Posts Tagged ‘plastic houses’

Plastic Purple Martin Houses

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Do plastic houses work? Sure and many purple martins raise families in plastic houses. For me, my first purple martin house (a plastic house) was an inexpensive way to discover that I really wanted to get into these birds and in short order I switched over to a gourd rack with a pulley system and an Aluminum martin house. (That I LOVE) I have not looked back yet.

As a purple martin landlord myself, do I recommend plastic martin houses? Usually not.

Many people shopping for a purple martin house turn towards plastic martin houses for 1 of 2 reasons. Reason #1 is Cost. Reason #2 is fear of internet shopping. Let me explain.

Reason #1 COST!

I realize that purple martin houses can seem expensive to the purple martin newbie. If your main concern is the cost of purple martin houses, take a few things into consideration. A basic wooden Bluebird nestbox at Walmart costs almost $30.00. It will only house one pair of Bluebirds. As you know, purple martins are colonial nesters and nest in the company of other purple martins. The price of a 6 room Sunset Inn Aluminum House costs $150.00. That comes out to $25.00 a compartment. Now I know the price of the pole is separate…as it would also be with a bluebird nestbox, but my point is, the cost pretty much equals out. Especially when you consider the extra added fun 5 more pairs of birds could ultimately provide. Now I know that a plastic bird house is a LOT cheaper. Heck the price for a COMPLETE plastic house set up with a pole is $145 at PurpleMartins-R-Us. That comes to about $12.00 per compartment, at first glance. BUT you have to factor in that those compartments need to be enlarged. SO now we are back down to 6 compartments. So that’s about $24.00 per compartment. AND factor in that the quality, longevity¬† and other issues and that deal doesn’t seem like such a deal anymore.

Reason #2 Internet shopping fear

Trust me, I know how it is. You may be interested in getting into the hobby. But you want to touch the martin house you are going to buy. You want to hold the package and read what it says. You want to be able to look someone in the eye as you hand over your dough. I know, I know. That is the drawback of internet buying. Go into your local Lowe’s or Home Depot and all you will find are those plastic purple martin houses. Many of the high quality wood and aluminum purple martin bird houses available on the internet are NOT available in stores. The superstores buy thousands of product at a time. Higher quality martin houses are built by hand. Many of these houses are built by Amish companies and you couldn’t find them in a brick and mortar¬† store if you tried.

So when it comes to cost the old adage of getting “what you paid for” applies. Trust me, if the manufacturers of the plastic houses had a $200 product, they would charge it and if the wood and aluminum houses were not worth the money they cost, the people that make them would be out of a job.

I don’t want folks to think I don’t make a habit of recommending plastic houses because I don’t sell many of them. I do sell martin houses on my website, but I usually recommend a higher quality house or gourds.¬† For the most part, I try to stay away from the “plastic house” controversy. And believe me there is a huge controversy.

When I read this post by Carole on her blog I thought I would recommend her blog post as a read so that you can see other folks experiences with plastic martin houses. There are a few posts about the author’s purple martins and her changing from a plastic purple martin house to a wooden purple martin house. Reading her experiences will give you input on some of the drawbacks of plastic houses. If you are on the fence about what kind of purple martin house to get, just keep it in mind. is owned and operated by active purple martin landlords. We are a specialty store that knows what works with purple martins because we host them every year. As always we are always here to help you with any questions that you may have about martins.

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