Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Martin season's a comin'

Okay, folks. Here's the plan for THIS year. 

[Editorial note: My past six years of trying to attract purple martins have not been successful. If you'll recall, in year five we did lure one pair that produced four eggs, but the eggs disappeared. I cried. True story.] First off, James agreed to two more gourds so I ordered them via eBay from a grower in Kentucky. Aren't they beautiful? 

This afternoon, my SWEET WONDERFUL CUTE IRREPLACEABLE PRINCE OF A HUSBAND drilled the holes, cleaned out the seeds, and painted them both. He also got the hanging hardware ready.

One of last year's gourds
Meanwhile, I cleaned up the martin house and capped all the entrances. See, that's part of my diabolical plan–I'm going to keep all six entrances plugged in order to keep out those #%&$#@ English sparrows and European starlings. Then, as soon as our friends Matt and Martha get their first scouts in February (they have a boatload of martins every year), then we'll put up our house. What I'm hoping is that the martins will spot our highly inviting house, fly down to check it out, see our gourds, then move into one. If we need more living space (HA!), then I'll uncap a compartment or two. I suspect that I will still have a problem with starlings getting into the gourds. But we'll see. 

If we don't get any martins this spring, then....*sigh*...I may just have to throw in the towel, once and for all.

At any rate, here we go! Scout reports are coming in for Texas now! Good luck, purple martin landlords everywhere!


TexasDeb said...

We haven't tried martin nest boxes yet but I'm totally planning on going that direction as soon as The Hub retires. The care/maintenance/engineering required will be right up his alley. There can never be too many martins! (and reading your story I know I will have to be patient...so work for everybody there).

Sheryl Smith-Rodgers said...

Our good friends about a mile away put up a homemade house a few springs ago and RIGHT AWAY got martins! They live closer to the river and have LOTS of open space around their many houses (he keeps building more houses).

Rock rose said...

Do the houses have to be white? And howany do you have to have?

Sheryl Smith-Rodgers said...

We shall have four this year hanging underneath our aluminum house. And no, the gourds don't have to be painted white. I've read that it's best to paint for two reasons: 1) The white reflects heat; 2) The paint helps preserve the gourd for future seasons of use.

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