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Thread: Purple Martins?

  1. #1
    Super Member kriscraft99's Avatar
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    does any one here have purple martins? I had my first pair this year and loved watching them. My question is, I had 2 fall-outs (jumpers) and put them back. Then a couple of days later, all of the babies and parents were gone and I haven't seen them since. Do they normally leave after the babes can fly?

  2. #2
    Senior Member MoMiMi's Avatar
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    I live in Missouri and have 3 Martin houses. We love when they return in the Spring. They are fun to watch and eat while in flight - so lots of flying bugs that drive us crazy. Not sure when they would leave in your area. Here they leave about this time of year. Fun to research on the net.

  3. #3
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    We have had purple martins for years and years. It was difficult to get them started in MS and then again in TN but there are "clouds" of them at this moment because the babies are all hatching. Our vet here in GA has lots of them.

    Ours usually do not leave the nest just because the babies can fly. They all leave late in the year and come back in the spring. A predator or something may have gotten yours.

    We clean our houses in winter and don't put them up in the spring until we see the first junior scouts. It is always a fight then to keep the houses ready and the sparrows or black birds out. Once they have adopted your housing, they will multiply and be back every year. I love to listen to them "chitter" and watch them swope and glide all over.

    There is much information online if you would like to learn about these beautiful birds. http://purplemartins.com is a good place to start.
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  4. #4
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    I bet that Mr. Google could inform you of the life and habits of the Purple Martins!

  5. #5
    Senior Member MZStitch's Avatar
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    My Dad tried to have a purple martin community for years, when I was growing up. He did get them one year, but they never returned. I have read that having purple martin homes is like having a garden. To successfully keep a purple martin community you actually have to help them along. They will just up and leave, for example, if their nests get too wet. Or the nests get bugs or wasps in them. I do know you were right to put the jumpers back, so that wasn't the problem. I don't know how long they stay in a season though.

  6. #6
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kriscraft99
    does any one here have purple martins? I had my first pair this year and loved watching them. My question is, I had 2 fall-outs (jumpers) and put them back. Then a couple of days later, all of the babies and parents were gone and I haven't seen them since. Do they normally leave after the babes can fly?
    We had purple martins at our other house. We also had a pool. The trouble was that the martins are excellent housekeepers, mom would bring out the poop in her beak and drop it in the pool and then go back for more. Raised havoc with the ph level in the pool. If I remember right the babies would perch on the edge of the house for a while before they tried flying. Then all of a sudden off they would go, straight over the pool.... It was fun in the evenings, tho when we would be in the pool and they would swoop overhead catching bugs. They (the babies) didn't return to the birdhouse after they learned to fly, but would stay in the area in the trees at night.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Just-Lee's Avatar
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    If hawks or owls start coming around, and they survive the attempted attacks, they will leave for sure. There are other birds that will kill them for their nest. So, basically, they will book if everything isn't just so-so. I have a house, where 2 pair seem to just hang out from time-to-time, but I don't think they are nesting here. I have heard that if you can get a colony started, it can sometimes take 5 years!

  8. #8
    Member Windwalker's Avatar
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    We have purple Martins with a total of 4 houses, with 16 apartments in each. They are all full this year. Early each year normally in April a few scouts show up to check the housing. Within a few weeks they start arriving, cleaning and building the nests. Once the little ones start flying they will take extended days out preparing for the migration. Some times they will be gone a day or two then return. In Arkansas by the end of July they have all left for the winter migration.

  9. #9
    Super Member kriscraft99's Avatar
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    I'm so happy I asked about purple martins on this board :) I love them, their chitter chatter in the mornings and evenings are so enjoyable - I really miss mine. They left on July 4th and I haven't seen any since, it is really quite without them. Morning coffee is not the same.

    They only build nests once in the Summer, is that correct? Then hopefully return next year?

  10. #10
    Senior Member annyroony2's Avatar
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    Well, I have a house ready for them, but they will not come......I hope every Spring, but no purples.

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