First Timer planning for Spring 21

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Hanaho01
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:54 pm
Location: Central Tennessee

First would like to say hey from middle Tennessee as this is first post.

Planning on putting up my first Martin housing for next spring and had a question(s). Have been reading questions and information on this forum and just finished Stokes Martin book to have some background knowledge. limited as it may be. My question concern's housing. I think i am going to go with gourds starting with 6 S&K. Tractor supply has the BO9 6 pack at a really good price. i would add tunnels. Now i see that S&K has Black BO Eleven at basically the same price, i just have to paint them. Again i would add tunnels to these. Has anyone tried the Black BO 11 or Black BO9? If yes how is quality? The cost saving is pretty substantial over standard BO 9 or 11. From reading it's seems the larger is better, is that correct?

Also anyone using the S&K tri tel pole to mount gourds on? Already have one but if to light duty (we do get those straight line high winds in spring) I will go to round pole. I wonder if i could even lift the pole sections anyway on tri tel

Is it true that House Sparrows tend to avoid gourds? The House Sparrow and Starlings took over my neighbors 12 room house again this year. Only Swallow he got was a family of Tree Swallows. I am working with him to reduce the population of both Sparrows and Starlings.

All the questions I can think of for now.
Thanks
Randy
Black Jack
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon May 06, 2019 4:37 pm
Location: NC

I use the S&K Tri Pole on 2 of my 6 gourds. I tried the plastic gourds you mentioned on the same 2 tri poles a year earlier. The martins would land on the porches that i had attached and look in. They never did take to the gourds. This past winter i grew my own gourds and painted them and this is what the results were. You might be lucky and attract them with plastic gourds like a lot of folks do. The houses do attract starlings and sparrows. I have a house that starlings are always trying to take over.
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flyin-lowe
Posts: 2935
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

I think you will be a lot happier if you save some money up over the winter and purchase something a little sturdier than the tri tell pole. I started out trying them and they just don't hold up well if you get any wind at all. The first one I had a plastic house on the top and it was bent the first season. The retailer exchanged it for me and the next year I built a T 14 but later I ended up putting up the brand new tri tel pole with only a perch at the top, deciding to use it for extra perch space. With no house on top to catch the wind this pole had bent over the years so I know it would have been bent really bad if it had weight on it. I think S&K offers some other types of poles and gourd racks now that are a little better. There might be some people on here who have had those up for a few years and can tell you how they are. With all the time and effort that goes into a martin colony I would hat to get a new colony established only to have it destroyed by a pole failure. If you shop around for commercially made reputable gourd racks you will see that almost all of them cost many times more than the S&K, there is a reason for that. The first gourd rack I bought was a AAA 14 foot unit which is made of 2 inch square aluminum. It is over 10 years old and still holding up very well. If I decide to expand my colony again in the future I would more than likely purchase another AAA.
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.
Black Jack
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon May 06, 2019 4:37 pm
Location: NC

Had the tri poles up for 3 yrs. Never had any issues with them. If you hang heavy plastic gourds on them then you just might have issues with them but not cured original grown gourds which are lighter than plastic gourds. That is what i run and am satisfied with the tri pole. Each his/her own. Had them up in hail storms and hurricane weather.
Martinear
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:00 pm
Location: Justin, TX
Martin Colony History: Started 2015 with 6 HTG excluders, added 6 S&K Bo with excluder tunnels in 2016. Full occupancy both years, many fledglings.

Yes, I also bought the tractor supply S&K 9's, and have 18 of them this season. Added the excluder tunnels to them. The tunnels come with these plastic push rivets that sometimes don't seat well, so I also caulked the tunnels to the gourds with silicone. One thing to make SURE to do, is to cut out the flat plate in the front of the gourd that has the entrance hole in it BEFORE attaching the tunnels. If not, there will be a impossibly small room between the two entrances that WILL trap a Martin, and imprison the birds in the gourd. At least, cut the top half of the plate off if you want to have a bit of a baffle between the nesting chamber and the entrance. There is a score line molded into the plate that you can simply trace with a razor knife to remove the plate. Once you get that set up, you'll like the gourds. I plan to add another 12 next year. I would probably buy the S&K 11 gourds if TSC sold them, as more space is usually welcome. That said, the 9's have worked well too since the tunnels add another 3 inches.

I have two of the tri poles. I had one other one fold over in high winds once, but it had a 12-unit square house on it with lots of flat-plate area that caught wind. With gourds on the tri poles, I haven't had a problem yet. The other poles are round and they held up well.

Hope this helps.
Hanaho01
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:54 pm
Location: Central Tennessee

Thanks for info.....will look to get stronger pole. Straight line winds of 50-60 mph not unusually fronting a thunderstorm. I do have a tri pole setup for bat house that has held up well, but it is a chore to lift the pole with box on top
MartinBoy14012
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:18 pm
Location: Barker,NY

My site is on the shores of Lake Ontario and subject to crazy high winds and storms. I bought a Troyer deluxe 12 gourd rack and couldn't be happier. The rack in high winds does great and have had no issues. I started out with the 6 pack of Bo9's from Tractor Supply and bought the tunnels, cooling caps, and screw on access port adapters from S&k Direct. The Deluxe 12 is only $15.00 dollars more than the 6 place rack and allows for expansion as your colony grows. In the meantime you have extra perches for your set up. Look around for Troyer products as there are several companies representing the product line. Here is a picture of my setup with 6 Bo9's:
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Hanaho01
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:54 pm
Location: Central Tennessee

Wow very nice.
Hanaho01
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:54 pm
Location: Central Tennessee

May have found solution to pole. Was thinking last night about building my own pole and lowering device Found this plan this morning

https://www.pgc.pa.gov/InformationResou ... /plan7.pdf


Think this way to go. All I need is 4x4. I know I can get 16 ft pole. Would still leave about 13 ft above ground for post
johncanfield
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon May 04, 2020 5:13 pm
Location: Texas

I also have the Troyer deluxe 12 gourd rack with the Conley 2 entrance (and tunnel of course) on a two inch square pole, three inch is available but the two inch version is fine for 12 gourds. Mine has been up for years in all kinds of weather conditions, wind gusts of 40 mph are fairly common in thunderstorms. These gourds are easy to inspect for nest checks - lower the gourds, unscrew the cap and make an inspection, treat for mites as necessary and raise back up. I highly recommend this system over anything you can buy at Tractor Supply.
John
JJ Ranch
Texas Hill Country
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2935
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Wood 4x4 post can twist and warp a lot, causing the rack to get stuck in an up or down position. There was some old threads on here years ago from people who built their own out of wood. I was thinking they had better luck using 2x4's with a piece of plywood in between them to make something similar to a 4x4.

If you want to DIY you might also check some local scrap yards. Both of my T14 poles are made from 3 1/2 inch galvanized water pipe. They are vary sturdy and can be found cheap if you have a scrap yard/recycling center near by. I would have to go back and look but I think the last one I bought was 20-21 foot long and was around $50.00 give or take. The first one I bought years ago new from a plumbing supplier. That was long enough ago before metal prices went crazy. I think at the time the pipe new was around $3.00 a foot. Last time I priced it a few years ago they were wanting near $12.00 a foot.
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.
MartinBoy14012
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:18 pm
Location: Barker,NY

A follow up to my Previous post. I took the long and expensive way to get a setup I was happy with. I started up with the 6 bargain bo9’s and bought a S&K 2-3/8” round pole fountain rack and sent it back. The lack of quality was extremely disappointing and I ended up eating over $100.00 shipping for both directions. I ended up buying a Troyer Deluxe 12 for only a few dollars more and it’s a night and day difference. All Their items are well thought original designs By Creative Universe. This is why the majority of landlords use Troyer products. I don’t live at my site year round and feel confident that my setup will be secure in storms when I’m not there. I’m fairly new at this but spend the money once and be happy. Most landlords use Troyer gourds, I have had good luck with the bo9’s as a beginner. You can always start with the 6 Bo9’s and add 6 Troyer gourds as you colony grows.
Good luck!
Hanaho01
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:54 pm
Location: Central Tennessee

Thanks for all the input. The Troyer pole system does seem like the way to go. I even like the troyer gourds being they are one piece construction. Now I just have to convince the wife To let me spend the extra money. My plan is to have something ready to go by January .
johncanfield
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon May 04, 2020 5:13 pm
Location: Texas

You won't regret putting up a Troyer system, it's an easy way to landlord Martins. I try to have my gourds cleaned and ready to go about mid to end of February, I think you should be good shooting for end of February.
John
JJ Ranch
Texas Hill Country
Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1883
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".

johncanfield wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:28 pm
You won't regret putting up a Troyer system, it's an easy way to landlord Martins. I try to have my gourds cleaned and ready to go about mid to end of February, I think you should be good shooting for end of February.
.
..
... Well said John.... Troyer System, is hard to beat...

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
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