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Prepare early for the Purple Martin Season to keep them healthy and coming back season after season

Updated on December 31, 2012

A Thriving Purple Martin Colony can help protect your family form the ever growing threat of the West Nile Virus.

Early preparation will help keep attracting Purple Martins year after year.

Becoming a Purple Martin Landlord has many benefits and obligations.

Purple Martins are very dependent on humans to provide them shelter and to provide a safe pest free environment to raise their young.

In return the humans enjoy a thriving and growing Purple Martin Colony that helps keep the mosquito population down.

A Thriving Purple Martin Colony can help protect your family form the ever growing threat of the West Nile Virus.

Depending on your location, Purple Martin scouts maybe in your area scoping out the spring housing as early as February to March.

Having the condos ready for the colony to return will send back good reports for the others to come and plan the male/female courtship.

Unlike other birds that don’t want any human contact with their nest, Purple Martins like to have their nest clean and stocked with bedding.

Pine needles and straw make the ideal bedding material. Cleaning out old nest material is easier if you use a drop down martin house.

The ones pictured are of the popular winch mount T-14 martin house that uses a boat winch at the bottom of the pole to lower the houses down after the martins leave for the summer.

The lowered houses make the cleaning much easier. Compartment trays also pictured make the clean out a snap.

These special bowl shape nest boxes from Cottage Craft Works .com may just be the only ones designed in this manner.

The bowl shape bottom provides a good base for the nest without adding a lot of nesting material

Mites and other pest can travel back with the martins and infest the houses. Using a dusting of Seven Dust will kill off any pest before they can cause problems to the Colony.

Using a dust blower as pictured helps to penetrate the corners of the nesting compartment. The light dusting will not harm the martins.

When adding new nesting material sprinkle in some Seven dust and then mix with the nesting material before adding it to the boxes.

Use rubber gloves for removal of old nesting material and placement of new material dusted with the Seven dust.

Pictures are courtesy of Cottage Craft Works .com who carry a full line of Purple Martin Products including a plan book to build the T-14 houses pictured.

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    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Great material, Liz. There are a few martin houses here at Boomer Lake. The House Sparrows have been sharing them with the martins, and they get along so well.

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