Purple Martins

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by HoosierDeb, Feb 26, 2005.

  1. HoosierDeb

    HoosierDeb Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    N. Indiana
    I'd like to attract Purple Martins to see if they'd make a dent in the mosquito population around here. Anyone know about when they get to the Great Lakes area (N. Indiana) and where to put the houses and how to attract them, or any good web sites to get the info?
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Location:
    Zone 7
    I put up housing for purple martins and have done so for years. Purple martins are totally dependant on man for housing. For some good information go here http://www.purplemartin.org/main/mgt.html To initially attracted the birds it is best to install some natural gourds. Once you get a few birds they will readily accept the plastic gourds. As for the mosquito control you may be a bit disappointed. Mosquitoes are typically late evening and night time pests and the birds are day time flyers. You will enjoy the birds however. They are very entertaining and are good to alert you of anything out of the ordinary. We should have some arriving within a short time here in zone 7.
     

  3. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Oregon
    :) Very cool birds!I found it very interesting that the Purple Martin of the midwest is a different behaving bird than we have out west.

    Here, they fly later in the evening, and they are solitary nesters. I was really disapointed when I found this out as I was all ready with the plans to build one of those beautiful colony bird houses for them. Had the wood , the white paint and everything! LOL

    Instead I built several single abodes for our species here and was happy that they used them.

    Do your Martins back there fly very high and " call" while they are flying?

    Have fun!

    LQ
     
  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    LQ, yes, the purple martins do fly very high and you can here them call. It is amazing how fast they can descend to their exact nest among all the other nests. These birds just tuck their wings to their body and literally fall from the sky. We also have barn swallows which resemble the purple martin. The barn swallows fly late in the evening and will swoop down in front of the tractor while I am raking hay. Our barn swallows make a small nest on ledges under bridges and in barns. Is there a chance that the birds you have are swallows?
     
  5. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Canada
    I have barn swallows that nest under the eaves of.....well, the barn. :D
    and garage. They eat lots of mosquitos from all appearances. Also, bats eat mosquitoes for which you can buy or make bat houses to encourage them around your place.
    The most voracious feeder that I see for mosquitoes are dragonflies, that's why they are my favorite and most interesting insect!

    p.s. I put up a purple martin house years ago. No purple martins, and maybe it's because of the barn and tree swallows here keeping them away, I figure.