snakes in Milwaukee, WI???

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Guest

snakes in Milwaukee, WI???

Postby Guest » Thu Jul 07, 2005 10:35 pm

I live in a small community just north of Milwaukee...lots are about 1/4 to 1/2 acre....no swamps, or wetlands, or farms, or open areas....just houses....never have seen snakes....
but I have heard of garter snakes....would you expect that to be a problem for me??? are snakes everywhere???? I know they are are present along the rivers (but I don't live near a river)....
just wondering after I saw pictures of the garter snake in a below post.
sharon

drdoo55
Posts: 113
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2003 7:49 pm
Location: Wisconsin/Lomira

Postby drdoo55 » Fri Jul 08, 2005 6:40 am

Sharon YYou dony need to worry about snakes in Wisconsin we dont have any that are a threat. Tony O

Guest

Postby Guest » Fri Jul 08, 2005 11:00 am

Snakes are everywhere. Besides, 20 bucks for a predator guard and netting is cheap insurance. If you never need it, great. If you do need it and loose some or all of your colony to predation, you'll wish you'd made the investment.

Guest

Postby Guest » Fri Jul 08, 2005 2:15 pm

a squirrel climbed up my t-14.
But what I really wanted to say is that cats will not climb metal poles. We have six cats, neighborhood cats, etc. never do they try to climb the wood t-14 pole or the round metal poles like on a trio house. so cats would only be a problem for something on the ground.
sharon

Laverne
Posts: 2216
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:58 pm
Location: TX/Alvin
Martin Colony History: Erected 1st house in 1997. Birds were checking it out before Mike got down from the ladder. Six cavities had a little colony 1st year. Grown to 88 cavities all gourds with near 100% occupancy. Most important factor for success is rain = bugs.

Postby Laverne » Fri Jul 08, 2005 2:45 pm

yeah, you tell 'em Sharon. I've got three (3) pet cats and they can't climb metal poles either.

The wooden T-14 post would be easily climbed if one of my cats wanted to - but, why would they want to expend that energy?

Emil was having an elusive invader killing baby PMs this season. He wired up an electric wire and zapped a tomcat. This cat was jumping to the top of his predator guard and then on up the post to the housing. He won't be doin' that anymore. But, the damage was done and the babies were dead.

I just wanted you to know that the average house cat can and will climb a wooden post with little effort if he wants to. And because they are exceptional jumpers - predator guards would not stop them. So, be careful - my cats are very interested in the activity around my PM colony - but, they run for the barn when a defensive PM dive bombs them.
Sincerely,
Laverne

Guest

Postby Guest » Fri Jul 08, 2005 3:26 pm

OK....I guess a farm cat might go up a wooden t-14....but my well fed house cats wouldn't....some are too fat, so cann't even go up a tree (although he is on a diet now and slimming down)....some have too much arthritis, some never learned how to hunt. the mother teaches the cats to hunt, and if that didn't happen, then they have no idea how to hunt or what to do with a mouse if they caught one.

Guest

Postby Guest » Fri Jul 08, 2005 3:31 pm

Sharon you're missing the point-get predator guards up. After 20 years you can't afford not to. Your origninal question was about snakes, and if you live on any continent except Antarctica, you live among them. Even if you don't believe me, isn't it logical to put them up anyway?

Guest

Postby Guest » Fri Jul 08, 2005 4:01 pm

J Gragg...
I have racoon/squirrel predator guards up. I just don't have anything for snakes, and had never thought about snakes, have never seen a snake in our neighborhood, and wondered if snakes were only a problem in the South or near water. So if I need to worry about snakes, then I have to figure out what stops them. My yard is open with next door neighbors that have kids that play in it....so has to be safe for children's toys....etc.

but I did get carried away with the cats...wasn't too happy to hear someone was trapping cats.

thanks
sharon

Laverne
Posts: 2216
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:58 pm
Location: TX/Alvin
Martin Colony History: Erected 1st house in 1997. Birds were checking it out before Mike got down from the ladder. Six cavities had a little colony 1st year. Grown to 88 cavities all gourds with near 100% occupancy. Most important factor for success is rain = bugs.

Postby Laverne » Fri Jul 08, 2005 4:03 pm

:oops: :oops: :oops:

Ok, Sharon. I was prodding you along there and I apologize. I get very defensive when people start talking about house cats and hurting them (I love them). I am with you on this one - my oldest cat is 12 and I bottle fed him from a newborn because his mother abandoned him in a terrible storm. My cats are not farm cats - they are well kept and over fed, too. Two of my cats wouldn't know what to do with a mouse if you gave them one - but, they might play with it until it died.

I am very serious about defending my Purple Martin colony from my own cats. I am also very serious about defending my long time pet cats from "people" who don't know them and would trap them and/or kill them. I understand how you feel about that.

Do you recall another "Sharon in Central TX" who had attracted her very first ever PM pair and they had produced four beautiful little nestlings and suddenly one day they were gone. They and their mother had been killed and devoured by a Rat Snake. Her loss was heartfelt by every person reading this Forum and nobody wants to see it happen to you. I think that is why you are being warned - almost instructed - to get those predator guards up. I need to get my predator guards up, too. My PM poles are not protected from the snake and I know it is only a matter of time before my colony pays the price for my failure to take this simple precaution. So, this fall, new racks will be built and ground predator guards will be installed on every pole.
Sincerely,
Laverne

Guest

Postby Guest » Fri Jul 08, 2005 4:21 pm

I think the best defense is a stovepipe-type gaurd that wobbles. Then put avian netting (you can get it at Lowes) above and below it. Then you have 3 lines of defense.

Admittedly, this isn't the prettiest set up but I did it and my neighborhood has some strict covenants so I know where y'all are coming from about the looks.

I've had my heartbreaks, but never snakes. Laverne's right we hear it all the time and it's a very commont posting to see snake attacks...almost daily in the spring. That's why you're getting the buzzsaw.

With one pair after so long, you have to do everything as absolutely right as you can, and you'll need some luck, besides!

Guest

Postby Guest » Fri Jul 08, 2005 4:31 pm

Laverne.
Now I know why I have always liked reading your posts....you love cats too....I have six. most of them I got as abandoned/abused/sick or whatever....not a "planned family".....they are indoor cats when bluebirds are in the yard, but they can go outside in fall and winter for an hour or so. then I call "breakfast" and they come in.

I guess my main question regarding snakes still is a little unclear to me. I know there are small "garter" snakes that are about a foot long in some neighborhoods. Just cause I haven't seen any I guess doesn't mean they aren't in our subdivision. One of the posts above thought we didn't have snakes that went up poles in Wisconsin. I know I have had Bluebirds on metal pole with stovepipe racoon guard for 5 years and never lost a baby yet. So not sure if snakes live in our yard.

Maybe will try to see what a snake guard is. I was reading here it has something to do with netting.

anyway....I guess I like the people on the forum since they care for birds, and probably care for other animals too.
sharon

Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6192
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Postby Louise Chambers » Fri Jul 08, 2005 6:06 pm

Sharon,

I think you are all set with the guards you have in place (for protection from raccoons & squirrels). Wisconsin is pretty much outside of the range of the rat snakes that are such a problem in other parts of the martin's breeding range, except for some of the SW corner of the state. I believe Mary Dawnsong had posted some information about this earlier this season but it was lost in the big Forum crash. Snake predation is nowhere near as common in the northern US and Canada as it is in the south - though we know of a NJ mentor who has seen several cases of snake predation, and also had a report from an Ontario landlord.

Guards should be placed so the top of the guard is no less than 4 feet above ground level - this is what's suggested on guards for bird houses or bird feeders, and has always kept my feeders & nest boxes delightfully squirrel free and raccoon free too -

For those in the range of any of the rat snakes, and especially in coastal areas and southern states, a back up guard of netting, installed above your regular pole guard, is a good insurance policy. Every pole that supports a birdhouse needs a pole guard for protection against raccoons & snakes -

Louise

Laverne
Posts: 2216
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:58 pm
Location: TX/Alvin
Martin Colony History: Erected 1st house in 1997. Birds were checking it out before Mike got down from the ladder. Six cavities had a little colony 1st year. Grown to 88 cavities all gourds with near 100% occupancy. Most important factor for success is rain = bugs.

Postby Laverne » Fri Jul 08, 2005 9:27 pm

Yes, I love cats and dogs and squirrels and skunks and ducks and coons and all kinds of birds. I love horses and cows and deer and coyotes and wolves. I guess you could honestly say, I just love all animals. God's beautiful creatures who have no say in what happens to their environment here in the world of man.

I am compassionate and I feel the pain of the tiniest creature who is suffering. I should have followed a different path in my life - I almost became a veterinarian, but became a mother instead...

What's your story...???
Sincerely,
Laverne


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