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JBMasterAngler

Purple Martins

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Anyone have a purple martin house? I’m planning on putting one up this spring, but I don’t quite have the open space that is suggested (minimum of 40 ft from tall trees/house). Wondering if anyone has had those same issues, but were still successful in attracting purple martins? The pole I bought is 12 ft high, so I’m thinking of maybe buying a second one, and using a couple of the extensions to make it a few feet higher to compensate for the lack of open space. Have the martins had a noticeable impact on bugs? I’m hoping they can do a number on the horse flies in my neighborhood. Plus, they sound really pretty :)

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This was my experience, may be completely different than others. I put up a house in my back yard, less than 40 feet from my house, pole was about ten feet tall. Had to remove a lot of sparrow nests until the martins found it, but I did have martins move in. They were beautiful to watch fly for sure. Unfortunately they would dive bomb anyone that came anywhere near, maybe with a taller pole that would not happen? They would fly silently up behind you, then squawk right as they went past. I knew I would not put up the house the following summer when I saw my neighbor, who was working on his boat in his driveway, swinging his landing net at one that was diving at him.

From watching them, they would mainly catch dragonflies to feed to the young ones. By the time the mosquitos came out at dusk, the birds were all done flying, so they did not help with mosquitos. This was just my experience. A lot of people have houses and enjoy them, my guess is that if the pole was higher maybe the birds would not see people as a threat. I still have the house, if I ever move to a lake I will try it again.

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I grew up with purple Martin's. They seem to like power lines nearby. They eat all sorts of bugs. The diving never bothered us.  As far as the neighbor, I'd have said something.

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2 hours ago, smurfy said:

  As far as the neighbor, I'd have said something.

 

Not sure what you would have me say. You can't be in your own driveway because it bothers the birds?

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We have a couple both right next to trees but also close to the lake. Both have been full of Martins for several years. I don't think they have an impact on the bugs but they are very enjoyable to watch and listen to.  They also only do the dive-bombing when the babies are young and getting ready to fly, the especially bomb the dog and he doesn't even care!

 

I'd highly recommend putting a few houses up, the plastic gourds you can buy work good also.

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42 minutes ago, Crow Hunter said:

 

Not sure what you would have me say. You can't be in your own driveway because it bothers the birds?

nice and neighborly like let them know you feed and have bird houses up and enjoy the birds. ask nicely he not try to kill them. i also believe its not legal to kill purple martins as they are not considered a nuisance bird like sparrows and starlings!!!!!!!! 

not saying get beligernt or nasty!

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I’m going to shoot for a 16 foot height. I was going to get a pair of martin decoys as well. Reviews say that, not only does it help attract martins, but can help deter other birds also. If things go well, I would add gourds below the house over time.

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my moms got a lot of the gourd houses and them martins use them. one thing though..............once you have martins using the houses........... DO NOT  clean them out. clean out any holes sparrows or other birds use though!!!! i know starlings also like building nests in martin houses, just so u know!

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I saw on a show about a guy living on a point on a lake that had many houses on poles in the water about 20ft from shore. Maybe about 3ft above the water. All the houses were full, It was cool to watch. Easier to maintain at that height, waist deep in water. 

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Luckily I don’t have starlings where I live, or house sparrows. The holes on the house I’m buying are designed to prevent starlings from getting inside. I don’t know how effective that is, but like I said, no starlings here :grin: 

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