Purple Martin Bird Houses - Apartment, Pod Multi Dwelling Units
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Purple martins are a highly desirable bird to attract to a backyard habitat. They are beautiful and watching their flight patterns enjoyable past time. Purple martins are also a great help with natural insect control in your environment as they consume bugs.
Purple martins are a highly desirable bird to attract to your own backyard habitat. They are absolutely beautiful and watching their flight patterns as they soar and swoop is an enjoyable past time. They are also a great help with natural insect control in your personal environment as they consume bugs all day. They nest in colonies and these houses are designed to suit their group dwelling needs. All purple martin houses provide multiple levels and cavities to accommodate a flock feathered friends.
The primary cause for failure to attract purple martins to a house is that the homes are located poorly, or the site is unsuitable for the birds as a home ground in the first place. Purple martins require special air space demands. Dwellings need to be located in the middle the largest open area to choose from, and set approximately 35-125' away from human dwellings or high traffic out buildings. The area should also be clear of trees which are higher than the purple martin house. A distance between tall trees and the martin house should be at least 40', with 60' being even better. More often than not, the further the house is located away from trees, the better chances of attracting nesting pairs will be. If a backyard has too many trees close to the housing, relocate the house to a more clear spot, mount the house higher up, or prune back trees and shrubs to make a more clear site for them. If you live in the south portions of the birds breeding range, martins can be less finicky just about nesting house location. Landlords in the south may occasionally position houses with trees 15-20' away and still be able attract martins to come and raise families. The height of the dwellings may be from 10-20'. Be certain to keep tall shrubs away from the pole and do not allow vines to climb it. Don't tie any wires to a purple martin house, particularly if the wires lead to trees, to the ground or surrounding buildings . /
When to Place a Purple Martin House
People wishing to attract a colony who are new to the hobby of being a purple martin landlord often race to open martin housing when they see the return of martin "scouts" in the area. Opposed to the myth, "scouts" are not seeking fresh breeding places for flocks following behind. Instead these scout birds are merely the first of the martins to arrive from their winter grounds, or migrate through a region on their return to previous year's nesting places. The chances of those initial purple martins changing their nesting sites is not probable.
Landlords of houses which have been active in previous seasons may leave their dwellings totally shut up until the martins come back and land on the house itself. Martins display a extremely high degree of site faithfulness. Once they have nested with success at a particular place, the same birds will return in following years. For sites which have not been previously active, keep houses opened up until August. The birds can return and start nesting as late as the end of June anyplace in the United States, and during July and August the young born that year can be seeking homes for the following season's breeding places.
Competition from Other Species
If another other species of bird is permitted to take martin dwellings before the martins in an uninhabited location, it is not probable that any purple martins which might visit are likely to remain since these will be aggressively driven off. Every species of bird determine territories about their nest areas and guard these territories against other birds. Once House Sparrows or European Starlings place an initial claim to a purple martin house at un-colonized areas, these birds will fill the apartments with nesting materials, and then run off an martins which may be exploring potential nesting sites. With established colony places it can be a constant battle with house sparrows and starlings vying for the homes and fighting with currently nesting martins. Such invasive bird species will kill martin nestlings, as well as potentially break martin eggs. Permitting house sparrows or starlings to build their nests in purple martin dwellings will significantly cut down on martin occupancy and breeding. Moderating nest location rivals could call for recurrent lowering and raising of a house for competitive species. Starling repellent entry holes may be used to keep starlings from laying claim to apartments. If native bird species which could as well be attracted to such homes attempt to build nests in apartments, you can temporarily plug entrance holes with door stops which are often included with martin houses or if none provided, use paper cups. As an alternative for native bird species put up suitable, individual boxes in other locations nearby. Such native species can be tree swallows, bluebirds, great crested flycatchers. All of these birds will nest in single unit boxes if provided.Once such other birds have moved into alternative houses, remove door stops the martin dwellings. During the winter months, martin houses should be brought inside for the winter or alternatively closed up with door stops to keep hornets, wasps, squirrels, or other birds from taking it over ahead of purple martins returning from their winter grounds.