Gourd racks and gourds - Going out of business

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Trishy
Posts: 451
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:25 am
Location: Wisconsin/Shell Lake
Martin Colony History: Colony started in 2009 with 2 pair.
Currently I have 3 gourd racks with 24 gourds. One gourd rack will be for sy arrivals only.
Bo Eleven gourds 20

It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to make this my final year as a purple martin landlord. The last 10 years have been great, and I truly love hosting martins, but the last 2-3 years are more than my heart can handle. I am surrounded by trees, and have just enough room for the martins to manage. In 10 years the trees are higher and bushier, and the resident sharp shinned hawks are wreaking havoc. The trees are not mine to cut down, so getting rid of them is not an option. The hawks have killed many adults, leaving babies to starve to death, and with babies now fledging, they are getting those. They also grabbed a baby kingfisher yesterday, not long after it left its' nest for the first time. As to why the kingfishers decided to nest in a 25' sand bank behind the garage this year is a mystery. Bad choice as it seems. It was heart wrenching listening to the baby scream until he was out of hearing range.
I have 3 gourd racks that will hold 24 gourds. They are home made by my brother in law. Currently the gourd arms are 5/8", I think, and if left as is you will have to drill holes in all new gourds you use to get them to fit. That was not my idea, and I honestly don't recommend that. I was not given the option to use the size I wanted to use, which would have been the smaller ones. He saved me a tremendous amount of money, so I kind of just went with it. I made him drill all of the gourds. If you choose to use the owl cages, which have worked great for barred owls, the arms can be made shorter, and a 3/8" rod can be cable clamped on there. If you don't need the cages you can just clamp the smaller rods on. The owl cages screw on the top, so will have to be put those on before you put the poles up, unless you have something to lift you that high. I have several aluminum rods also. You are welcome to whatever you wish to take. The pole protectors are home made also. While they are not great, they have served my purpose just fine. I am asking what I consider to be a small fee, mostly to kind of cover the work my brother in law has put into it. Actually it won't come close, but that is OK. The setup will have to be picked up, or I may be able to deliver. Please email if you are interested.
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Last edited by Trishy on Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
Trish
bobeteb
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:03 pm
Location: IL/Breese
Martin Colony History: 2014 no birds 12 rm trio house
2015 1 ASY pair fledged 5 modified trio to large rooms with 4 TVG under
2016 added second gourd rack with 2 THGs and added third floor to trio
2 ASY pair fledged 10.
2017 added 2 Bo 11 gourds, 6 pair 26 eggs 23 fledged.
2018 adding 2 more THGs and a 4th floor to the trio, hopefully something for everyone. All SRE, cant shoot in town, can't wait for April.
2018 16 pair fledged 65, great summer.
Just finished building a T14 and will be hanging 4 troyer gourds under it so we will see if my returning birds approve of the improvements for 2019.

Where are you located I would be interested in some of the gourds
BillieJR
Posts: 677
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:39 am
Location: Monroe, WI

I wish I lived closer and I would donate to the cause and take one or two off your hands but we're too far apart. This is such a sad thing for you - I feel so badly. I wish you could find another way to make it work for you. I'm so glad you've had 10 good years, tho. ((hugs))
Billie from south central Wisconsin
Trishy
Posts: 451
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:25 am
Location: Wisconsin/Shell Lake
Martin Colony History: Colony started in 2009 with 2 pair.
Currently I have 3 gourd racks with 24 gourds. One gourd rack will be for sy arrivals only.
Bo Eleven gourds 20

Thank you Billie.

I am in northwest Wisconsin, a few miles west of Shell Lake. Unfortunately it looks to be quite a distance from you. All but 1 of the gourds hanging have been drilled with a 5/8" hole so they will only be good for these racks. I do have a few other gourds with the 3/8" hole. A couple of S&K Bo Elevens, 3 S&K double gourds, and 2 Troyer vertical gourds. I also have a couple of individual wooden gourds, but they are a little heavy for the gourd racks that I have.
Trish
Hanover Bill
Posts: 615
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 3:10 pm
Location: Pennsylvania/Hanover Township
Martin Colony History: 2009 & 10 - 0
2011 & 12 - Visitors
2013 - 2 pr. fledged 9
2014 - 3 pr. fledged 13
2015 - 7 pr. fledged 27
2016 - 15 pr. fledged 72

Hi Trishy;

I'm sorry to hear that you are closing down your site. On the other hand, I understand that being a landlord can be heart breaking at times. Nature can be cruel, and dealing with some of the problems a landlord encounters can push us to the limits of our patience, I know, I've been there.

I remember a few years back you were kind enough to send me an item which I needed, I think it was a Dawn Song recording, but I'm not sure so forgive me if it was something else, senior moments you know. Anyway it was a very kind gesture on your part.

I hope you find happiness and good health in your post landlord life.

Best Wishes;
Hanover Bill.
2009 & 10 - 0
2011 & 12 - Visitors
2013 - 2 pr. fledged 9
2014 - 3 pr. fledged 13
2015 - 7 pr. fledged 27
2016 - 15 pr. fledged 72
Matt F.
Posts: 3896
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

My heart goes out to you Trishy.
Your descriptions of what you and your birds have been dealing with really hit hard.
The USFWS needs to do its job, and realize that there are some raptors (especially Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks) whose numbers have reached critical mass in many areas, and need to be able to be legally controlled.
Trishy
Posts: 451
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:25 am
Location: Wisconsin/Shell Lake
Martin Colony History: Colony started in 2009 with 2 pair.
Currently I have 3 gourd racks with 24 gourds. One gourd rack will be for sy arrivals only.
Bo Eleven gourds 20

Thank you so much Matt and Hanover Bill. I truly appreciate your sentiments. Hanover Bill, it was indeed the dawn song. I had forgotten about that. You are certainly correct about the over abundance of hawks. I see them everywhere. They have certainly beat me. Very smart birds. Such is nature.
Trish
robdaubs
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 2:31 pm
Location: Ontario/Forest

Hi I may be interested.Im on Forest Ontario.I have a post box in Port Huron Michigan.
Do you ship?
Wildriver
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 2:48 pm
Location: Luck Wisconsin
Martin Colony History: Landlord of colony started in 1940 by grandfather. Completely lost colony due to houses that did not provide protection from owls.
New T-14 houses installed. 100% full with no nest abandonment due to owl guards, predator lights and decoys.
Starting new colonies in Minneapolis with new T-14 houses. Planning on community martin houses in park system. Re-claimed wetlands next to city lakes would be excellent site. Currently their are No colonies in Minneapolis, MN. Hoping to have same success as I had in Western Wisconsin

Hi Wisconsin neighbor,
I had similar issue with Coopers Hawk. They would swoop in and grab martins. One time I Had a hawk grab a martin and bring him into a lower branch. I ran up to him, looked him in the eye, and said DROP HIM ! DROP HIM NOW ! He looked at me, dropped the male martin and flew away. The martin rested and flew later that day!
Then I put up martin decoys on perch rods. The hawk has hit on the decoys so many times that they are upside down and a couple have fallen off. It has worked well for me. Seems that the hawk always goes for the slow moving bird.....the decoy.
I also use dove decoys around a bird feeding station to the side of the martins. Hawks love doves. Anyway it gives the martins time to escape. Best defence is the bald eagle that perches directly above my housing. Eagles hate hawks and owls. Having my best year ever !
Trishy
Posts: 451
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:25 am
Location: Wisconsin/Shell Lake
Martin Colony History: Colony started in 2009 with 2 pair.
Currently I have 3 gourd racks with 24 gourds. One gourd rack will be for sy arrivals only.
Bo Eleven gourds 20

Hi Wildriver, I guess you are my neighbor. I had decoys up last year. While he did hit them a few times, I am limited on places to put them, so he got use to them, and wouldn’t go after them anymore. I checked the last 2 racks today and found 7 more babies dead from starvation and 3 abandoned nests. This is definitely it for me. My last nest fledged today. A lone sy female hung in there and fed 2 babies on her own. I assume her mate was a hawk victim. I was glad to see them make it. Hope you had a good season.

Hi Robdaubs, I hesitate to ship as it will cost a fortune. The poles do not come apart, and they are 15’ long. The gourds will only work with these racks as the holes are drilled with a 5/8” hole. Sorry about that.
Trish
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