PMCA research projects

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Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 1:16 pm
Location: Erie, PA

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Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:35 pm
Location: Sand Springs, Oklahoma
Martin Colony History: I live on Keystone Lake which is 25 miles west of Tulsa Oklahoma. For 2020 I will be offering: 1 Gemini rack with 12 Troyer Horizontal and 12 Troyer Vertical gourds, 1 Multi-Purpose pole with 2 Trio M12K houses with expanded compartments and 4 S&K Bo 11 Plus gourds with clinger tunnels, 1 Multi-Purpose pole with 2 Trio Mini-Castles with expanded compartments and 4 Troyer Vertical Gourds underneath, 1 MPP pole with 2 Trio MSS12 houses with expanded compartments, 3 Super gourds and 1 Excluder gourd underneath, 1 Fountain Gourd rack with 12 Troyer Vertical Gourds, 1 AAA16 rack with 8 Troyer Horizontal and 8 Troyer Vertical gourds, 1 rack with 3 S&K Double Gourds, 1 Trendsetter 16 house with 4 Troyer Vertical Gourds underneath and 1 S&K Barn style house with expanded compartments and 2 gourds underneath. This will be a total of 127 nesting cavities offered for 2020. Hopefully this will help to increase my numbers over 2019 which were 60 active pair that fledged 274 babies.

Do you all have the Project Martin Watch site working correctly now? When I went to update my fledge #'s it just reset them back to zero every time. I don't want to submit my final report until that is fixed.
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue May 31, 2022 7:23 pm
Location: Florida
Martin Colony History: Panama City, FL
2024 - 12 gourds - 12 nests - 61 eggs - 45 fledged
- Single pole 6 over 6; (4) SG R; (2) TH C; (3) TV C; (3) TV R
2023 - 12 gourds - 9 nests - 42 eggs - 36 fledged
- Single pole 6 over 6; (4) SG R; (2) TH C; (2) TV C; (2) TV R; (2) natural gourds R
2022 - 12 gourds - 11 nests - 54 eggs - 30 fledged (raccoon attack mid-season)
- Single pole 6 over 6; (4) SG R; (4) TV C; (2) TV R; (2) old Heath one piece R
2021 - 10 gourds - 4 nests - 18 eggs - 15 fledged
- Single pole 6 over 4; (4) SG R; (2) TV C; (4) TV R
2020 - (6) SG R gourds - first year; no nests but did see investigators
2018 - Hurricane Michael tore down many trees to open up habitat - set up array Feb 2020

I have a suggestion for a PCMA research project. I tried to email it to PCMA but got a message back that my email was suspect and didn't get through.

The majority of starlings and house sparrows that I see in my area are associated with traffic signal mast arms that have ample cavities for them to nest in. Almost every intersection has starlings, and many have house sparrows. At my home we recently have more starlings than ever, and I see them nesting prolifically at nearby intersections. If the open cavities in the mast arm structures were eliminated so that these pest birds couldn't nest in them maybe their population could be reduced. The question is whether or not eliminating those easy access and extremely common cavities would lead to the pests adapting to be more aggressive in pursuit of other cavities that are more suitable for native cavity nesting birds, i.e., would removing the opportunity at street intersections reduce the pest population or just relocate it and make it worse for native birds elsewhere?

If this hasn't already been studied, I bet that an environmentally conscious state department of transportation would participate in a research project to figure out a simple and cost-effective way to eliminate the cavities in mast arms through a pilot project. Grad student(s) at a nearby partnering university could be a great way to develop the project and generate the data. PCMA would have the clout to convince a DOT and a university to cooperate. With solid data and a little lobbying I'm thinking that new specifications for mast arms could be implemented that results in a lot fewer pest birds originating at street intersections. City and county public works departments almost always rely upon state DOT specifications for intersection signals, so a state mast arm spec that eliminates cavities would result in almost all new (and replacement) mast arms being unsuitable as pest bird breeding grounds.

Just an idea...
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