Natural gourd photos...how to make

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John Miller
Posts: 4771
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Adding photos of a natural gourd, not yet painted, an example of a winter project.

Techniques for making natural gourd martin gourds vary, but here's how I do it..simple and inexpensive. Choose a 10 inch kettle gourd. I use a jig saw to cut a crescent directly into the gourd. Here it's to spec at 1 3/16 high, but with no porch you can go 1/16 larger and starlings generally can't breach (with no porch) and martins get in a little easier. I put a dowl cling rod on front, glued, but optional. I cut my crescent with a jig..a little undersized, and slowly open with rasp.

Note the hanging tube, 1/4 inch PVC with no. 10 solid strand copper wire. I learned the PVC tube from Emil Pampell...this tube not yet caulked but then will prevent water getting in.

Access port has a cap not shown. Vent is a 1 inch PVC elbow. I use threaded and screw in. I use Quad Caulk (mineral spirit cleanup). Don't forget drain holes...don't get dirty dishes in display photos John.
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C.C.Martins
Posts: 815
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

Looks great! I love the natural gourds, martins do too. Is there a point you hang the gourd to determine where the crescent is to avoid being too high or low before you make the cut? I too like the hollow tube to keep the water out.
Very nice,
Tom
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
John Miller
Posts: 4771
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Tom

Yes...if too high, water will run right in the crescent entrance or round entrance. So I'd try to place right out front. One can put an aluminum canopy over the crescent, and of course one can add tunnels, but I was just trying to illustrate the most simple martin gourd. It 's kind of hard to find these "kettle" gourds. I called on one vendor who told me she is sold out until some just harvested dry.
C.C.Martins
Posts: 815
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

Ok thank you. I am interested in how you did it, i like the look and would like to try my hand. I worry about things martins dont seem to mind...porches have to be completely level or it drives me nuts. Like your perch. When you use it, please let us know how it all went.

Im mecaically challenged and if i gave it a shot i think id ruin 5 gourds to one complete one. Willing to do it, maybe start looking at amish gourds soon. Build a stash for next year!
Thanks again,
Tom
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
Chris B
Posts: 378
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:10 pm
Location: AL/Toney

That looks pretty good. You can make a little water deflector with a bead of caulk - like an little awning - over the entrance. If you do decide to add porches, please use a rod to mount the gourd instead of dangling the gourds. The porch will act as a sail and dump out eggs and babies.

S&K sell gourd parts. https://store.skmfg.com

I just took down my 60 gourds and cleaned them out - had bigger more serious nests in the larger natural gourds, again.

Also 3 dead adults in 3 separate gourds. It was a brutal summer and I suppose they didn't want to fly home.
2014 8 gourds, 3 pairs nested. Ended w/ 24 total
2015 24 gourds, 22 nests. Lotsa birds!
2016 24 gourds and good activity.
2017 32 SREH gourds. Great activity.
2018 40 SREH gourds. Good finish despite big storm damage. No more dangling gourds.
2019 56+ SREH gourds, all on 3/8 rods. Birds did very well.
2020 56 SREH gourds.
John Miller
Posts: 4771
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Ideas for mechanically challenged. I set the gourd on my bench and wedge it between my belly (ha) and a storage drawer right behind. Some folks rest the gourd in the top of a five gallon bucket.

Then first step where I intend to place an opening is to drill a small hole large just enough for my jig saw blade to fit in.

If the drill bit when drilling falls right through, the gourd may be too soft. Some are. Emil P says gourds growing need potassium I think.

Next cut with jig on a marked line, but inside line. Next slowly enlarge the hole to right size using a rasp.

Hope these ideas help get you started. One can put Troyer tunnels in rather than just a crescent. Cut a hole large enough to slip the tunnel in and caulk or glue in place. I like to use Quad Calk (white, mineral spirit cleanup). I sometimes use Liquid nails construction glue...will harden more quickly. Others have their own preferences on caulk/glue.

John M
Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1886
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".

... John ,,,, Great job... Looks really impressive.... Enjoy your 2020 season.... :grin: :grin:

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
John Miller
Posts: 4771
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

[quote="John Miller" post_id=287663 time=1577620822 user_id=1100]
Ideas for mechanically challenged. I set the gourd on my bench and wedge it between my belly (ha) and a storage drawer right behind. Some folks rest the gourd in the top of a five gallon bucket.

Then first step where I intend to place an opening is to drill a small hole large just enough for my jig saw blade to fit in.

If the drill bit when drilling falls right through, the gourd may be too soft. Some are. Emil P says gourds growing need potash, I think.

Next cut with jig on a marked line, but inside line. Next slowly enlarge the hole to right size using a rasp.

Hope these ideas help get you started. One can put Troyer tunnels in rather than just a crescent. Cut a hole large enough to slip the tunnel in and caulk or glue in place. I like to use Quad Calk (white, mineral spirit cleanup). I sometimes use Liquid nails construction glue...will harden more quickly. Others have their own preferences on caulk/glue.

John M
[/quote]
Ladybug
Posts: 203
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:09 pm
Location: Indiana/ Jamestown
Martin Colony History: 2005-2019. Lots lookers, 2 successful nesting's.
2010- 1 pair nested,eggs destroyed(Wren).
2012- 1 pair nested, 4 eggs, 4 fledged
2019- 1 pair nested, 4 eggs, 4 fledged.

J. Miller:
Very Nice Gourds. I've raised Dipper Gourds a few years ago. I also really like the Natural Gourds.
Still have Gourds left from the years I grew them. You can use them for crafts, bowls, etc.
Thanks for all the information, very useful.. What is the Diameter of your 10 in. Kettle Gourd??
Good luck in 2020.
Joanne
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

John, did you put that "Natural gourd" sticky note on it so you wouldn't get it confused with that apple? :grin:
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
John Miller
Posts: 4771
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Brad...right.

I give one or two martin programs a year...and take this gourd and some plastic ones along to put on the demo table.

Been working on couple more naturals to give to a cousin. Ones I'm working on that I had on hand are kind of "squatty." Wish I could get some of yours that you grow, but I know shipping too much. Pumpkin Hollow is "out" right now but they are waiting on some to cure.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

I figured that's what it was John. I was just having some fun with you. I remembered that you gave some presentations on Martins, at a park IIRC.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
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