Off season projects Venting gourds.

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Fireflyfisherman
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:26 pm
Location: TX/Mckinney
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 Pair (5 Fledged)
2015 - 1 Pair (3 Fledged)

My backyard is undergoing an entire facelift and I am planning some off season martin projects. I was wondering if that many people vent their gourds. This was my second season with gourds and haven’t vented them yet but want to help them as much as possible. Is it very beneficial to do so? Are most people still using the 90% elbows? What are your thoughts.

Gourds are super gourds.
sssSMOKING
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:26 pm
Location: Verona / VA
Martin Colony History: >>>>>>>>
2020 > 20 pairs, 39 Fledged
2019 > 20 pairs, 92 Fledged
2018 > 15 pairs, 39 Fledged
2017 > 12 pairs, 43 Fledged
2016 > 9 nesting pairs, 25 Fledged
2015 > 5 nesting pairs, 23 Fledged
2014 > 4 nesting pairs, 15 Fledged
2013 > 4 nesting pairs, 15 fledged
2012 > Several Lookers

About half of my gourds had venting pvc ell's on them, at the end of this year I took the rest and added ell's. It has to help and the cost is minimum, takes a little time but not bad. Anything to keep the babies a little cooler is a plus!
Richard
Low~n~Slow that's sssSmoking
John Barrow
Posts: 948
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 4:12 pm
Location: Corpus Christi / Sandia , Texas

Hi Flyfisherman,
I live in Corpus Christi and have colonies in town and at a site 35 miles (and 5-10 degrees hotter) west of town. I vent all of my gourds with a single 1 inch pvc elbow vent placed as high on the gourd so that its outflow is faced downward. At seasons end it's amazing how much gunk is inside the vent, meaning a lot of outflow air has occurred.
Your site might be hotter than my inland site. I certainly recommend that you vent your gourds. It will increase air circulation and comfort and will be more attractive to your martin colony. If heat is still a problem in late season you might add an additional vent port in the future or consider the option of shading the gourds with coroplast coverings ziptied above the gourd with a narrow airspace in between.
At my colonies I have conducted 3 geolocator studies and documented approx 40 pairs raising two broods in a single season--8 of which were banded birds.
Good luck in the years ahead.
~~TEAMED WITH A MARTIN GODDESS~~

Member/Mentor-PMCA. I do regular nestchecks and participate in PROJECT MARTINWATCH!! Coordinated 3 geolocator studies-2009, 2010 & 2013. State and Fed licensed bander (retired Jan., 2020)
Kuemic
Posts: 167
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 7:17 pm
Location: Topeka, KS
Martin Colony History: 2015 1 SY pair, 2 eggs destroyed by house sparrow
2016 1 ASY pair, 5 eggs, 2 hatchlings, 2 fledged
2017 1 ASY pair, 5 eggs, 5 hatchlings, 5 fledged; 1 SY pair, 4 eggs not incubated
2018 daily visitors but no takers
2019 1 SY pair, 4 eggs, 2 destroyed by House Wren, 2 hatchlings, 2 fledged
2020 1ASY pair, 5 eggs, 5 hatchlings, 5 fledged

Toy, I always read your posts, learn so much from your expertise. Brutal seasons the last 2 years, but you're still fighting for next year. Thank you for all you do for your martins, they are lucky to have you! It's a good lesson for those of us still trying to get a colony started - takes determination and dedication, don't give up. Hope Mother Nature works with you in 2019.
Michelle in Topeka
BioJoe
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:18 pm
Location: PA/Erie

Our internal small scale testing showed that the addition of a elbow vent in the neck of a gourd decreased the internal temperature difference by approx 50%. In other words a vent eliminated half of the heat built up in an artificial gourd.

The PMCA will be expanding the study to a larger scale in the future to further evaluate ventilation effectiveness.
C.C.Martins
Posts: 879
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA made adjustments and next year was successful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021:
Home colony: mix natural gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 gourds: PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021:
PMCA member

Fireflyfisherman,
sounds unanimous! Its fairly easy to do, last year I put in screens in the vent to keep wasps out but they gum up fairly quickly with pinfeather material and general gunk so didnt this year...didnt have any issues. I had vents on the caps to open when we hit triple digits as well but dont know that that is necessary. Airflow and heat exchange will keep them comfortable. Good project!
Tom
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
Fireflyfisherman
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:26 pm
Location: TX/Mckinney
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 Pair (5 Fledged)
2015 - 1 Pair (3 Fledged)

Sounds like all my gourds will be getting 90 degree elbows. Thanks for the input and the great advice.
Dave Duit
Posts: 1849
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: Iowa / Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2020, 60 pair with 285 fledged youngsters. 83 total cavities available, 58 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified deep trio metal house units, 1 fallout shelter, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President and founder of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit www.iamartin.org and join.

Good to hear you are doing upgrades and looking after your martins. I wished more landlords were more conscious about the needs of martins. Keep up the good work.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1919
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:35 pm
Location: Little Hocking, Oh.
Martin Colony History: 2018 Success at my Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”.
2019 Success at my home Site "Little Hocking, Ohio".

Firefly fisherman..... I only had four gourds hanging under my Trio houses. The gourds were vented with the elbows.. The first Martins to arrive took the four gourds first.. Then the over flow Martins went to the Trio’s expanded rooms.. The elbows that I used also came with screw in plugs.. I left the plugs in at the start of the season, until the night temperatures started to rise.. It seem to cool in the early Spring nights for the babies, so I waited for the temps to come up.. before I pulled the plugs out..

Dave
Home Site “Little Hocking, Ohio”
2010 / 2018 -- Lots of Visitors
2019 — 1 Pair, 5 Eggs, 5 Babies, 5 fledged. :wink:
2020 — 1 Pair, 4 Eggs, 4 Babies, 4 fledged. :wink:
2021 — Waiting on March 2021

Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”
2018 -- 15 Pair, 58 Eggs, 38 Hatched and 36 Fledged :wink:
2019 — 26 Pair, 128 Eggs, 99 Babies and 97 Fledged. :wink:
2020 — 30 Pair, 156 Eggs, 137 Babies and 137 Fledged. :wink:
2021 — Waiting on March 2021

PMCA Member
Dave Duit
Posts: 1849
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: Iowa / Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2020, 60 pair with 285 fledged youngsters. 83 total cavities available, 58 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified deep trio metal house units, 1 fallout shelter, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President and founder of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit www.iamartin.org and join.

Fireflyfisherman,
I responded to your email with details on my venting. Glad I could help.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Fireflyfisherman
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:26 pm
Location: TX/Mckinney
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 Pair (5 Fledged)
2015 - 1 Pair (3 Fledged)

Thank you for the information. Going to be doing some venting this week.
G Saner
Posts: 120
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:37 pm
Location: TX/Kerrville
Martin Colony History: Fort Worth, TX (1967-1976), The Colony, TX (1981-1985), Carrollton, TX (1986-2013), Kerrville, TX (2015-present).

Two SuperGourd poles (12 gourds on each) at River Point Assisted Living Center.

Fireflyfisherman,

Thank you for motivating me to vent all 24 of my SuperGourds yesterday. After I vented one gourd, I did my own unscientific experiment. I have two remote digital thermometers that I can read from inside the house. I put one in an unvented gourd and the other in a vented gourd.

I must have checked them 25 times between 10am and 7pm. For the most part, the readings were identical. Sometimes the vented gourd was .4 degrees cooler and sometimes the unvented gourd was .2 degrees lower. The day I did this was sunny but only a high of 85. The elbow I used was threaded on one end (3/4 inch inside diameter) and one inch inside diameter on the other end. The threaded end really fit tight into the gourd. No way rain could get in.

Maybe the results would have been different with a 95 degree high or maybe a larger elbow would make a difference. Can't wait to see the PMCA's more scientific results on their test. Increasing the fledge rate is the most important thing a landlord can do.
G Saner
Fireflyfisherman
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:26 pm
Location: TX/Mckinney
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 Pair (5 Fledged)
2015 - 1 Pair (3 Fledged)

Do y’all angle the vents or just leave them pointing straight down or does it matter? Not an expert on airflow. Got the elbows installed and about to silicone them.
sugarcreek
Posts: 223
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:43 am
Location: Sugarcreek, Ohio
Martin Colony History: 2016 First Yr.

I have mine all turned down to keep Rain from entering into them...
2016 - 1st Yr. 14 Compartments 4 Active Nests 9 fledged, 2.25 Fledged per Active Nest
2017 - 2nd Yr. 36 Compartments 18 Active Nests 65 Fledged, 3.61 Fledged per Active Nest
2018 - 3rd Yr. 54 Compartments 43 Active Nests 169 Fledged, 3.93 Fledged per Active Nest
2019 - 4th Yr. 108 Compartments 67 Active Nests 209 Fledged, 3.12 Fledged per Active Nest
2020 - 5th Yr. 108 Compartments 72 Active Nests 243 Fledged, 3.38 Fledged per Active Nest
Dave Duit
Posts: 1849
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: Iowa / Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2020, 60 pair with 285 fledged youngsters. 83 total cavities available, 58 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified deep trio metal house units, 1 fallout shelter, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President and founder of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit www.iamartin.org and join.

Venting is great. Up north we can plug the elbow holes in early spring if temps get down low, then open them when temps start getting warmer. I use cut out round pieces of swimming pool float tubes. Cut them so they extend past the elbow opening so you can quickly pull them out without a major disturbance in the colony.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
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