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.