This is the city Purple Martin setup by Wild-Bird-Watching.com
It consist of Two S&K 12 Family Best House Martin Houses. Four S&K Big Bo Gourds and the two end gourds are S&K Combo Plus Gourds.
The houses have been modified to larger compartments. Each house now has six compartments that are 6 x 12 instead of the smaller 6 x 6. Research suggest Purple Martins may prefer these larger sizes. May add some security from predators.
All Gourds have been fitted with S&K Ultimate Clinger Tunnels for European Starling control. The tunnels add more horizontal room and the clinger opening has been effective in keeping starlings out while making it easy for Purple Martins to enter.
All this housing is on a S&K EZ-Lift Pole. We added an additional section of pole due to trees being close and to get it up above single story houses.
A male sings his song Tuesday, July 20, at a nesing site near Sonora, Ky.
Martins perch over the nesting gourds on July 20. Our first colony of purple martins.
My father and I put up 12 plastic gourds four years ago on our farm hoping to attract purple martins.
Several Amish families nearby have huge colonies in both houses and gourds and we were hoping for some to come to our gourds.
The nesting site is in an open area near a barn and the old farm house. No one lives in the site, but we are at the farm most every day.
For three years we would have 2-3 pairs of tree swallows nesting in the gourds, but no purples.
This year the tree swallows come in and appeared to start nesting. One day Dad said he watched a large, dark bird going in one of the gourds.
A couple days later I saw the said bird and realized it was a male purple martin. After this we continued to see several pairs coming to the nests. The tree swallows left the area and we do not know where they went.
Most of the 12 pairs we have nesting appear to be subadults. As of July 20 they were still tending the nests while many other landlords have said their colonies started leaving over the last two weeks.
To say we are thrilled is an understatement. Our plans are to put up more housing, both gourds and martin house, for next year in hopes of the colony returning. Other housing sites we have attempted have resulted in no nesting activity.
Congratulations! Just make sure you let no other bird nest in the gourds ever.
Control House Sparrows and Starlings and your colony will continue to grow.
Check out http://www.purplemartin.org especially the forum where you can learn about protecting your martins from owls and hawks.
We are in San Antonio, in an area not yet annexed by the city. I include this detail to provide a visual of our location, not quite rural and by quite urban.
Our purple Martin housing was purchased at Lowe’s and consists of six entries on either side. It is about 15 feet high, in the northwest corner of our back yard. We live on a corner lot, so we don’t have too many distractions.
Our yard is nicely landscaped, so we also attract hummingbirds, mockingbirds, sparrows, doves, finches, other songbirds, and barn swallows that like to skim the surface of our pool for a drink.
We currently have one pair that recently “moved in” just over a month ago. They seem very territorial, not allowing other purple martins to get near, and chasing off most other species of bird listed above.
We love their twilight songs as they come and go, and are looking forward to hosting them for years to come.