triggers a wild bird to decide to move in to one particular house. I do know that persistance, research and patience often pays off...but certainly not always.

If you are interested in chatting about this, or maybe trying again, I would enjoy trying to help you any way I can. What I don't know, I would certainly be happy to find out for you. There is probably a lot I could learn from you too.

Often times people read these forums and learn much from the discussions here even if they have chosen not to participate yet. sunny
Back to top Go down
Monty

avatar

Posts : 57
Join date : 2010-02-20
Location : Wabash, IN

PostSubject: Re: purple martin landlord   Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:06 am

Linda,

I live in a little town called Wabash, here in Indiana. Oh, there are songbirds here:cardinals, phoebes, robins, various indigenous sparrows, the cavity nesters: chickadees, titmice, nuthatches. All too few and far between considering where my parents live... in a woods.

Unfortunately for me, the only bluebirds near me are on the outskirts. Too many sparrows to battle getting into town. I did hear martins flying over last summer, but there again, too many good-intentioned people buying cheap martin housing and placing it near a tree, since "trees are where all birds nest", then starlings and/or sparrows claim it. Then, the owner says, "Well, at least ' the birds ' are using it." They have no concept of "which birds" should be using it. Just happy that "the birds" are.

Yes, I tried everything: the Dawnsong, which, I think made them curious, but that was all; kept the sapling trees cleared out; grass mowed down. Everything. Wasn't meant to be. Jim has since lost all of his birds. My cousin was surrogating orphaned raccoons all summer one year, and I believe some of the predating upon his colony and my trail came, eventually, from her orphans. He'd never had raccoon problems in 40 years, but lack of good fur prices caused raccoon hunting/trapping to almost completely stop, thus the populations boomed, resulting in more animals coming to residences looking for food... and finding it congregated for easy pickings.

The raccoons climbed his poles and tore open the bottom compartments on all six houses and cleaned them out. The adult birds didn't abandon immediately but were wary afterward. Finish this later.
Back to top Go down
Monty

avatar

Posts : 57
Join date : 2010-02-20
Location : Wabash, IN

PostSubject: Re: purple martin landlord   Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:13 am

To finish the story, the martins finished out the nesting season, but only about half returned the next year, then none the next. Jim hasn't even had any visit his empty houses in the last five or so years. And I never did get any. They would land on the houses, go into the compartments, look around, preen on the guard rails, then fly back to Jim's.

I ended up lowering all the houses and covering them heavy plastic. Then, a few years ago, when the man from TX called about buying them, I went out to mom's, and took all of the systems down. Yes, I miss having the houses, but not at the expense of wondering when the sparrows will come in and overwhelm them. So, it was for the best.

I would have loved to have had a colony, even a small one, and still would love to, someday. But not while living here in town. Right now, my main objective is, providing nesting boxes for the bluebirds and tree swallows out near my parents' home, and, making things a little better for my own enjoyment here in town. If I can get more woodland songbirds/cavity nesting birds comfortable with my backyard, perhaps I can get something good started.

Time will tell...

Monty
Back to top Go down
mikenlinda
Purple Martin Adviser


Posts : 39
Join date : 2010-02-11
Location : Niceville, Florida

PostSubject: Re: purple martin landlord   Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:06 pm

Wow! What a story. So very sad indeed. You are absolutely right about the Dawnsong it makes the martins curious so they will notice your house and check it out, that is all it does. Now if all the planets line up and they like what they see, they will nest there.

As far as the racoons, I am not at all surprised that the pairs tried to stay after the attack. Pm's are very loyal to their nest sites. That is why, if you can keep the sparrows down until a few pairs nest, they will typically run the sparrows off themselves. Obviously, if the sparrows are too plentiful and the martins too few, they cannot do it. Martins are not at all an aggresive bird, just very loyal. However, after an attack by either predator birds, racoons, snakes, etc. they will not return to that site. Martins develope site loyalty after having a successful breeding season. Then they attract more and more martins. A predator attack has destroyed more than one very successful colony.

It is important to install predator guards on the houses to protect from owls and other flying predators if they are in your area. Also install predator guards at the bottom to protect from racoons, opossoms, rats, snakes and even squirrels. As I said, one attack can scare off an entire colony for years.

I adore the eastern bluebirds! I live in the city where it is not possible to have a trail. My neighbor, however, puts up one lone bluebird box in his front yard each year. Every single year they have a nesting pair! It amazes me. I have not tried that yet but their story encourages me.

Can you tell me what I would need to know as far as box dimensions? Do you put in starter pine straw like you do with martins?
Back to top Go down
mikenlinda
Purple Martin Adviser


Posts : 39
Join date : 2010-02-11
Location : Niceville, Florida

PostSubject: Re: purple martin landlord   Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:08 pm

What time of year do I mount the nest box? How high, etc.
Back to top Go down
VS Ryan
Admin
avatar

Posts : 183
Join date : 2010-02-07
Age : 36
Location : Niceville, FL

PostSubject: Re: purple martin landlord   Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:53 pm

I went ahead and locked this topic and copied this conversation over:

http://www.sparrowsquad.com/community-songbird-populations-f8/monty-s-trail-t36.htm#115

A story this good deserves it's own space!
Back to top Go down
http://www.sparrowsquad.com
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: purple martin landlord   

Back to top Go down
 
purple martin landlord
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Purple Asparagus Roots: Free to good home in PNW
» Purple Sprouting Broccoli
» Purple Potatoes
» My Cherokee Purple. Let's see yours!
» Here's my purple cauliflower.

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
 :: Welcome New Members :: Introductions-
Jump to:  

web counter html code
Forum create on Forumotion | © phpBB | Free forum support | Contact | Report an abuse | Forumotion.com