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Purple martin populations?

Posted by roselee z8 SW Texas (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 14, 11 at 13:26

What's the scoop on population of purple martins? They have not nested in my purple martin house for several years and that's probably because of tree limbs growing too close for their comfort. I used see them swooping by and checking it out and hear their songs in the distance, but this year I've seen only one bird and have heard nothing. I would move the house to a more open location in the yard, but if the population is down in general there may not be a sufficient number of birds around to occupy it, especially if they didn't raise many chicks this year because of the scarcity of insects with this drouth. Any ideas?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Purple martin populations?

There are tons in my recently built mature tree-less area.

RE: Purple martin populations?

I had a Purple Martin House for about 10 years until we moved to a different house with a heavily treed lot. Purple Martins need lots of room around their houses, at least 20 feet from trees. Are there house sparrows nesting in the house? PMs will be chased away by them so the Martins will not use a house that already has sparrows in it. They migrate back to South America in June and July. I think they're gone for the year and will be back next Feb/March.
That said, I bet the drought has something to do with it. They eat flying insects like bees, wasps, and dragonflies, so if those insects around around, neither will be the Purple Martins.

RE: Purple martin populations?

Well, since PJ says there seems to be plenty of purple martins around I'll have Bob move the house to a more open area and see if I get any Martins next year. I do keep the sparrow nests cleaned out in the spring and then when all hope is gone that the martins will take up residence I block the holes. I do hope there were enough bugs to feed them this year so there will be plenty of martin progeny to return.

RE: Purple martin populations?

we have lots too roselee, se of SA- we have had 4 sets of babies here on my porch, the sparrows are now in a set of nests, we have had 2 wrens hatch theirs and a set of mockingbirds, We have so so many birds out here, I was hoping the scissortails would as well, but no such luck as of yet. When my husband just cleaned out the shed this past weekend. There was a hummingbird nest,- the eggs and nest had fallen. There is an open area where the birds can fly in and out, and of course our chicken food is in there too, so we have lots of "guests" It is so hard to describe how small the eggs were.! Was very neat though

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