Need help making a decision...

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Well, I can't believe I am even doing this. I am the bird lover at my house and my husband mostly just goes along with me, but he is not as INTO martins as I am. I was commenting to him about not replacing my broken bird bath in the back yard because last year the martins did not seem to like the other birds who came to the bird bath which is only about 20-25 feet from the house. So he says something like "well we have to put something there" so I jokingly said "we could put another martin house up". He said "OK, let's do it" :lol: :shock: WOW!
So...what I want to get is a gourd rack system. What is the best choice as far as type of gourd and type of rack system?
Judy
Donnie Hurdt MN
Posts: 1717
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 11:14 pm
Location: North Prairie, MN

Most likley the best gourd and rack system to hold them would be what you like and what elce is offered in your area. I and others could go on and on about what is best and some good suggestions would be made but ultilmatly it is up to you and your budget.
Click on to the PMCA shop button above to get some starter ideas.....
Enjoy your new gourds and rack! :)
PMCA member and Martin fanatic....
2011 A pair of subbies fledged three young but none returned in 2012 :-(
2015 One Pair of subbies came and stayed a few nits but got chased away by Bluebirds and Tree swallows. :-(
2017 0ne pair of subbies nested and fledged 4 young
2018 Tree Swallows AGAIN chased away any martins that wanted to nest :evil:
2019 Same old story................ :-(
KathyF
Posts: 3519
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

Hi Judy - That's wonderful to see that your husband supports your "habit" as mine does! :lol: :lol:

Try doing a search on "gourd rack" in the forum and you'll see lots of input. Then look at some pictures of Steve Kroenke's site and some of his articles on different types of housing (including gourds).

I'm not sure where Port Neches is in TX, but it looks like all the folks here from TX get lots of Martins!

Good luck!
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com
Guest

Hi Judy,

I know how you feel about the "husband" and wondering what kind of crazy person he married!! I also got my husband, for the first time, to help my make a B&B. I am trying the Super Big Bo Combo. I think that is what is called. It has to be put together, but it is a two layered gourd. The outside white and there is a black lining one the fits inside. With us being is Texas, this should be great for heat insulation! It's heavier plastic that any of the other gourds I have purchased, but maybe because there are two in there! I really liked the way it is done. Very well thought out. I bought the tunnel attachment entrance as well. I think it will be a really nice "purchased" gourd. Also, very reasonably priced. It's S&K and I think there is a rack and pole you can get to go with any of their gourds. Let me know what you think!

J
Dawn~KS
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 2:24 pm
Location: Kansas

Hi Judy,

Sounds like exciting times are around the corner for you!!! :grin: I would suggest that you buy the best quality you can afford. You will most likely not want to give this hobby up anytime soon and if you buy a good rack from the get-go, you won't have to replace it. The martins are getting close to your area so you want to get this up soon!

Like others have said.........look in the PMCA shop, there are many good choices. It is great that you are consulting with others before buying, it may save you frustration in the long run! These birds are worth it!!
KathyF
Posts: 3519
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

Judy,
Here are a couple of posts from Steve - scroll down to read the posts also.

http://purplemartin.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9061

http://purplemartin.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9059
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com
Michael Sanford ~ OK
Posts: 233
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2004 9:00 pm
Location: Oklahoma/Edmond

Judy, I sent you a private message.
MICHAEL C. SANFORD
EDMOND, OK
Guest

Wow, you are all awesome! Thanks for all the responses and pm's. I am looking over all the ideas and I think I am close to making a decision. I know I need to decide soon so I can get it put up.

Kathy - Port Neches is in the SE corner of TX near the Louisana border, just south of Beaumont. And yes, there are plenty of martins around here.

Dawn - I definitely wanted to check around before buying. I am not totally happy with the housing I have (Trio MSS 12) and if I had known then what I know now about it, I probably would not have chosen it. But I am dealing with it.

Thanks again to everyone for the advice and suggestions.
Judy
Guest

JVincent,

Congratulations!

Here are some things I would recommend.

- Get a pole with a winch system to raise and lower the rack. If your young and strong you might go with a telescoping pole but the winch system works so much easier.

- Get a good pole that you won't have to replace in a few years as it's a lot of work. How tall does your pole need to be considering things nearby such as fences etc.? The taller the pole, the stronger it needs to be.

- Consider how high the winch is mounted on the pole and the height of the top tier of the gourd rack. Typically, the rack can only be lowered down to the winch and not lower. Will you be able to do nest checks on the top tier of the rack when it is lowered without using a ladder?

- How easy is it to remove the gourds from the rack and store them for winter? Easy to re-hang in the spring? For this reason I'm not crazy about hanging gourds using electrical wire.

- I recommend you use cable instead of rope for safety. If that rach falls it can hurt you if your standing underneath. I had this happen to me. A pulley bracket slid up the pole allowing the rope to come in contact with the sharp of a cutout in the pole and it cut the rope into allowing the rack to fall. I almost got out of the way.....still almost knocked me out and cut my head open.

Hope this helps!
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