natural horizontal gourds

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MB12RING
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:36 pm
Location: MI, Fruitport

Well it's been a long winter up here in west Michigan so I've had some spare time to work on gourds.
There has been a lot of conversation about how gourds could be better housing to attract Martin's and deter s&s. We all know that bigger is better so I wanted to make some deep horizontal gourds for safety at my satellite colony that I can only check on once a week or so.
I had one pair there last year that consisted of an asy male, sy female that had four eggs and fledged 2. I know there were lots of visitors there and since I had 2 trio 18 castles converted to 9 large compartments each with 1 gourd under each and the birds chose one of the gourds. It just makes sense to add more gourds right?
2013, back in the game with a pair at my satelite colony that has eggs due to hatch around July 7th
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

I just love to grow gourds, and they make excellent martin housing. One of my hobbies is to make martin cavities out of gourds.

The horizontal gourds are just great for martins. The only problem I had is that they are hard to hang, hard to get straight, and the sides are not quite as strong as the neck. If you have a good way to hang them, and if you use the longer necks for owl protection, they are one of the very most favorite of the martins. Good luck with them. In Michigan, I would think that the aluminum houses are too cold. The martins definitely would prefer a horizontal gourd to an aluminum compartment. Or may I suggest that you try a wooden house due to the cold climate.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
MB12RING
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:36 pm
Location: MI, Fruitport

I had meant to attach these in the first post, might make a little more sense now. Hard to attach photos from a phone that is definitely smarter than the user!

Emil, you're right, these gourds are not that easy to hang straight. Definitely need 2 wires each.
Attachments
16" deep natural horizontal gourd
16" deep natural horizontal gourd
20140329_213110-1-1.jpg (160.82 KiB) Viewed 1362 times
Horizontal w offset tunnel and extra perching space made from 3/8" pex tube
Horizontal w offset tunnel and extra perching space made from 3/8" pex tube
20140329_213127-1-1.jpg (159.22 KiB) Viewed 1398 times
Extra depth should keep owls from being able to reach into cavity
Extra depth should keep owls from being able to reach into cavity
20140329_213207-2-1.jpg (233.51 KiB) Viewed 1379 times
2013, back in the game with a pair at my satelite colony that has eggs due to hatch around July 7th
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

I like the center one the best because its offset. An owl cannot see the female sitting on the nest. The offset gourds tend to stop any owl predation.

Hanging them with 2 wires is definitely the way to go, it may not be as pretty, but the martins will like them. I like to concentrate on what is best for the martins instead of what looks the best.

You sure have some odd shaped gourds, they must be crossed with everything in existence... :lol: :lol:
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
John Miller
Posts: 4774
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Cool. I also make a few each winter. Can't grow them here for lack of space and or soil conditions, but might try again.

I like 10- inch diameter kettle gourds..shape like a plastic super gourd, or a little stouter sometimes with a defined nice neck is nice too. (yes, talking about gourds - ha)

John M
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