Today, a subadult male Purple Martin checked out our plastic martin gourd. He flew in, and stayed there for quite a while…I had to leave, so I don’t know how long he was in there. When I got home, I closed up the martin compartments again, because the house sparrows were nest building in them. But here’s the key: They won’t go into the gourd. Maybe I need a few more gourds and use the compartments for trapping the HOSP.
I now have TWO bluebird boxes…because yesterday there were 2 pairs of bluebirds arguing over the one box. Didn’t see them today…only HOSP. So I put pinecones in the entrances of the boxes and will watch and wait some more.
I now have all potential HOSP nest sites closed in the hope that they will disperse, at least until some bluebirds or martins have a chance to nest. One interesting thing I saw was that the HOSP would not return to the martin house while the martin was in the gourd. Hmmm…are they afraid of him? I hope so.
But here’s some good news: I have Carolina Chickadees sitting on eggs, in the sunflower box above. (It’s in a tree now) So at least this yard will get some baby birds this year. I don’t worry about this box getting massacred by the HOSP because they can’t fit into the opening.
We have had sucessful chickadee nests come from this box before. Best $5 I have spent at Hobby Lobby yet. (It was one of their few real, functional nest boxes)
Little trivia for any non-birders in southern Ohio…if you see chickadees around, they are most likely Carolina chickadees, versus Black-Capped chickadees. I never knew until I became a birder that there was more than one kind. The “line of scrimage” here in Ohio is up near Columbus, with the Carolinas staying south, and the Black-Capped up north. Yet they overlap a bit, they are virtually identical, they hybridize and imitate each other’s calls. But for all intents and purposes, we have Carolina’s here. And I’m providing the shelter for a sweet new family of them. Ahhh…