Effects of "The Drought" on our equipment !

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Virgil McCoy
Posts: 302
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:06 pm
Location: Louisiana/Alexandria
Martin Colony History: Purple Martin Landlord since 2006

I performed a nest check yesterday after the last of the birds of my second gourd rack (also the newest) fledged. After stripping a sparrow nest out of one I began to raise the fountain rack of 12 gourds back up the pole. As my head was down carefully making the last pull I heard the metal collar come into contact with the top pipe cap as normal but then 4 gourds came crashing down ! The "ZIP TIES" failed from the extreme heat making them so brittle. These were all new ties put on in January and were oversized at that. Needless to say, I was so relieved the birds were not in the gourds. I'm now worried about the first gourd rack and will cease nest checks this season preventing any further failure.
Proud to be a fourth generation Purple Martin landlord.
Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6743
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)
Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

Virgil, I put pvc pipe thru the neck of my gourds, and I slide them onto EMT conduit arms. I went to that system primarily because I didn't want the gourds to swing, and because I didn't want to use copper wire or zip ties to help hold the gourds in place. Mine will not come down now unless the arms come down, and that will likely not happen.

The problem with zip ties and plastic is that there are so many different grades of them. Some may be coming from China and they are cheaper and probably break down quicker in the sun. An average person does not know how long that plastic stuff will last.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
Sandy - NC
Posts: 617
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:40 pm
Location: Rocky Mount, NC

Zip ties will not hold up under UV rays from the sun. Not even the supposedly outdoor ones (black) will hold up, but they do hold up a little longer than the white ones. Zip ties have no place on a martin rack for any reason, especially holding up housing.
Don't ever, ever give up. It will happen.

sbunn1@suddenlink.net
Virgil McCoy
Posts: 302
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:06 pm
Location: Louisiana/Alexandria
Martin Colony History: Purple Martin Landlord since 2006

Believe it or not, the zip ties purchased for the new gourd rack where the failure occurred, came from "NAPA Auto Parts" ! lol ! The only reason I puchased them there is because I needed a longer ones. Not only were they longer but thicker than the original ones on the first gourd rack that were purchased at "Wally World" ! Go figure ? Anyway, lesson learned and thanks Emil for the advice on your hanging methods.
Proud to be a fourth generation Purple Martin landlord.
Virgil McCoy
Posts: 302
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:06 pm
Location: Louisiana/Alexandria
Martin Colony History: Purple Martin Landlord since 2006

Sandy, you're absolutely right ! The white ones were the failed zip ties.
Proud to be a fourth generation Purple Martin landlord.
Vern1
Posts: 471
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:06 pm
Location: Pettytown, Texas, US of A

Greetings,
I use thousands of the black UV ones to hang safety netting at a paintball field.
They last about 12 months at best.
They probably only last that long because we use a lot of them close together.
You know when they are going bad as a wind comes up and it sounds like a really big zipper as they turn loose and a 12' tall x 200' long piece of net lays out on the ground.

The average life of the black UV resistant tie wraps in the sun is about 8 months - less if stressed.
I would never use them to hold up a gourd.
Last edited by Vern1 on Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cheers,
Joe
2015 - 40 cavities - 37 pair - fledged 172
2016 - 40 cavities - 38 pair - fledged 192
Hosting Purple Martins since 1976...Managing since 2006.
Jim Spetzman
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 8:26 am
Location: Minnesota, Forest Lake

If you can, I always try to use copper wire, like house wiring. It will last forever and is not affected buy the sun like zip-ties are.
RC Moser
Posts: 1537
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 3:25 am

Zip ties are rated. So the lighter rated ones fail real quick. I dought the 250 pound ones will fail any time soon, but who can afford them. then theres the ones the cops use as hand cuffs I think they are 500 pounders. But I agree why take chance.
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