I would like to share some tips from the Purple Martin Conservatory concerning the Purple Martins. "Ten reasons why people fail to attract Purple Martins."
1. Housing placed too close to tall trees or in yards that are too enclosed. Last year we had let a tree grow up too close to the back side of the Martin House line and I think that is why we didn't have as many Martins. The tree is gone now, so, perhaps, they will forgive us.
2. Landlord allows other bird species to claim the housing first. Starlings are always a problem in your yard, we try to keep them run off.
3. Housing placed too far from human housing. They like to be around people, although ours like to dive bomb us when we stand too near.
4. Housing not painted white. our first couple of years we put up gourd Martin houses, not painted just natural. Finally we painted them white and the Martins did come!!
5. Housing opened up too early. This leaves time for blue birds and other birds to nest.
6. Failure to open the martin housing.
7. Vines and shrubs are allowed to grow up under the housing.
8. Housing not really ‘built to specifications" The holes need to be 2-1/4" and the house needs to be at least 6" wide.
9. Housing attached to wires, or placed too close to wires. Our houses are strung across the yard on a heavy cord, but we do not have the squirrel problem here.
10. Landlords buy or build housing that can’t be easily managed.You need to be able to get up there and check to be sure no other birds are nesting or trying to take over the Martin's nests. The Martins don't mind.
I checked the Purple Martin Conservatory site today and it shows reports of Martin Scouts as close to us as Pineville, Louisiana. Pineville is probably within 200 miles of us, south, so they are not far!!
Still hoping you are safe from the devastation of the bad weather, and able to watch for the Martins!!
It is not too late to order your Gourd Martin Houses, see our site here on Local Harvest!!
The Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount