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Click to go to Audubon Society of Omaha Home Page Audubon Society of OmahaEastern Bluebird

Welcome to The Bluebird Box since 1995
Best of Bluebird Mailing Lists Classified

Purple Martins and Bluebirds (Part 1)

Purple Martin web site http://www.purplemartin.org/


Subj: Re: Rumor!!
Date: 6/9/99 8:23:40 AM Central Daylight Time
From: kridler"at"1Starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: kridler"at"1Starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu (Bluebird-L Mailing List)

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant Texas

On occasion the Eastern Bluebird will "guard" the whole Martin house. Normally the Bluebirds have finished with their first nest when Martin's nest here. They are less protective of the second nesting attempt. I have had better luck with attaching a bluebird nestbox to the pole at eye level and have the bluebirds down low and the Martin's above. Few if any problems in the past when we had Martin's. (I had this arraignment for about 15 years successfully!) But have also had quite a few calls from people complaining about bluebirds or Mocking birds "guarding" the Martin box. An added bonus is that sparrows also prefer this nest box to fighting the Martins for a compartment. I use two Martin houses and two nestboxes about 100' apart. Attach a metal cross under your aluminum house and hang 4-8 gourds up near the metal house. Some Purple Martins prefer to "swing" in their nest site.

KK


Subj: unusual nesting site
Date: 7/3/99 9:19:45 PM Central Daylight Time
From: drdancer"at"ryngate.org (Laura Robertson)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: drdancer"at"ryngate.org
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

Our bluebird pair are nesting in our 12 apartment purple martin house! They actually chased the purple martins away. We would appreciate hearing from anyone else who has had this occur. We have no previous experience with bluebirds, although we have had a bluebird nest box for a year now.

We are thinking of lowering the pruple martin house from its current 12 ft height. We have four nestlings who will fledge soon, and we understand that a more typical height for them to start flying from would be 5 feet. We plan to lower the house on its adjustable pole by 1 foot per day over the next week. Does anyone have thoughts on this plan? Would lower the house disturb the parents too much?


Subj: new subscriber
Date: 7/3/99 9:30:05 PM Central Daylight Time
From: drdancer"at"ryngate.org (Laura Robertson)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: drdancer"at"ryngate.org
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

I am Laura Robertson, and with my husband, David Gorzsas, I moved to a country house just outside Baltimore, in Baltimore County, Maryland.

A year ago we put up a bluebird house, since we have several acres of farmland/meadows that we generally let lie fallow. We saw some blue birds around, but no definite nesting lin the box. This year, we put up a purple martin house and a bluebird house separated by 30 ft or so, in another field, and immediately had purple martins nesting. Then bluebirds came by and checked out their house, but took a space in the purple martin house!  Thre purple martins all left!

I sent an earlier e-mail today, asking for some help with this problem, which is not addressed in any books, We subscribed to this listserve to get your more experienced input into what to do (if anything.) Thanks.


Subj: bluebirds in martin house
Date: 7/3/99 10:57:50 PM Central Daylight Time
From: kridler"at"1Starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: kridler"at"1Starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas

Since bluebirds will nest from 2 feet off the ground to 40+ feet in the air there really is no need to lower the house for the young birds "safety". For your area I assume that house cats & house wrens may be the most numerous predator. Lowering the box may actually be more dangerous since being higher will only give the young birds more range on their first flight.   I have wondered about the House Wrens for the past few days and their nasty habit of removing eggs or young birds of other species. In all of my literature (some from the 1930's) I have no reports of House Wrens removing eggs from purple martins. Is Height in an open area a deterrent? Would height alone stop the wrens? It would not be that hard for a home owner to have a couple of bluebird nestboxes on telescoping poles like the Martin House. What about mounting a box on the tower supporting the TV antenna?   It's been kinda quiet on the list! Thought we needed another debate:-)---- KK


Subj: Purple martin website
Date: 11/2/99 12:34:15 PM Central Standard Time
From: bjohnso3"at"midsouth.rr.com (Bruce Johnson)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: bjohnso3"at"midsouth.rr.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (Bluebird Ref.)

Hello Gang:

You can get all the info you want on the martins at:
http://www.purplemartin.org/
I really enjoy this happy bird, its only second to the bluebird.

If you really are interested in helping control the insects and have not already do so, put up a bat house or two, the bluebirds and martins are lightweights compared to bats.
For information on bats: http://www.batcon.org/

The other Bruce.

Bruce Johnson
Memphis TN


Subj: Habitat, Martins
Date: 11/2/99 3:28:28 PM Central Standard Time
From: hubertrap"at"webtv.net (Joe Huber)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: hubertrap"at"webtv.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu, springer"at"alltel.net

Hi Gary and all, You ask about what type habitat was good for Purple Martins? Purple Martin houses are what got me started with Bluebirds so with out looking up the Martin web site I know quite a bit about them. In past posts you have stated there are no House sparrows in your area so thats a plus. You need plenty of open space around their nest box as they soar across your yard. Trees and shrubs are best if located 25 feet or more away. This is not the trunk but branches. More space is better. Any source of water near by like a lake or river is also a plus. they can go a few miles to reach water. This only makes it
more likely to attract them. Start out with at least 8 rooms in their nest box. Best if mounted on a telescoping pole so you can check the box with out risking your life. Box should be 13 to 14 feet high. Many in the south use gourds so you need to decide what type to try. Many preach guard rails to protect young from falling. No need to run on here so contact me off the list. Joe


Subj: Re: Habitat, Martins
Date: 11/2/99 6:04:54 PM Central Standard Time
From: grobyak"at"yahoo.com (Rob Yaksich)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: grobyak"at"yahoo.com
To: hubertrap"at"webtv.net, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu, springer"at"alltel.net

Rob Yaksich
ABQ, NM
55* and sunny (sky full of Sandhill Cranes)

Just wanted to insert my 2 cents worth about the PUMAs. If you live in the West, apartment-style houses won't work. I understand that the eastern subspecies of PUMA is trekking steadily westward into NM/CO via TX, OK and KS, but the western martins do NOT nest in the apt houses. There have been records
of them breeding in single houses set on poles or the sides of piers and buildings (British Columbia and WA State), but they seem to quite prefer natural
cavities. Those here in NM love cottonwoods and will nest even in trees where large branches overhang the nest cavity. Kinda odd for a swallow to like that, or
at least not mind it.

r

...

Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2000 09:29:31 -0500
From: "caren wagner" carenwagner"at"sprynet.com
To: "bluebird-l" bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Protective Bluebirds

Greetings everyone, I am new to the list, have been watching and reading for about a week now. I got involved with bluebirds last year. I was lucky enough to attract a pair of bluebirds into my backyard and successfully fledged 10 young in two broods. The young were all banded, what a thrill to hold their little warm bodies in my hand! I raise mealworms and they love those!

My question is this - I have had a pair of bluebirds who are visiting daily since February 23, eating the mealworms, bathing, checking out my four boxes and lots of wing waving! I also have a purple martin house with gourds out and they have looked at the gourds (the house is still closed.) They are protecting all available nesting sites, including the gourds from sparrows and starlings. Will they also chase away purple martins. My house is not an established colony. I had a few martins look at it last year but no one nested. I am still hoping for tenants.

Caren Wagner
Lewis Center, OH
(just north of Columbus, OH)


Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2000 13:30:47 -0600
From: "Bill Darnell" bdarnell"at"centurytel.net
To: carenwagner"at"sprynet.com, "bluebird-l" bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Protective Bluebirds

Bill Darnell, Savannah, TN
Lat: 35:18:32.407N
Lon 88:10:31.368W

Caren:

If your bluebirds have already chosen a nest box, they will not bother the martins. If not, they may. If they have chosen a gourd, they will! But you said the gourds are still closed. That is a good idea. I just got my gourds up last Saturday, and when I got to the house and looked back off my porch, a Bluebird was sitting on the rack. Turns out he just liked the vantage point over the garden. He already had a claim to a nest box.

I hope we both get martins! My gourds are not established yet either, so I also was worried.

Bill

...


Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 17:25:44 -0600
From: Kathleen Oschwald nestbox"at"1starnet.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Bluebirds Nesting in Martin Houses

I, too, had a pair of bluebirds who used a compartment of my Martin house in Lufkin, TX. (100 mi N of Houston) They used the house every year for 8 years, and since I hadn't read any books on bluebirds yet (I was a casual observer rather than an active monitor/landlord) I thought this was perfectly normal. They fledged babies every year, although I didn't keep records or make regular observations. I wish I had.

Kate Oschwald
Sumner, TX
100 mi NE of Dallas


Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 07:18:35 -0700
From: "Tena Taylor" tenataylor"at"tycom.net
To: "BLUEBIRD LIST" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Martins- off subject

Tena Taylor, Calhoun County, Mississippi

So happy to report that we have 3 Purple Martin pairs at our gourds!  Just put them up this past winter!


Date: Thu, 11 May 2000 23:09:20 -0500
From: "R_C Walshaw" walshaw"at"gte.net
To: "Bluebird Listserve" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Tena - 3 martin pairs

Tena - CONGRATULATIONS ON THE THREE MARTIN PAIRS! I envy you. This is my 4th year waiting for them and I have the perfect place (50 feet behind my barn in an open area, near a pond, etc. All the right things from all that I read. The problem seems to be that there are no colonies in the immediate area for us to get some new pairs from. I went to the Super Gourds this year and at least this has allowed me to keep the starlings out. Six bit the dust this week.


Date: Fri, 12 May 2000 22:36:50 -0500
From: "R_C Walshaw" walshaw"at"gte.net
To: "Bluebird Listserve" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Martin Super Gourds

Tena asked what these are. They are large one piece heavy plastic gourds with a molded- in threaded cover access port. Insert traps are available that are very effective for starling control. Martin Market Place (The Purple Martin Conservation Association). 1-814-734-4420. Bluebird Bob, Northeast Oklahoma.


Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 19:40:28 EDT
From: Tsapling"at"aol.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: purple martins

I received my American Gourd Society newsletter (summer 2000) today and in the back is an amazing picture of a man who has hung metal cages up in the air at about 30 feet high on metal columns with a baffle with extra support at a right angle and a second metal column. Inside the cages are hung a
multitude of gourd bird houses. The cages have big enough rectangular openings that the purple martin can get through. They say it is a picture of his yard ( a large yard) and his yard was home to a 151 pairs of purple martins in one season.

I doubt that his birds are bothered by predators nor humans. I don't know whether a large number like that of the same category of bird chases away
other types of bird or whether purple martins self-select for gourds. I don't know how he cleans the gourds. It looks as if he can raise and lower the cage by ropes but that's a guess. He sells gourds for purple martin bird houses. If someone wants his name and number, e-mail me.

Tina


Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 14:02:41 -0400
From: "Rosemary Schroeder" rschroeder"at"fuse.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: New to List

I am new to your list and new to bluebirds. I live near Cincinnati, OH.

This spring my husband and I put up a martin house to attract purple martins. Well, the martins never came, but the bluebirds did! I am delighted with the bluebirds! I have always loved bluebirds, but never put up bluebird houses because they are so close to the ground, and I have a cat.

I have been watching the bluebirds go back and forth from the box all morning, and I assume they must have babies. The house, being an "official" martin box is equipped to lower to tend to the nests. I've read all about martin landlording, but don't know about bluebirds. I have seen on the internet that it is necessary to tend to the nests, but I'm not sure whether I should disturb them with young.

Any help or suggestions of web sites to visit would be appreciated. I'll go to my bird store tomorrow and buy a book; however, it's closed on Sunday.

Thanks, Rosie


Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 14:50:04 -0400 (EDT)
From: hubertrap"at"webtv.net (Joe Huber)
To: rschroeder"at"fuse.net (Rosemary Schroeder), BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: New to List

Joe Huber Venice Fl. Hi Rosie, There is no reason not to lower the martin house and at least count the young Eastern B;bluebirds in the nest. They tolerate a lot of interference by humans. AS long a the young are less than 12 days old so chances of them flying out early are minimal. I am from Heath
Ohio and my first Eastern Bluebird nest was in a martin house. That was 1968 and they often nested the second or third time in a martin house especially if House wrens or House sparrows were a problem at that time. You can still set out a Bluebird nest box for this year. Since you have a cat it may be best if it is up to six feet off the ground on iron pipe. Your Bluebirds have time to nest again this summer. Check some of the web sites under links on my web page on House Sparrow control below. WElcome to the list. Joe

Charter member NABS, Charter member OBS, Life member OBS Joe Huber
hubertrap"at"webtv.net

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/HOUSESPARROWCONTROL
http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/RoostingBluebirds


Date: Sat, 13 Jan 2001 16:32:31 -0600
From: "Bill Darnell" bdarnel3"at"bellsouth.net
To: Brucemac1"at"aol.com, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Purple Martin info..??

The best pages are:

www.purplemartin.org The Purple Martin Conservation Association (PMCA) This site has just about everything!

Chuck Abare's Purple Martin Pages: http://home.HiWAAY.net/~yankee1/

Terry Washburn Site: http://www.iocc.com/~twash/

Bill Darnell
Savannah, TN

Anyone out there have a web address where I might obtain information on
Purple Martins. Nesting habits, nesting requirements, preferences, etc., etc.

Thank you in advance,

Bruce


Date: Sat, 13 Jan 2001 19:15:05 -0500
From: "Wendy Andersen" Wendy"at"raven-villages.net
To: Brucemac1"at"aol.com
Cc: bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Purple Martin info..??

i have been following the habits of purple martins for years in a wonderful newspaper called Nature Society News; they also have alot about bluebirds and hummingbirds. their web site is WWW.naturesociety.org. the newspaper is only 15.00 per year (12)issuesand they might even send you a complimentary copy to try if you contact them.the phone number is 217 833-2323 and the e mail is natsoc"at"adams.net. they are located in griggsville,illnois. good luck!

----- Original Message -----

From: Brucemac1"at"aol.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Sent: Saturday, January 13, 2001 5:14 PM
Subject: Purple Martin info..??

Anyone out there have a web address where I might obtain information on
Purple Martins. Nesting habits, nesting requirements, preferences, etc., etc.

Thank you in advance,

Bruce


Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2001 07:56:23 -0600
rom: "Joseph Frisco" jfrisco"at"mediaone.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

Joe and Diane Frisco,Jacksonville,fL

As I stated a few days ago we had our first bluebird five days ago and now we have two. We are new here and have two bluebird houses on our lake. Question is:We also have a Purple Martin house out there and the Bluebird perches on top of the Martin house. She does fly into her house but stays on top of Martin house. Now the Martins wouldn't bother her? Now we had Martins in our other house when we lived in Panama City, Fl so we don't know if we will have any here. We put the house up in January as the Martin scout will be coming by soon. I just wondered if the Bluebirds get along with the Martins. My husband put the Bludbird house 4feet tall,right?

Thanks for all your help. Still don't know if we should bother and get mealie worms since we have many insects on the lake.Some people say yes and some say no!


Date: Sat, 10 Feb 2001 16:14:29 EST
From: TomGaryH"at"aol.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Martins & Bluebirds Re: (no subject)

Hello Joe and Diane,

It is my understanding that martins and bluebirds get along ok when each has its own box. The blues will use the martin house as a perch when they get the urge and can get away with it. If the martins don't want the blues there the blues will move to a different perch. Most likely, I've been told, the blues won't perch on the martin house once martins are established there for the season.

Mounting a bluebird box 4 feet up would be, I think, minimum and you may want to stand guard. Having the hole 5 and 1/2 feet high would be better but to decrease chances for predation by cats, I think mounting the box so that the center of the hole is 6 feet above the ground is much better. If you discover you need a predator guard, installation of one may make it too easy for a cat to gain access to a box that is mounted 4 feet above the ground. Jacksonville has some snakey areas so you may discover a need for a snake snare too. All this means that the bluebirds should be safer in a higher mounted box than 4 feet.

If you get those purple martins to follow their Panama City box to Jax that'll be one for the books. Best of luck in establishing a new martin family as well as in getting the blues to live with you.

Tom Heintzelman
Milton, Santa Rosa County, FL (western panhandle, inland) U.S.A.
30 38' 33"N 087 03' 32"W Eastern Bluebirds


Date: Sun, 11 Feb 2001 18:45:23 -0600
From: "Joseph Frisco" jfrisco"at"mediaone.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

Joe and Diane Frisco Jacksonville, Fl

Like I said before we are new at this and have had three blue birds for three days. We now have two blue bird house on the lake. The male perches on the Martin House I guess to check everything out. Bought a Bluebird feeder and plan to put it out tomorrow with the Bluebird treat on the roof and some in the feeder. They said to hang on pole mount feeder 15'-20' away from any nesting boxes where the Bluebirds have been seen. If this works we think we buy some mealie worms. The feeders and houses we bought at Lowes made by Stokes.Watched their show Saturday on tv since they were talking about Purple Martins. See we had them in Panama City,Fl for five years and moved here recently and hope to have them again! I love reading everyone comments. Just received an email saying that the female leaves something in the box , I guess to claim it's hers. Plan to check the boxes tonight. Then they said in one week will build a nest. We just love birds and I have gardens for birds and butterflies. Now if I get the Martins this will be a prefect spring!Thanks for all the info!


Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2001 11:00:44 -0500
From: "Nancy Bubb" bubbent"at"mixi.net
To: "Bluebird subscriber list" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: East Blues & Purple Martins

Nancy Bubb, Harlan IN (near Fort Wayne)

I've had 6 EABL (4M, 2F) stay throughout the winter feeding DAILY at the feeders (mealworms & blueberries) and heated bath outside my living room window. Recently, I've noticed change in behavior. Males are beginning to show dominance at the feeder and the females won't tolerate being near each other at the feeder as well. Males have been chasing females. I think 2 of the blues have paired. The pair has started to stick together as a couple. They go together to check out nest boxes . . . female flies to box, goes inside then male follows looking inside box at her and sometimes he goes inside with her. My neighbor through the field (1 mile) called this am to inform she saw her first 2 female blues since last fall. Its exciting-- get ready-- here they come!

We added 5 boxes yesterday making a total of 7. We own 5 acres rural land in the middle of surrounding farm ground. Six of the boxes were placed as pairs (5-15 feet apart). Only one box remains solo. All boxes now have 12# monofilament on them placed vertical and taunt on the face of the wooden, single-hole boxes, one line each side. We have a sparrow population which frequented our 2 original boxes prior to monofilament placement. So far today (first day), they have stayed away. This is usual because before when the blues showed excitement about the box by checking it out, the sparrows almost always seemed to be right there, part of the action even, though the blues chased them away.

Re: Purple Martins. We put up our first martin house last fall. Several Amish farmsteads in the not too far area have colonies. We hope to begin one too. For now, the holes remain plugged until I see signs of purple scouts.

Nancy Bubb, entering 2nd spring bluebirding
bubbent"at"mixi.net


Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 11:06:20 -0500 (EST)
From: hubertrap"at"webtv.net (Joe Huber)
To: jsobey"at"erols.com, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Nestbox on Pole

Hi Joyce, Bluebirds can and will nest successfully in a Martin house. In Ohio I had them nest in a martin house several different years. I did have good sparrow control in place so that sparrows were never a problem. Starling do pester them some but they seem to be able to keep them at bay by persistent chasing away. This height is no problem for Bluebirds to nest but may be a Purple martin deterrent as Bluebirds will chase them away also. Most of the Bluebird nests i had in Ohio were later in the season after a first or second nest. At earlier nests they chose Bluebird nest boxes. As House wren activity picked up the Bluebirds moved up to a martin house to get away from them. The only real concern may be loss of Martin nesting places in your yard. Joe Huber Venice Fl.

Charter member NABS, Charter member OBS, Life member OBS Joe Huber
hubertrap"at"webtv.net

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/HOUSESPARROWCONTROL

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/RoostingBluebirds


Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 14:43:49 -0700
From: "Virginia Nufer" nuferv"at"ohsu.edu
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: FW: first egg

Jim,
re: your comment:
SNIP
Note this would include species such as martins only if they would be so strange as to nest in a single dwelling box
SNIP

Actually, here in the (pacific north) west single dwellings for Purple Martins is the rule rather than the exception. They absolutely will NOT nest in the apartment buildings or gourd groups so common in the east.

I think the theory is that natural selection favored those birds that nested in Native American provided dwellings (gourds?). This appears to have been only practiced in the east, thus the eastern martins became genetically programmed to depend on human proximity and human provided housing.

The martins in my area nest in individual boxes placed on pilings in the Columbia and Willamette rivers. I don't know who monitors them, but I do believe they are.

-Marsie Nufer
Portland, Oregon, USA


Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2001 12:40:10 EDT
From: "Rwatts" rwatts"at"mymailstation.com
To: bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Purple Martin website?

Can someone give me the wesite for Purple Martins? I'm out of school on vacation, no computer.

One of the horse mags just had an article on fly control which included fly predator wasps, bats, and PURPLE MARTINS--gave a bat website but none for martins! So I'll rectify that, as well as give them the NABS site for nest-boxes to encourage other insectivores.

I'll also have to address their advice to put out "a wide variety of bird feeds"--HOSP heaven, I thought, as I read their undetailed quarter-page on birds.

BTW--is there a website for Barn Swallows, too?

Rhonda Watts
Wilton, N.H.


Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2001 13:12:09 -0400 (EDT)
From: Jordan Brooks jb323"at"usa.com
To: bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Subject: RE: Purple Martin website?

"Rwatts" rwatts"at"mymailstation.com wrote:

Can someone give me the wesite for Purple Martins?

http://www.purplemartin.org/

Excellent site - lots of good information that can be applied to other cavity nesters.

--

Jordan central North Carolina
*Please don't cc me on posts to Bluebird-L; one copy in my sl-o-o-o-w loading mailbox is enough. Thanks.*


Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2001 10:28:43 -0700
From: "Dusty Bleher" dusty"at"fsinc.com
To: rwatts"at"mymailstation.com, bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Purple Martin website?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rwatts" rwatts"at"mymailstation.com
To: bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2001 09:40
Subject: Purple Martin website?

Can someone give me the wesite for Purple Martins?
I'm out of school on vacation, no computer.
Hi Rhonda and all;

I'm not sure how much good this is gonna be. If you don't have access to a computer...how did you send this note? And how are ya gonna read it?

Anyway a single query on google brought these hits. This is the first page of 9,390 hits. Have fun!

Regards,
Dusty
San Jose, Ca.

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Rwatts" rwatts"at"mymailstation.com
To: Bluebird"at"fsinc.com
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2001 09:41
Subject: [bluebird] Purple Martin website?

One of the horse mags just had an article on fly control
which included fly predator wasps, bats, and PURPLE
MARTINS--gave a bat website but none for martins!
So I'll rectify that, as well as give them the NABS site
for nest-boxes to encourage other insectivores.

I'll also have to address their advice to put out "a wide
variety of bird feeds"--HOSP heaven, I thought, as I read their
undetailed quarter-page on birds.

BTW--is there a website for Barn Swallows, too?

Rhonda Watts
Wilton, N.H.


One of the horse mags just had an article on fly control
which included fly predator wasps, bats, and PURPLE
MARTINS--gave a bat website but none for martins!
So I'll rectify that, as well as give them the NABS site
for nest-boxes to encourage other insectivores.

I'll also have to address their advice to put out "a wide
variety of bird feeds"--HOSP heaven, I thought, as I read their
undetailed quarter-page on birds.

BTW--is there a website for Barn Swallows, too?

Rhonda Watts
Wilton, N.H.


Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2001 14:50:46 -0400 (EDT)
From: hubertrap"at"webtv.net (Joe Huber)
To: robrich"at"kih.net
Cc: bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu (Bluebird-L)
Subject: Re: Nothing beats this...

Hello Robert and all, It seems you have no Purple Martins if bluebirds perched on Martin house. When I lived in Ohio I had the same experience with young Bluebirds perching on a Martin house. My Bluebirds nested in the martin house several years on second or third nesting. Martins would chase Bluebirds away if you had any martins nesting. Normal competition. Joe Huber Venice, Fl.

Charter member NABS, Charter member OBS, Life member OBS Joe Huber
hubertrap"at"webtv.net 

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/HOUSESPARROWCONTROL 

http://community.webtv.net/hubertrap/RoostingBluebirds 


Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2001 20:28:04 -0400
From: "Robert L. Richerson" robrich"at"kih.net
To: hubertrap"at"webtv.net
Cc: "Bluebird-L" bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Nothing beats this...

No Joe, Bluebirds and Martins can co-exist if their housing is seperate. You can't let them house together though or you will see what you described. I have approx 12 nesting pair of Purple Martins, and I am at 100% occupancy with my 19 gourds (need more Martin housing next season) with the floaters I have still looking for mates They co-exist just fine if you plug up the Martin holes early in the season, and give the Bluebirds and Tree Swallows their own housing away from the Martin housing. That's elementary Purple Martineering there...

But I said they were on Martin perches, not their housing... Martins will even drive off other Martins if they don't belong in a certain unit.

The Bluebirds use the Martin "perches" to seek food, and the Martins don't seem to mind as long as they stay away from their housing units. And the Bluebirds have no interest in the Martin units once they have their own home. But I have seen one of the Bluebird fledglings land on one of the Martin gourds, and yes, the Martin did dive at him a few times before convincing him to leave.

The bluebirds also use my Purple Martin egg shell feeder to get meal worms and crickets I leave for them...

No, Bluebirds, Purple Martins AND Tree Swallows can co-exist just fine if proper planning is taken. This pair's box I am speaking of is just 30 feet from my Martin housing, and the Tree Swallow box is about 50 feet away...

But House Sparrows have to be eliminated or they will drive all of them off, peck their eggs, kill the parents, etc.

Robert
Kentucky

From: "Joe Huber" hubertrap"at"webtv.net
To: robrich"at"kih.net
Cc: "Bluebird-L" bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Sent: Monday, June 11, 2001 2:50 PM
Subject: Re: Nothing beats this...

...


Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2001 21:18:45 -0500
From: "dottie price" yumyumkatts"at"voyager.net
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Fw: TS IN PM HOUSING: Brown County IN

Subject: Fw: TS IN PM HOUSING: Brown County IN

This post is in response to my question about Tree Swallows to PMCA but it has so much good information I thought some of you Bluebirders would like to read it also.

Dot, it looks like my husband and I have a lot of "homework" to do. Also, thanks Sarah, for helping me with this. I will let you all know what we find when we take the House down tomorrow. Dottie, Brown County, Indiana

-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Drew dandrew11"at"home.com
To: dottie price yumyumkatts"at"voyager.net
Cc: McLaughlin, Sarah DivaMom"at"worldnet.att.net
Date: Thursday, June 14, 2001 11:56 PM
Subject: TS IN PM HOUSING: Brown County IN

Dottie,

First of all, I must ask you whether you are really SERIOUS about getting martins. If you are, then I'd recommend you check out the Purple Martin Forum and read some (or all) of the articles in the "archives" there. The forum is located at: http://forum.purplemartin.org/forum/  In spite of the advertising and 
"claims" of the manufacturer, the 12 cavity "Trio" martin house is considered (by martins experts) to be a "death trap" for purple martins because of the small size (6 x 6) of the cavities... which allow owls and other predators easy entry to the eggs and hatchlings. I hate to begin this mail with "bad news" but I have to give you the "straight poop." Proper martin housing in this day and age should have DEEP (6 x 12) cavities and starling resistant entrance holes. (SREH's.) But, enough of that! It does not relate to your problem.... unless your problem includes wanting to invite martins into a safe environment... and being disappointed (as I was again this year) at not getting any martins.

So now, about your tree swallows. [I'm going to assume that the birds you are describing ARE indeed tree swallows... even though some of their "behavior" is certainly "strange" for tree swallows.] Nonetheless tree swallows are VERY plentiful here in central Indiana. They are normally SOLITARY nesters... and, in fact, are described by veteran bird watchers as "not liking each other" during the breeding season... which is from about mid March till about the end of July or so. Although they occasionally "claim" an "apartment style" house, they usually pick SINGLE CAVITY housing (a BB box or gourd or a "natural cavity") and generally can be predicted to vigorously defend a territory of some 100 feet or so around their claimed cavity when they first pair up and begin to nest. They are superb fliers and are known for FIERCE arial battles which they engage in to "run off" other investigating tree swallows as well as other birds. As they get busy with egg laying and incubation... and especially after the nestlings hatch and they are busy with feeding, this territory shrinks dramatically; and their "defense" of their territory becomes less vigorous and less predictable.

Because of these traits, the "recommended distance" between TS housing (at both the Cornell and I.U. websites) is 75 feet... and even this may be too close early in the season. So now you see why you've gotten those responses that what you are seeing there is VERY exceptional. I have heard others say that they've had TS nesting as close as 5 feet apart... but it is extremely rare... and probably occurs where there is an EXTREME SHORTAGE of TS housing... and maybe other unusual circumstances. As with all things in nature, not every creature "follows the rules" ...and some may not have a "full deck."

It would be very important for you to actually bring down the PM house and carefully inspect those cavities where you are seeing TS. Is there actually a nest in either of the cavities? ...any eggs? ...or nestlings? TS are like martins with respect to affinity for humans. It will not bother them at all for you to bring down the house [hopefully you bought a telescoping pole] and look and poke around carefully in the cavity. You can even handle TS nestlings and do "nest replacements" and "cleanouts" without any problem... although the TS parents might "dive bomb" you a little bit the first time you do it. Anyhow, the "missing part" of your report is: WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON IN THOSE CAVITIES? Regardless of what you find, it is MOST unusual for TS to occupy cavities so close together... ESPECIALLY if you have two TS pair who are breeding.

And finally, (assuming you want the "whole truth") it almost a certainty that your tree swallows are the reason you did not get any martins to settle in your martin house this year. If you allow EITHER tree swallows OR bluebirds to claim even one cavity of your martin house, your chances of getting martins are almost zero! In fact, the discovery of a TS or BB in martin housing is considered an EMERGENCY by martin landlords at a new site such as yours. I have posted a "protocol" for "managing" this problem and would like you to take a look at it if you have not already done so. The protocol is at: http://netdirect.net/~dandrew/EMERGENCY/TSEMERGENCY.html.

Unfortunately, it is too late in the season for you to "salvage" your opportunity for getting purple martins by using this protocol; but there is still much you can learn from studying this. Perhaps (hopefully) you will decide to put this protocol in effect PROactively next season. It works for both TS and BB... and you can carry out the protocol for BOTH species simultaneously... by simply putting out TWO "designated houses." 

I regret that I could not forward a Message full of "good news" and "happy discoveries" ...but I trust you will appreciate this Message for its honesty. Perhaps you will find a way to "make lemonade" out of your situation... maybe even decide that next season you will strive for the coveted "tri-habitation" of BB, TS, and PM all living in harmony right there in your yard. It is a do-able thing... but will take some PROactive work on your part. In fact, the lady who referred you (Sarah McLaughlin) is well on her way to a tri-habitation with her first try... but still needs some prayers to help her martin visitors along. I'm sending her a copy of this mail; and I hope both of you will decide that I have answered your questions and pointed you in the right direction.

And one final thing, I would strongly urge you to purchase NO MORE PM equipment from anyone except the PMCA... or at least buy PMCA recommended housing if you want to "do the right thing" for your martins. [PMCA =3D Purple Martin Conservation Assn.] You can buy "on line" from them; and their catalog is clickable at the Forum address above. I would also strongly recommend that you become a member and subscribe to the "Purple Martin Update." You might even want to inquire about getting back issues... although many of the articles are posted in "the archives."

Best regards,

Dan Drew
Indianapolis

P.S. Feel free to post this Message on the BB list. I am not a subscriber as there are NO bluebirds where I live. There may be others on the BB list who are not aware of the "competition" or "interference" between BB's and PM's... and they might appreciate knowing that the protocol above "works" for BB as well as for TS.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

dottie price wrote:

Hi Dan,

I was given your address and was told you are the expert to answer this question by a Bluebird List member: 

To give you some background: My husband and I put up a Martin House last March hoping for Martins. This is what I would call a regular Martin House with 12 apartments-six on each side. We bought it at Lowes. During this time period, my Bluebird Box was knocked down via a tractor accident and before we could get another BB box up, the BB;s were looking over the Martin House. One morning, while sitting on my deck (2nd story deck), these birds, who I thought were Martins, came swooping around the deck and my head (just a little scary at first) and chattering like the hummingbirds when they are angry. I thought the Martins(?) were angry because the BB's were on their Martin House. I later found out that this is normal behavior for Tree Swallows. I was also told these were Tree Swallows.

We put up another BB box in the exact same place as the old one and the BB's took that instead of the Martin House. The BB box is near the Martin House. The Martin House is near the lake with woods around. The next thing we knew was that the Tree Swallows(?) were furiously making nests in both 
sides of the box. The were taking straw up that I had put around a new dogwood tree that is located near the box. They did this for two days and then left. I don't know why they left. The weather was good then. The next thing that happened was what I posted on the Bluebird List as follows:

"There were two Mom Tree Swallows nesting in the Martin House yesterday. One had taken the apartment on the first level (1A) and the second one had taken the apartment on the second level (1B). They were sitting in the holes with their heads sticking out. It was awfully hot and humid yesterday and is supposed to be worse today.

About a couple of hours before dark, Mom in 1A flew out and, as far as I know, did not return. However, I have discovered that if they go completely in the apartment, I cannot tell they are in there. This is only one side of the Martin House. I cannot see the other side.

Pop, the mate of Mom in 1B flew up and stayed with her for a long, long time. In fact, he even flew down to my deck rail (second story deck) where I have a water pan set up and took a drink. He's the first to do so since I've had the water pan up there for about two weeks. I also put out a little dish of dried cranberries but haven't had any bird to try those either. (I put all that out for the Bluebirds but they haven't taking advantage of it yet. One BB did fly very close to it as if he was taking a look to see what all that was.) After Pop took his drink, he went right back up to Mom and they stayed that way until dark and I couldn't see them anymore. I don't know if Mom in 1A returned or not.This morning while I was sitting on the same deck having coffee, about four of the Tree Swallows came swooping by real close to the deck and chattering. They didn't come up on the deck, this time, like they did earlier in the
spring. Also, Mom in 1B is still sitting in the hole with her head out this morning. She left once but came right back. I don't know if anymore are in there or not as I can't see them if they don't have their heads out. 

That's all I can report at this time. I'm still hoping the rest of them are in their apartments or will return soon."

One of the Bluebird List members cannot believe these are Tree Swallows as she said this would be very unusual behavior for Tree Swallows in that they 
don't nest in colonies. My husband, who knows his birds pretty well, said they are Tree Swallows. Also, they look just like the picture in the bird book. Yesterday, when it was so hot, you could see them flying above the trees in the late afternoon. This morning I don't see them which I'm concerned about as I'm afraid they won't come back. Why they would go to all the trouble of making nests and then leave them, I don't have a clue. Also, since both Moms were sitting in their apartments for so long that day, I assumed they had eggs.

My questions is: is this, indeed, unusual behavior for Tree Swallows? I hope I have given you enough information to be able to answer this question so I can get back to the "List". Thank you. Dottie, Brown County, Indiana


Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2001 21:23:09 -0500
From: "dottie price" yumyumkatts"at"voyager.net
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Fw: Tree Swallows

-----Original Message-----
From: dottie price yumyumkatts"at"voyager.net
To: dandrew11"at"home.com dandrew11"at"home.com
Date: Saturday, June 16, 2001 9:09 PM
Subject: Tree Swallows

Good Evening, Dan, and also to Dot,

Well, we took down the Martin House today and, boy! did we get a surprise.

As we expected, since we saw them taking straw up there for two days, each apartment had straw. Three apartments only had a little bit of straw but the others had nests. Some of the nests even had feathers.

On the side of the box that faces the lake, one nest contained three white eggs. One egg was cracked all around the middle but not broken open. In the compartment next to the eggs, there was a dead Tree Swallow. (We think it is a Tree Swallow.) We examined the bird and my husband said it was a full-sized Tree Swallow. We could not find any reason why it died. My husband said perhaps it was the heat but he didn't really think that could
be the reason.

I went and got my camera (throw-away) and took pictures of all the apartments, eggs and the bird. Of course, I'll have to wait until I finish the roll before I can get them developed. When I get them developed, I'll send you copies via the computer. However, I only know how to do this as an "attachment". I want to know for sure if these are, indeed, Tree Swallows. It would also be good if we could figure out what happened here. I haven't seen the birds since last Wednesday. As far as I know, they did not return to the Martin House.

My husband took out the dead bird and that nest. We left the eggs and everything else exactly like it was. He said perhaps the egg with the crack was getting ready to hatch.

That's all I can report for now. Thanks again for your help.

Dottie, Brown County, Indiana


Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2001 10:20:46 -0500
From: "Keith & Sandy Kridler" kridler"at"1starnet.com
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Purple martins in Texas

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas
The very first bird I ever hand raised was a Purple Martin. When I was 7 years old in Ohio it followed me everywhere I rode my bicycle that entire summer! We moved to Texas in 1964 and immediately got over 50 pairs of martins in the new country setting.

Snakes were a huge problem wiping out colonies in Texas. Owls over the last 30 years in the area have multiplied to the point where they have driven the Martins to live in brightly lit colonies ONLY in our town. Purple martins are avoiding nearly every nestbox mounted on lake shores and country settings due to owl predation and prefer the competition of House sparrows to owls. As long as they keep producing and selling martin housing that is unsafe we will continue to lose most of our expanding populations of Purple martins!

As we have changed our outlook on predator birds and quit raising our very own eggs and chickens we have allowed the owls and hawks to return. A change in meat production from family farms to mega farms where small livestock is kept under wire has done more to bring back the hawks than the banning of DDT. DDT was simply replaced with MANY other pesticides as bad or worse for the birds! Many of these predators are having extremely easy pickings due to fragmentation of forests by pipelines, roads, power lines ETC.

As many of us bluebirders are getting ready for flights to Ohio request a window seat and watch how few forests are really left. Many of the largest areas of trees are now older residential areas in cities.

Get your neighbors to place a nestbox. Get them to understand a little about the lives of these birds. Teach them about the affects of pesticides and choice of trees and plants they can add. Explain about cats roaming free. Do it a little at a time and give them a helping hand with problems but don't shove them along in a single direction! We all need choices and there is no RIGHT way or WRONG way to get involved with conservation. KK


Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 21:33:51 -0600
From: "Robert Wilson" bluebirdbob1"at"home.com
To: "Bluebird List" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re Other cavity nesters

I had a great time in the mountains today finding Purple Martins that are nesting in natural cavities in Aspen trees. Purple Martins are not suppose to be in Colorado and are not suppose to no longer nest in natural cavities. (man's intervention) Well guess what we found about 12 nesting sites that were all occupied with young.

That goes to show you that not every thing that is suppose to be true is true. Like they eat 3,000 mosquitoes a day. They were hunting at about 100 to 150 feet in the air. No self-respecting mosquito would fly that high. All we saw them feeding their young were large flying insects.

I am sure that over several thousands of aches in this forest there must be hundred of nesting site that we were unable to find. What a great day! 

Bob Wilson
(970) 242-5190
39* 06.21N 108*33.61 W
4,635 elevation Grand Junction Colorado
THE HOME OF ALL THREE BLUEBIRD SPECIES
The Wilson PVC Box site http://www.crosswinds.net/~bluebirdbob/


Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 08:46:24 -0500
From: "Gilliam, Jay" Jay.Gilliam"at"pioneer.com
To: "'bluebirdbob1"at"home.com'" bluebirdbob1"at"home.com,
Bluebird List BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: RE: Re Other cavity nesters

Hi Bob---
Were the Martins nesting in a colony or loosely scattered about an area? Also, how high up were the cavities? This is very interesting.

Jay Gilliam
Norwalk, IA

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Wilson [mailto:bluebirdbob1"at"home.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2001 10:34 PM
To: Bluebird List
Subject: Re Other cavity nesters

I had a great time in the mountains today finding Purple Martins that are nesting in natural cavities in Aspen trees. Purple Martins are not suppose to be in Colorado and are not suppose to no longer nest in natural cavities. (man's intervention) Well guess what we found about 12 nesting sites that were all occupied with young.

That goes to show you that not every thing that is suppose to be true is true. Like they eat 3,000 mosquitoes a day. They were hunting at about 100 to 150 feet in the air. No self-respecting mosquito would fly that high. All we saw them feeding their young were large flying insects.

I am sure that over several thousands of aches in this forest there must be hundred of nesting site that we were unable to find. What a great day!

Bob Wilson
(970) 242-5190
39* 06.21N 108*33.61 W
4,635 elevation Grand Junction Colorado
THE HOME OF ALL THREE BLUEBIRD SPECIES
The Wilson PVC Box site http://www.crosswinds.net/~bluebirdbob/


Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 08:39:04 -0600
From: "Robert Wilson" bluebirdbob1"at"home.com
To: "Bluebird List" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: RE Purble Martins

I sent this to Jay Gilliam but thought that other might like more information. He ask fit they were in colonies in clumps of trees and this is my answer.

It would appear that not all Purple Martins depend on man made cavities. The ones we knew about and found were generally single nest in Aspen trees. One tree however had two nest with young. The Aspen trees here are only about 8 to 10" across. Most of these trees are healthy and have no large woodpecker holes. The hole size was about 4" circle. They seem to be isolated pair is widely dispersed locations.

One more thing I forgot to mention is that you find them by driving along forest roads and watch for Purple Martins flying in to clumps of Aspen. They you try to find then cavity in a dense grove. This is not easy as the trees have lots of marks that look like cavities.

We did see Mountain Bluebirds along open pastures on the fence line. I wonder where they nest as they were out in the open. O well that is something to look for next year.

Bob Wilson
(970) 242-5190
39* 06.21N 108*33.61 W
4,635 elevation Grand Junction Colorado
THE HOME OF ALL THREE BLUEBIRD SPECIES
The Wilson PVC Box site http://www.crosswinds.net/~bluebirdbob/


Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2001 10:22:33 -0500
From: "Gilliam, Jay" Jay.Gilliam"at"pioneer.com
To: "'bluebirdbob1"at"home.com'" bluebirdbob1"at"home.com,
Bluebird List BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: RE: RE Purple Martins

Hi Bob and All---

Apparently there is a subspecies of Purple Martin that has not become dependent on humans for their housing needs. The following is some information: "Martins of the subspecies Progne subis arboricola, which are found in the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountains, still mainly use natural cavities, such as abandoned woodpecker holes, but have recently begun nesting in single unit martin houses and gourds near bodies of water." I was unaware this, I thought that all Martins nested in manmade cavities. This is very interesting.

Jay Gilliam
Norwalk, IA

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Wilson [mailto:bluebirdbob1"at"home.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2001 9:39 AM
To: Bluebird List
Subject: RE Purble Martins

I sent this to Jay Gilliam but thought that other might like more information. He ask fit they were in colonies in clumps of trees and this is my answer.

It would appear that not all Purple Martins depend on man made cavities. The ones we knew about and found were generally single nest in Aspen trees. One tree however had two nest with young. The Aspen trees here are only about 8 to 10" across. Most of these trees are healthy and have no large woodpecker holes. The hole size was about 4" circle. They seem to be isolated pair is widely dispersed locations.

One more thing I forgot to mention is that you find them by driving along forest roads and watch for Purple Martins flying in to clumps of Aspen. They you try to find then cavity in a dense grove. This is not easy as the trees have lots of marks that look like cavities.

We did see Mountain Bluebirds along open pastures on the fence line. I wonder where they nest as they were out in the open. O well that is something to look for next year.

Bob Wilson
(970) 242-5190
39* 06.21N 108*33.61 W
4,635 elevation Grand Junction Colorado
THE HOME OF ALL THREE BLUEBIRD SPECIES
The Wilson PVC Box site http://www.crosswinds.net/~bluebirdbob/


Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2001 01:34:57 -0400
From: "Elizabeth Nichols" birdlady"at"netstorm.net
To: Bluebird-L"at"Cornell.edu
Cc: Davidrit"at"kiva.net
Subject: Antietam Mama has new address

Hi All:

No wonder we have had no activity on the nest-cam. There is no camera in the Martin House about 50' away from Nestcam box!

David Ritenour ret'd. from work/ vacation yesterday & reported Mrs. Bluebird insisted on staking claim in Martin house from which she was twice evicted during first nesting attempt in April 2000. Her four babies, according to David appear to be about 5 days old.

If we attempt to move the nest/babies to the nestcam box she might abandon. I have asked David to consider attaching a standard box (with no camera, of course) to the Martin house pole. I feel confident she will accept same.

As the standard Martin box is constructed, the four Bluebird babies have little chance of survival as the entry hole is just 1" above the floor surface. They can easily fall out & perish. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Many thanks -

Betty Nichols, Middletown, MD


Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2001 05:27:16 -0500
From: "Keith & Sandy Kridler" kridler"at"1starnet.com
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re:bluebirds nesting in martin house/snakes

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas

Bluebirds will be no more likely to fall out of a martin house than any other baby in an open nest. These young are very strong and can cling to their nesting material. MANY bluebirds fledge from martin houses in the south and we nearly always have at least one nesting a year from our martin box. Many of these bluebirds prefer the higher nesting site and I do have bluebirds nesting in the bluebird box attached to the martin pole at about 8' off of the ground right now. Research by James Hartshorne showed that bluebirds nesting in an open nest were NOT likely to fall out of the nest and they actually fledged LATER day wise than the other bluebirds that nested in normal boxes in his captive nestings bluebird experiment!

There is a good possibility that the martin house will be cooler than the bluebird box they have used previously. Maybe the bluebirds prefer a larger floor space than that offered in the standard bluebird boxes. Maybe they observed daytime predators/competitors near the other nestbox. Martin houses should be less likely to be attacked by House Wrens than low mounted single cavity nest sites. What side of the martin house did the bluebirds choose to nest in? Where are the prevailing winds from?

Although black rat snakes are supposed to prefer to feed at night I watched a 48" long one on Saturday afternoon roll up and constrict a rat. It took just under 10 minutes to squeeze the life out of the rat, It took less than a minute average per inch to swallow the 7" long body of the rat. In less than 17 minutes the snake was on it's way! This was about the equivalent weight wise of two complete bluebird families and this was a fairly thin and small snake by my standards. We really don't know why bluebirds shift nesting box sites during the season but they probably do this for a reason!

I got six pretty good digital pictures of the snake eating the rat over 17 minutes or so if someone wants the series e-mailed to them it is about 120 KB. I also watched a water snake catch and eat a catfish about 8" long on Sunday but did not have the camera! Snakes are very abundant and active right now across the south as I saw about 6 different ones over the weekend!

If I saw six potentially lethal predators (only counting snakes) lurking on my few acres how many did the bluebirds see from a greater height with their superior eyesight?

Off to install a people house roof before it gets too hot. KK


Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2001 13:23:56 -0500
From: Kathleen Oschwald nestbox"at"1starnet.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Antietam Mama in Martin House

At 01:34 AM 7/30/01 -0400, you wrote:

David Ritenour ret'd. from work/ vacation yesterday & reported

...
Betty Nichols, Middletown, MD

The first bluebirds I ever saw nested in a martin house on my property in Lufkin, Texas. I did not monitor, but observed them from time to time and saw fledglings, so they obviously survived. I assumed this was normal behavior for bluebirds, since they used this martin house every year from 1990 when I moved in until 1996. When I left the paper company who bought the place bull-dozed everything, including the martin house and my house.

I certainly wouldn't mess with this nest or attempt to move it to another nestbox, if I read your post correctly. I would leave them alone and let them raise their family undisturbed, (other than monitoring, of course).

Kate Oschwald
Paris, TX
100 mi NE of Dallas
33.6853N 95.6293W


Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2001 16:14:13 -0400
From: "Elizabeth Nichols" birdlady"at"netstorm.net
To: Bluebird-L"at"Cornell.edu
Subject: Antietam Mama in Martin House

Hello All:

Many thanks for your response on whether we should transfer four Bluebird nestlings to standard NABS box replaced on Martin house pole or leave it as Mother Bluebird intended.

All experienced advisors indicated the nestlings are just as safe in the Martin house, no real danger of falling out prematurely, and, of course, Mama Bluebird is no doubt feeling rather smug about the whole process. She deserves a lot of credit in my opinion, she gave us two delightful summers with her
nestings.

Once again, the luxury of immediate guidance has been enjoyed thru this List-Serv. Thank you, everyone!

Gratefully,

Betty Nichols Middletown, MD
David Ritenour, Sharpsburg, MD


Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2001 17:19:22 -0500
From: "lphunter" lphunter"at"skyenet.net
To: nestbox"at"1starnet.com, Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Antietam Mama in Martin House

Hi Everyone...

I have had Eastern Bluebirds fledge from just such a Martin House without any problem. They too could have had a nice box located 5' off the ground,with the dimensions of a regular size NABS box... but choose the high rise apartment instead. They apparently didn't read the book... but had no problems with the Martin nest in which the opening was 2" and 1" above the floor.

Pat, NW IN

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kathleen Oschwald" nestbox"at"1starnet.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Sent: Monday, July 30, 2001 1:23 PM
Subject: Re: Antietam Mama in Martin House

...


From: "susan"at"changeswithin.com" changes"at"sunlink.net
To: "BLUEBIRD" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Purple Martin Houses
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2001 20:54:28 -0500

I hate to be too demanding but I could really use some help again. Can anyone here suggest a good site for selecting a good purple martin house? ... or ... if it isn't too much to ask, giving us all some info about what to look for when selecting good quality accommodations for Martins?

I'm doing Christmas shopping (Eeek) for my sister.

It's interesting that there are so many gourd type houses ... and aluminum houses. I would think gourd houses would be hard to maintain and that *both the aluminum and gourds would overheat in the summer months ... and wouldn't gourds also get quite a bit of water in them when those march winds and rain come?

Confused in Freeburg / Central PA


Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2001 20:55:25 -0800 (PST)
From: Daniel Sparks dansparks_47448"at"yahoo.com
Subject: Re: Purple Martin Houses

To: changes"at"sunlink.net, BLUEBIRD BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

--- "susan"at"changeswithin.com"

changes"at"sunlink.net wrote:

I hate to be too demanding but I could really

...

Check out http://www.naturesociety.org

=====

Dan Sparks
P.O. Box 660
Brown County Bluebird Society
Nashville, IN 47448
dansparks_47448"at"yahoo.com


From: "susan"at"changeswithin.com" changes"at"sunlink.net
To: "BLUEBIRD" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Purple Martin Houses
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2001 08:53:18 -0500

Thank you ever so much all you good people who came to my 'shopping nightmare' rescue. I've gone to the sites that have been suggested and will pass them onto my sister as well. The sad part to the whole thing is ... my sister wants what she will probably never have; bluebirds and purple martins. She lives in an area that is way too wooded. I'll continue to do my best in convincing her that she needs to focus her wildlife love on the more woodland cavity nesters. If she goes to some of the sites you all recommended it may help!! Thanks again! You have all been so great!! Warmly Susan (less confused) in Central PA ... right next door to Edinboro!!


From: "Bruce Burdett" blueburd"at"srnet.com
To: changes"at"sunlink.net
Cc: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)
Subject: Re: Purple Martin Houses
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2001 09:46:43 -0500

Susan, and others,

Tell your sister that we, too, live in an area that is much too wooded for Bluebirds. I have never seen one in our yard since we retired to NH 13 years ago. I am maintaining 62 paired house in various cleared locations around the town of Sunapee, but I can only monitor one of the sites without getting in the car. As for Purple Martins, they vanished from our region many years ago.

Tell her also that we do have plenty of bird action around our house nonetheless. Chickadees, Titmice, Robins, Nuthatches, House Wrens, Tree Swallows, Phoebes, various woodpeckers, Crested Flycatchers, and, of course, American Crows routinely nest here, and we see many other species at or under our feeders, including Wild Turkeys. (A Black Bear is not a bird, but we have them in our neighborhood in everyone's yard but ours. I should be glad.) Our most frequent feeder birds are the Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, the Juncoes, the Mourning Doves, the Chickadees, the Tufted Titmice, and the two nuthatches. For some reason we never see Northern Cardinals, but our neighbors do.

So......living in a wooded area is not necessarily a bummer, bird-wise. There's lots going on.

Bruce Burdett, SW NH


Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2001 12:20:06 -0800 (PST)
From: Marj Swies mswies"at"yahoo.com
Subject: Re: Purple Martin Houses
To: changes"at"sunlink.net, BLUEBIRD BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

Purple Martin houses (everywhere but the desert southwest)should be at least 30' from buildings and trees that may interfere with the acrobats and safety of the birds. Houses should be 15' high and put on a pole so that the house can be easily lowered to monitor the babies and to remove non-native species (starlings are the biggest problem but house sparrows too)

Martins prefer to have an easily accessible source of water as well.

They become very loyal to a nest site but don't care so much about the type of housing. Wooden houses are definitely too hot in central and southern locations.

Aluminum houses are okay as long as there is some ventilation and the size requirements are met.

Martins seem to love natural gourds and even the plastic gourds. There are drainage holes in the bottom of the gourds typically to solve possible rain runoff.

Check out the purple martin conservation society website purplemartins.org i think for more info.

Marj
Austin

=====

"Enjoy nature...pass it on!"www.wildhaven.bigstep.com


Subject: RE: Purple Martin Houses
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2001 11:18:48 -0500
From: "Alicia Craig" craiga"at"wbu.com
To: mswies"at"yahoo.com, changes"at"sunlink.net,

"BLUEBIRD" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

The Purple Martin Conservation Organization has a lot of good research about the success of certain styles of houses and gourds. the link is http://www.purplemartin.org/

Be sure to check with the research section of the web site. There are complete instructions about placement of houses at http://www.purplemartin.org/downloads/BestManage.pdf these are in the form of PDF files and are a great way to get up to speed about martin houses and gourds.

Alicia Craig
Senior Manager, Nature Education
Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc.
11711 N. College Ave. #146
Carmel, IN 46032
317.571.7100

mailto:craiga"at"wbu.com
http://www.wbu.com

Be a Citizen Scientist, visit http://birds.cornell.edu/citsci/

Watch BirdWatch on PBS, visit http://www.pbs.org/birdwatch

-----Original Message-----

From: Marj Swies [mailto:mswies"at"yahoo.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2001 3:20 PM
To: changes"at"sunlink.net; BLUEBIRD
Subject: Re: Purple Martin Houses

...


 Purple Martins and Bluebirds Part 2


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/www.cit.corn.edu/cit-pubs/email/using-lists/index.htm. If you wish to contact the author of a post, you will need to edit the e-mail address, replacing "at" with the "at" symbol (above the number 2 on your keyboard). (This change was made to discourage spammers.)
If you are the author of a posting and would like to see a particular post (or posts) removed from these web pages, please contact me with the page AND date of the post(s), and I will remove whatever material you like.  If you have a different opinion from one posted here, you need not contact me, as often I will have a different opinion too. The intent is to try and provide both sides to the issues facing bluebirders, and to do so in an impartial and objective manner.
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