Recent Gourds Maintenance

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jasalva
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:54 pm
Location: DE/Milton

Brought down gourds yesterday to find two gourds, having 5 eggs each last week, now empty. We have Troyer gourds with tunnels. We use predator guards and deer netting. Then as we had the rack down and were recording nests and chicks (predator guard and netting off for the check), a rat snake climbed on the gourds in a split second. Racks have mowed lawn underneath. My husband immediately removed him, no damage! This never happened before. If you have a rack by water, please beware. Maybe this is what happened to eggs, but it is hard to believe the snake got past the guard and netting! Lesson: There will always be two of us working on downed gourds!
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Electric predator guard = problem solved
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
BillieJR
Posts: 677
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:39 am
Location: Monroe, WI

Yikes - snakes is one of my biggest fears!
Billie from south central Wisconsin
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2962
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Can you post a picture of your predator guards? Rat snakes are excellent climbers and if the top of the guard is too low to the ground, or the snake netting is not puffed out enough they can get right past it. I have seen pictures of them climbing right past baffle type guards.
2020 Currently 42 nest, 110 babies, 64 eggs left to hatch(6-22-20) HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair last count 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.
jasalva
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:54 pm
Location: DE/Milton

Flyin-Lowe, Here is the picture that you requested.
jasalva
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:54 pm
Location: DE/Milton

Tried adding a photo; it didn’t work
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

Two things that always work: 1)4ft of pvc 2)electric fence charger hooked up to the poles.
As mentioned above, the predator guards are not reliable, and netting must be done correctly.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
Conrad Baker
Posts: 333
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: Paulina, Louisiana

jasalva wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:12 am
Brought down gourds yesterday to find two gourds, having 5 eggs each last week, now empty. We have Troyer gourds with tunnels. We use predator guards and deer netting. Then as we had the rack down and were recording nests and chicks (predator guard and netting off for the check), a rat snake climbed on the gourds in a split second. Racks have mowed lawn underneath. My husband immediately removed him, no damage! This never happened before. If you have a rack by water, please beware. Maybe this is what happened to eggs, but it is hard to believe the snake got past the guard and netting! Lesson: There will always be two of us working on downed gourds!
What size is the deer netting? I bought some netting at Home Depot used to prevent birds from getting at fruit trees. It came in two different sizes, I think 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch, and combined the two in different layers around the top of my 4 foot tall pvc predator guards. So far, so good.
Last edited by Conrad Baker on Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
Conrad Baker
Posts: 333
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: Paulina, Louisiana

Deleted - Duplicate post
cary-nw-fla
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:27 pm
Location: Holt, Florida

I tried the netting, but still had some get through, and also caught several. Had snake issue every year until I installed the electric fence charger guard.
2010/2011: 0 / 2012: 8 Pair / 2013: 22 Pair / 2014: 35 Pair / 2015: 39 Pair / 2016: 73 Pair / 2017: 94 Pair
Cary
jasalva
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:54 pm
Location: DE/Milton

Will find out about electric guard. Caught a snake today before it could do damage. The net caught it.
jasalva
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:54 pm
Location: DE/Milton

I think the netting is1/2 inch. Sine the first attack, we have really doubled up on netting above and below predator guard. We had matins for about 6 years at our former house and never had a snake attack. This was a hard lesson. Last year there was a psycho starling this year snakes!
Spiderman
Posts: 778
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

I had a rat snake kill 7 Martins this year, 2adults and 5 Fledglings.

For a rat snake 5' in length, I think you will need to install 3/4" netting so his head can pass through the webbing and be snared. That is 3/4" across the webbing not measured diagonally.

I found some locally at Tractor Supply, not sure you if have those in the N.E.
2008 - 33 PAIR - FLEDGED 96 YOUNG
2009 - 51 PAIR - FLEDGED 166 YOUNG
2010 - 45 PAIR - FLEDGED 146 YOUNG
2011 - 33 PAIR - 128 HATCHED, 97 FLEDGED
2012 - 37 PAIR - 119 HATCHED, 101 FLEDGED
jasalva
Posts: 73
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:54 pm
Location: DE/Milton

Thank you, SpiderMan, will look for netting. We just may have that. The snakes head got caught in the netting. With birds, you are always learning. My new location (3 years) has brought lots of challenges! As I said before, I have 6 years experience at my previous location. We were on the water, with no snake experiences.
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