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Author Topic: Purple Martins  (Read 1927 times)
GSF
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« on: February 04, 2014, 07:48:27 PM »

Does anyone have any? I was raised by my grandparents (dad lived next door), and now I'm living in the house I was raised up in.

Growing up my grandfather always had a martin pole with martins. So when I moved back I always kept one as well. Then I put up another one about 30 yards away from the first one. I always noticed that when the chicks were big enough to fly they would fight over who all spent the night in the gourd. By that time not all of them could, or would, fit. So I got me a good idea. When they started fighting I put up another pole. Sure enough, the ones who couldn't go back home just moved in the new pole - and returned the next year. I got up to four poles. Above each gourd I placed a number. When the time come for the chicks to get big enough to stick their head out I started counting.

I got up to 27 gourds with 3 to 5 chicks in each gourd! Man that's some martins, and they were so enjoyable to watch. So the time came that year for them to migrate back to central/south America. About the time I figure they were in the Gulf of Mexico - Katrina came along. The next year I only had two pair. The following year one pair, then after that I would only have scouts come by but no nesters. We haven't had any since. We still have two poles up but no birds. Others in this area have lost theirs as well.

I'm not sure if they were lost(drowned) or got spun around and started nesting somewhere else. It's amazing that they can go to South America and return back to the same pole they left. I realize that sometimes migratory paths will change and I presume nesting grounds would as well. Has anyone else seen an increase or decrease in the populations? We also have tons more of hawks than we use to. We always have had owls, and owls will run them off quicker than you can tell.
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asprince
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2014, 08:52:12 PM »

I found your post very interesting. I have always wanted some martins since I saw some at a place where we were working. They are fun to watch. Do they eat bees?

Steve
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edward
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2014, 11:35:15 PM »

 catch chick I hope the find there way back yippie chick
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GSF
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2014, 04:55:41 AM »

Steve, I don't know for sure but I wouldn't put it past them. They're in the swallow family of birds and suppose to eat three times their weight in mosquitos every day. (I don't see how/mosquitos)
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2014, 10:08:33 PM »

do they eat gnats?  
i had been thinking about putting out some gourds.  
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stanisr
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2014, 01:25:15 PM »

I have been told that they do eat bees and other flying insects. An old beekeeper said not to put martin housed near your beeyard, so I haven't.
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Rick
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2014, 10:02:11 AM »

I have researched the Purple Martin and the bird experts all agree the bees are one of the staple food sources for them. And oddly enough, mosquitos are not due to their size. Moths and butterflies are also listed as a main food source. So if someone could train them to eat wax moths and leave the bees alone, instant fame.
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Rick
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« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2014, 03:08:03 AM »

I have researched the Purple Martin and the bird experts all agree the bees are one of the staple food sources for them. And oddly enough, mosquitos are not due to their size. Moths and butterflies are also listed as a main food source. So if someone could train them to eat wax moths and leave the bees alone, instant fame.


And SHB also




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GSF
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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2014, 05:27:03 AM »

Staniser; that would make sense. I've always heard the bit about mosquitos but it does seem like a big waste of energy for such a small meal.
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