How do you all do it??

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
msalcido
Posts: 254
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:25 pm
Location: Texas/Mineola

I caught a male sparrow today using the Universal sparrow trap. While lowering the house down to remove him, a Martin flew out, then out of no where, a hawk swooped in and caught it. I started yelling and clapping my hands and the hawk drooped the PM and that poor little guy took off flying. So I was relieved, then it dawned on me the task I had on hand. Get rid of the sparrow. This was my first time ever having to do this. It was really hard for me. I put him to sleep by putting him in a container with ether. I know they are pests and I know the damage they do, but all I could think of is how this sparrow is one of the Creators creation and I'm destroying his creation.

Does it get easier? I feel really bad right now. The hawk almost making breakfast out of my Martin didn't help either! :cry:
Mike

Fifth season of being a landlord! :) and a PMCA member!
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6208
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Mike, that is a tough way to get started trapping HOSP! I'm glad your martin got away from the hawk.

I don't enjoy euthanizing HOSP or starlings either, but I enjoy knowing that my sites are free of their destructive behavior. Try to focus on the results - a martin site that is free of house sparrows is safer and more productive for the martins.

It's not the fault of the HOSP that were brought here and released, or the fault of the people involved, who did not know how awful the results would become. It's just something we have to deal with, and making it as fast and painless as possible is the way to go.
DebA
Posts: 1941
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 7:43 am
Location: Pratt County/Kansas
Martin Colony History: Start 2009 with one pair. Upgraded from S&K houses to two Trendsetter 12's with gourds beneath in 2013. I have experienced job, pet, and parental losses since '13. The Purple Martins lift my spirits and remind me how life continues forward by flying their little selves from Brazil back to my yard. As one forum person once told me, chin up DebA, look at the martins. Danger all around but yet they soar in the sky without a care in the world.

Mike we "are birds of a feather". I AM EXACTLY THE SAME WAY. But Louise is perfectly right on. And I will tell you it does get better. Better is not the right term. Easier? No.... Routine. Necessity and payoff helps. Two years ago I lost so many eggs to sparrow chips. My fledge rate was low for having six martin pairs (see my profile). Last year I stepped up shooting and trapping. See the difference on the numbers. I used ether. It was hard. I said I sprayed enough to euthanize a goat to make sure he went nighty night for sure my first time. I still have lots of room for improvement.

Just yesterday morning I exited a restaurant after an early breakfast. A short ornamental tree had chirping happy HOSP inside of the leaves (oh hey their trees have leaves in McAlester OK, ours don't yet) and I couldn't see them. The bird noise lifted me (had a wave of mourning my dad hit in the restaurant). I immediately thought "if they were the last bird on earth I would enjoy them". Followed IMMEDIATELY (for all yous ready to beat me up) with "which because of their aggression unfortunately someday they just might be". So you see I get it.

Shooting is easier because it's not so up close and personal with a livebirdie in your hand. I am determined to push through that this year since trapping is much more time efficient. We can hold hands and walk through this awfully tough issue together, online, this season. Hang in there and I'm glad you felt able to post and seek encouragement. Nice save on your martin too! Whew! If not able to save seeing that up close would have had me down for days!

Deb
PMCA MEMBER
Pratt County, Kansas
2016 34 PAIR
2015 27 PAIR
2014 23 PAIR
2013 13 PAIR
2012 6 PAIR
2011 4 PAIR
2010 2 PAIR
2009 1 PAIR
msalcido
Posts: 254
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:25 pm
Location: Texas/Mineola

Thanks Louise and Deb. I know ya'll are right and hopefully, I will get to the point where I am able to do it without feelings. I couldn't just throw it in the trash, I had to bury it and then for the rest of the day, I kept smelling ether. :roll:

"Nice save on your martin too! Whew! If not able to save seeing that up close would have had me down for days!" - thanks Deb! My heart was racing when I say that happen. I saw the martin fly out and didn't think anything of it, then the hawk appeared. Took both of us by surprise, and I couldn't think of anything but to start clapping my hands and yelling. After it was over and the Martin escaped all I kept thinking was that I was such an idiot. It was cold here this morning (TX) probably in the 50's and breezy. I should've known there were martins still in the house trying to stay warm and shouldn't have lowered it. I so would've been kicking myself (actually still am) if the hawk would have succeeded.

I'm with you, I would enjoy them if they were the last birds on Earth. As Louise said, it's not their fault they were introduced to America. It just sucks they are sooo mean! :shock: I'm one of those people who is a dreamer and just wants harmony and balance among the Universe. Here's to hopeful wishing! :wink: - Thanks again for the encouragement!
Mike

Fifth season of being a landlord! :) and a PMCA member!
MamaBruff
Posts: 1466
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:21 pm
Location: SW Missouri
Martin Colony History: 2013-2016 Unsuccessful at starting a PM colony. Health problems.
Rehomed all my PM stuff. Good Luck and Best Wishes to All.

Mike,

I don't think anybody who is a nature lover EVER gets to the point of euthanizing S&S "without feelings", ever. Call me Crazy, but I give them some kind words and a prayer before they perish. I try to focus on the greater good, that is saving the lives of native birds... It is my job as steward and landlord to keep "my" home birds safe- legally, respectfully, consistently. Maybe that seems unrealistic, but that's how it works for me.

I hope you have a wonderful Martin season this year!
~Mary B~

Lifelong PM Admirer and Nature Enthusiast.
Ruthless trapper of S&S year round.
2013-2016 Unsuccessful at starting a PM colony. Health problems.
Rehomed all my PM stuff. Good Luck and Best Wishes to All.
KathyF
Posts: 3518
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

No, it never gets easier. And this is coming from someone who has euthanized hundreds of them. Sometimes, I just want to let them go with a stern warning to never come back, but then I realize this isn't Candyland and I'm not going to wake up to cotton candy and lollypops, and I'm saddened because I once again have to do something to right a wrong that man created. Again. :cry:

But I do it because I can't stand to be saddened by what they do to my other birds.
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com
DebA
Posts: 1941
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 7:43 am
Location: Pratt County/Kansas
Martin Colony History: Start 2009 with one pair. Upgraded from S&K houses to two Trendsetter 12's with gourds beneath in 2013. I have experienced job, pet, and parental losses since '13. The Purple Martins lift my spirits and remind me how life continues forward by flying their little selves from Brazil back to my yard. As one forum person once told me, chin up DebA, look at the martins. Danger all around but yet they soar in the sky without a care in the world.

Mike I sent you a private message.
Deb
PMCA MEMBER
Pratt County, Kansas
2016 34 PAIR
2015 27 PAIR
2014 23 PAIR
2013 13 PAIR
2012 6 PAIR
2011 4 PAIR
2010 2 PAIR
2009 1 PAIR
chickadee
Posts: 1126
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:02 pm
Location: ohio

I don't want to be rude. But I think their is a more polite way of killing them. That sounded like a horiable death. And for me I have my husband do it. I have done it. But buy putting them in a bag and up to the tail pipe of the car. They go to sleep. He says he still feels sick when he does it. Shooting them is easier for him and me. And I find plenty of days asking myself if it's the right thing to do. I still am not 100 percent sure. Before trapping them and just shooting them I was more sure.
2008 first year 1 pair. 2009 3 pair. 2010 7 pair. 2011 20 pair . 2012 44 pair 280 eggs 210 fledged. 2013 67 pair. 2014?
DebA
Posts: 1941
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 7:43 am
Location: Pratt County/Kansas
Martin Colony History: Start 2009 with one pair. Upgraded from S&K houses to two Trendsetter 12's with gourds beneath in 2013. I have experienced job, pet, and parental losses since '13. The Purple Martins lift my spirits and remind me how life continues forward by flying their little selves from Brazil back to my yard. As one forum person once told me, chin up DebA, look at the martins. Danger all around but yet they soar in the sky without a care in the world.

Chickadee,
Huh?
What sounded like a horrible death? You also lost me on the last two sentences.
Deb
PMCA MEMBER
Pratt County, Kansas
2016 34 PAIR
2015 27 PAIR
2014 23 PAIR
2013 13 PAIR
2012 6 PAIR
2011 4 PAIR
2010 2 PAIR
2009 1 PAIR
chickadee
Posts: 1126
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:02 pm
Location: ohio

Putting the bird in ether? Starter fluid. And I am trying to say it has been harder killing them since we have been trapping them. We bring them in at night .feed and water them to keep them alive to attract more sparrows. It was easier when we just shoot them. It is not as personal. Let me add that we remind are selves the damage they do.
2008 first year 1 pair. 2009 3 pair. 2010 7 pair. 2011 20 pair . 2012 44 pair 280 eggs 210 fledged. 2013 67 pair. 2014?
Matt F.
Posts: 3895
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

chickadee wrote:I don't want to be rude. But I think their is a more polite way of killing them. That sounded like a horiable death. And for me I have my husband do it. I have done it. But buy putting them in a bag and up to the tail pipe of the car. They go to sleep.
Keep in mind, they're not being submerged in ether. It is being sprayed in small amounts.
Ether puts them to sleep the same way the carbon monoxide from the tailpipe does. A car tailpipe rumbling into the bag, may arguably be more traumatic than a quick, quiet spray of ether.
Mike,
There are a LOT of us here that totally understand, and sympathize with the emotions you felt today.
chickadee
Posts: 1126
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:02 pm
Location: ohio

Thanks for pointing that out. I was thinking being drowned or shaken around in it. I just had never heard of this way. I have a better picture now. So topic at hand now that I understand. It never gets better for me being a nature all creature lover.
2008 first year 1 pair. 2009 3 pair. 2010 7 pair. 2011 20 pair . 2012 44 pair 280 eggs 210 fledged. 2013 67 pair. 2014?
Steve Martin
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:38 am
Location: Tx/Bastrop

From what I've seen ether makes a creature groggy and tired until they pass-out. I would imagine it to be simulate to getting drunk to the point that you would pass-out. I really don't see this as an inhuman death. The way I see it, if they are unconscious, then the time they take to actually die is irrelevant. Ether can however cause irritation in airways so that might not be so peasant.

Containerized carbon monoxide would seam to be least time consuming and most humane. but cylinders of monoxide are not sold to the general public. I would be leery of auto exhaust, just because of the heat. I suppose if the car is just started, maybe the muffler would cool the gas. You need some sort of hookah for your tail pipe.

I try to avoid ether for my euthanasias just because I prefer to recycle the deiced creature into the life cycle. The problem with automotive starter fluid is that it has some petroleum in it. Not so much that it makes the target suffer. But ,it could may a scavenger sick. I suggest that you bury the dead when you use ether or auto exhaust. Or keep them in a raccoon proof container until they are well decomposed.

PS. the first person that told me about S&S control was a bluebird propagator in Quitman(10mi from msalcido) Texas back in 1989. I thought it was a bit extreme back then, but she has been proven right.

edit: added PS
Steve Martin
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:38 am
Location: Tx/Bastrop

MamaBruff wrote:I don't think anybody who is a nature lover EVER gets to the point of euthanizing S&S "without feelings", ever.
I suppose my longer journey made it not quite as hard to control S&S, because, I started with injured birds that would have died anyway. Although that was not easy either. See my Tipping Point Post
MamaBruff wrote: Call me Crazy, but I give them some kind words and a prayer before they perish.
This sort of reminds me of myself. I have never been a real big meat eater. When I was in my late 30's I just HAAAAD to see how a 4 legged creature went from walking around to becoming food on my plate. So I visited a friend of a friend's hobby farm to find out. Soon after that I started saying a little prayer acknowledging the creature that died whenever I eat meat.
msalcido
Posts: 254
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:25 pm
Location: Texas/Mineola

Steve Martin wrote:From what I've seen ether makes a creature groggy and tired until they pass-out. I would imagine it to be simulate to getting drunk to the point that you would pass-out. I really don't see this as an inhuman death. The way I see it, if they are unconscious, then the time they take to actually die is irrelevant. Ether can however cause irritation in airways so that might not be so peasant.
- Steve, I think it was pretty fast. I sprayed two mists of the ether into the container and watched it and within seconds it was asleep. I left it in the container for about 30 minutes and then I buried it. To me, this is the most humane way. As, I watched it I kept asking for forgiveness. I'm also not a big meat eater (was complete vegetarian for about 10 years). Now that I do eat meat, I'm thankful for it and know that the animal has suffered for my nutrition. It is still hard for me to eat meat, I don't eat red meat, only chicken, fish and pork and sometimes it still bothers me to do so.


MamaBruff wrote: Call me Crazy, but I give them some kind words and a prayer before they perish. I try to focus on the greater good, that is saving the lives of native birds...
- I totally understand this and said a prayer for it last night and asked for forgiveness again. I know that the PM's will be better off in the long run.
KathyF wrote:No, it never gets easier. And this is coming from someone who has euthanized hundreds of them. Sometimes, I just want to let them go with a stern warning to never come back, but then I realize this isn't Candyland and I'm not going to wake up to cotton candy and lollypops, and I'm saddened because I once again have to do something to right a wrong that man created. Again.
- Kathy, thanks that made me laugh. :lol:
Mike

Fifth season of being a landlord! :) and a PMCA member!
John Miller
Posts: 4768
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

I focus my thoughts on helping the martins, as others have said.

I euthanize them immediately in my hand, but have never been absolutely sure of the most effective and easiest technique. Maybe someone can clarify.

Several methods have been suggested: chest compression, breaking their neck or cervical dislocation by using a quick but firm jerk (but if pull too hard), and I experimented last year with just using my thumb to press in on the "back" of the skull and dent it -- that one seems to work, but won't work as well if you press on the top, needs to be the back. All of these seem preferable to me to bags and ether.

John M
Craig Dyer
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 2:24 pm
Location: Nevada, TX
Martin Colony History: Area is rural. Offer 28 compartments...metal housing (Lonestar Goliad) & Supergourds all w/crescent entrance holes. Purple martins are abundant here and eager for quality, well maintained, safe housing. Expect near 100% occupancy this season.

It doesn't get any easier for me either Mike. As others have stated, I prefer shooting house sparrows (pellet rifle). Not so up-close & personal. But even then sometimes that just wounds them & I have to finish them off so they don't suffer. Destroying them is an unpleasant necessity of maintaining a successful martin colony. Best of luck to you this season.
Craig Dyer
msalcido
Posts: 254
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:25 pm
Location: Texas/Mineola

John Miller wrote: I experimented last year with just using my thumb to press in on the "back" of the skull and dent it -- that one seems to work, but won't work as well if you press on the top, needs to be the back. All of these seem preferable to me to bags and ether.

John M
- oh ouch, that just seems to painless to me. The ether was very quick and I didn't have to touch or hold the bird, only when I placed it in the container was the only touching done.
Craig Dyer wrote:
Destroying them is an unpleasant necessity of maintaining a successful martin colony. Best of luck to you this season.
- Thanks Craig - I'm starting to realize this.
Mike

Fifth season of being a landlord! :) and a PMCA member!
kcscriv
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:52 am
Location: peculiar mo.

I could see you all butchering chickens on the farm, had to chuckle i was thinking of ways you would kill the chickens and cows and hogs, lol. I agree they are Gods creation but he put man over the animals, and i agre we should not be inhumain how we do it, fast. They are imports that have taken over our natural birds we have to protect that, just saying, good luck this year you all.
John Miller
Posts: 4768
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Mike yer' gonna have to "hold" and "touch" the bird to put it in a bag. whew. I'm retiring from giving any more advice -- at least for 24 hours or so. (grin). Then I'll explain tail clipping as an alternative. ha.
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