Heated Birdbaths

Waiting for 7 years

by Sara
(Homestead, Florida)



After having my 8 Huge plastic Gourds up for season after season for 7 years, with lots of lookers and no takers I finally only left up 2 Gourds.

Then this year 2012, 1 male and 3 females decide to keep looking and singing and have decided to stay!!!! I can't believe it.

I instantly put up 2 more Gourds and they liked it. I feel SOOO HAPPY, they are incredible little birds who sing & look beautiful.

It's worth the wait, never give up on our feathered friends!!!

From: Wild-Bird-Watching.com


It took 4 years to get our first pair and I remember that feeling all too well.

I kept a diary of that first bird and how he attracted his mate, their nest building, six eggs, and eventually six fledglings leaving the nest.

Every season since then, (now in our fifth season) I get excited when the first bird returns. There is something very special about getting Purple Martins and starting a colony.

Now comes the hard part, protecting them from predators. Rat snakes can climb anything so use bird netting around your pole to prevent them from climbing.

Make sure you trap or shoot any House Sparrows or Starlings that come around. If mites become an issue, use a half teaspoon of powder Seven sprinkled in the nest and tapped to the bottom of the nest.

Do weekly nest checks once they begin egg laying to watch for problems. Do these nest checks in the mid afternoon so that you do not disturb them in the morning. Never check during the evening.

Learn all you can by joining the forum at http://www.purplemartin.org it's free.

Read all you can and ask questions in the forum. It's easy to lose a colony if something goes wrong.

I wish you the very best in starting your Purple Martin Colony and you're right, Never Give Up.

Gene
wild-bird-watching

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The Purple Martin Junior Choir

by Robert Mohler
(Fort Worth, Texas USA)

The Purple Martin Junior Choir

The Purple Martin Junior Choir

We have been Purple Martin landlords, here in Fort Worth, Texas, the past seven years.

We are members of the Purple Martin Landlords of North Texas.

We have 28 compartments in our colony and last year fledged 98 young. We begin watching for their arrival in February and are sad in August when they depart for South America.

This is a photo I took several years ago of the hatchlings and of course, they all started to sing for me.

As of 01 March 2013, we have 10 ASY already here at our colony.

Happy Martin 2013 to all.

http://www.purplemartinlandlordsofnorthtexas.com

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Mar 09, 2013
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Your Martins took me back a ways in time.
by: Lee Robertson

Your picture and description of your Martin apartment complex reminded of my Dad's multi-room Martin house in La Grange, Texas 52 years ago. He loved Martins and said they eat lots of mosquitoes. Thanks for spurring some fond memories!

Mar 05, 2013
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Great shot Robert!
by: Connie Wiebe

Great shot Robert!

Mar 03, 2013
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Thanks For Sharing Your Martins
by: Gene

Boy is it nice to see someone who is informed on martins. I always get excited to see them coming back to Texas because I know it won't be long.

I live in East Central Kansas, and ours will be here in late March or early April if they're late.

Thanks for sharing about your site.

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They are back for third year

by Neal Cardin
(Sonora, KY)

Our Purple Martins returned on March 27. We had a scout or two a couple of weeks ago and then nothing for several days.

Now there are at least four birds staying around the gourds we have hanging. They are poking their heads into the gourds and sitting on top of the timbers from which the gourds hang.

This is the third year for our colony. I think more are coming. They are just starting to settle into other sites where there have been colonies for several years.

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Mar 31, 2012
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Purple Martins are Back
by: Gene

That's great! Here at wild-bird-watching.com our first martin made it back on the 30th of March. We have a gourd rack with the possibility of holding 24 gourds.

Currently I have it set with 12 gourds on the top rack and 4 on the lower rack. The pole is 2 3/8 diameter and is set up with a winch and pulley.

We use a metal pole guard for keeping raccoons and other 4 footed predators from climbing the pole.

We also use bird netting around the pole to keep the snakes from climbing the pole. A lot of people don't know that snakes can and will climb just about anything. Once you lose martins from predator attacks, they will not return.

We do weekly nest checks as prescribed by the PMCA.

I do hope you have a way to access the nest during the season and predator guards on the pole.

I hope you have a wonderful Purple Martin season.

Gene
wild-bird-watching

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Martin Magic

by Kris
(Melbourne, FL)

Hopefully Home

Hopefully Home

We have six gourds below a Martin house. We put it up last August after stumbling across a gourd farm on a trip from the mountians. The gourds were ready with the proper size holes already drilled.

We treated and painted according to standards and then waited!

It took until last August until today! Around 8 martins both male and female were cackling and flying all morning and two pairs began to nest today. Their sound is amazing.

Our house sits in the middle of our garden so hopefully they will consume the bugs bad for the garden!

We are so happy to welcome them to our home amongst our chickens, doggies, and garden!

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Early Birds

by Dan
(Astoria Il)

Two years ago I relocated back to Illinois after spending several years in Kansas.

While living in the Sunflower State I discovered how much more martins prefer natural gourds over aluminum or plastic housing.

My first spring back I hung 12 gourds and had 9 pairs. And these were adult birds which left there established colonies to move into the gourds!

Last year I hung 23 gourds and had 20 pairs. I will never use aluminum houses again. If you are having trouble attracting Martins I suggest giving gourds a try. I use thick walled ones grown in the south.

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Mar 26, 2016
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Natural Gourds
by: Gene

Where do you purchase your natural gourds.

We use commercial plastic gourds from S&K and Troyer. We do fine with them but I like the idea of adding a few natural gourds.

Thanks for your submission. - Gene

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