Waiting for 7 years
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!!!
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.
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