Lessons Learned From Being A Purple Martin Landlord

I wanted to get down my thoughts on being a Purple Martin landlord for 3 years now.  As usual, it’s been a great experience, and each year has been more successful than the previous year.

The first year the Purple Martin house was located a little closer to the pool and it seemed like we found more fledglings in the pool than anywhere else.  It was not a good year.

The second year was pretty successful, but we did have one male Purple Martin who broke it’s wing (that post is located somewhere on this blog).  We took it to a wildlife rehabber, but they were unable to save him.

The third year, this year, appeared to be more successful than last year in terms of babies born and fledged which really surprised me because of the drought and difficulty in finding food.  This was also my first year I attempted emergency measures to save a baby Purple Martin.  It was not as difficult as I expected, and I’m hopeful that baby was able to migrate, but I also realize that if that baby did survive it’s probably been a struggle as it didn’t get much flight time before migration.

However, there are some things I need to improve on if I want to have continued success.

  1. I need to number the nests so I can keep an accurate inventory of the babies.
  2. I need to record better inventory of the babies so I can accurately track how old they really are, versus my guessing.
  3. I would like to begin weighing the babies to track their growth.

For next year I plan on buying a new Martin house pole, and add a second housing unit.  I’m thinking I might try gourds instead of another aluminum type house.

Oh, last but not least, Leecy and I cleaned out the Martin house the other day, took it off the pole, and were prepared to store the house until next season.  Then, wouldn’t you know it, the next morning there were 7 Purple Martins flying overhead.  I put the house back up, but I haven’t seen them afterwards.  I assume they were just migrating through.

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