The Martins Are Close Now

by Donna Lewis

It is now time to have your Martin Housing ready to open.  If you noticed, I said ready, NOT open yet.  You do not want to open the cavities till you hear the Martins at your site.

If you do, you will have a House Sparrow hotel.  You cannot allow the House Sparrows to live in the Martin housing.  They will kill the Martins for the nest.

So, when you see or most likely hear your first Martins arrive, roll down your gourds or apartments and open only a few of the entrances. Open more as more Martins arrive.

It’s a delicate dance for sure. The more you do it, the better you get.

Putting everything back after the Martins have been gone for six months is hard on us senior folk. So, I was lucky this year to have some wonderful volunteers from our Master Naturalist Chapter come over and install the gourds and the Owl Guards for me. Cindy and Gene Rek came last week and did this for me.

The photo of my gourd rack shows the Reks installing the gourds.

As of 1-20-2023 the updated scout report has Martins arriving in Louisiana and Florida. So, they could arrive here in three to four weeks. 

The rack is in its down position for now.

I get asked why I would go to so much trouble for these birds.   Once you hear their beautiful songs, you will know why.  It’s truly a wonder you will not forget.

The Gourds with our friends in 2020.

I will run the houses up the first week in February and I will let everyone know when my first Martin arrives. Martins depend on human-supplied housing now, almost exclusively.

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world” 

–Anne Frank