Getting ready for HEAT

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Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6208
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

For those landlords who struggled to help martins last summer when it got so hot, especially N Texas, OK, KS - are you ready to take steps to cool housing and gourds? Since the nesting season is late, there's a strong likelihood martins will still have young when the temps go UP and stay there. Highs of 95 don't seem to cause problems, upper 90s can, and temps over 100, day after day, certainly will cause young to bail out and die.

Here's a source for shade cloth: You can probably find it at home supply stores locally, but this site has some good options as far as colors and shading options, plus hardware to secure the cloth - you don't want it flapping in the wind, blocking holes, scaring the birds.

I have a mental picture in mind for securing the cloth to perches above the gourds. I hope we don't need it, but if we do.... we are ready. Don't wait til it's hot, make a plan and get materials now.
Posts: 182
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:19 am
Location: Mississippi/Horn Lake
Martin Colony History: Since 2012

We strapped the shade boards on this afternoon since they're forecasting our start into the 90s right when the first fledging will happen on Tuesday. Still studying how to fix that western side. Yuck... and we still have a month to go here. :-(
Tiffeny N. - Horn Lake, MS - PMCA member
Since 2012
Nikkidodi - SATX
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:40 pm
Location: TX/San Antonio

After an extensive search, I settled on good 'ol Price was much better then Home Depot, Lowes or any other I could find. Of couse good price means China and I pray there are no toxic chemicals here. 6' x 16', 90% blocking, asst. colors and free shipping. total cost $27.28 ... roduct_top
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6208
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Glad that the feeding cup is working, you did a good job of setting things up. I like the idea of covering access hole with shade cloth, too. I think some landlords have installed vents in access lids, another good idea to try.
Posts: 110
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:59 pm
Location: iowa/madrid

after last yrs brutal heat in Ia, i put 1 2" luvered vent in the back of my gourds,(center) and 2 -3/4 elbows above near the top, to vent the heat, a must when you have jumpers like we had last yr, not pretty, i drilled thru my supers, and placed the elbows in, and screwed gromets to the inside, to secure , and caulked around the outside of them when secured.
hope this helps.
Posts: 1941
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 7:43 am
Location: Pratt County/Kansas
Martin Colony History: Start 2009 with one pair. Upgraded from S&K houses to two Trendsetter 12's with gourds beneath in 2013. I have experienced job, pet, and parental losses since '13. The Purple Martins lift my spirits and remind me how life continues forward by flying their little selves from Brazil back to my yard. As one forum person once told me, chin up DebA, look at the martins. Danger all around but yet they soar in the sky without a care in the world.

Thanks, Louise for posting the link. That's really helpful. Plus the Amazon tip too.
Pratt County, Kansas
2016 34 PAIR
2015 27 PAIR
2014 23 PAIR
2013 13 PAIR
2012 6 PAIR
2011 4 PAIR
2010 2 PAIR
2009 1 PAIR
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6208
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

I hope most of us can avoid the heat problems of the last two summers, but I guess north Texas, OK, and KS are more likely to have problems, so best to be prepared.

At least there has been more rainfall lately - it's funny, because nesting is way behind, but the fact that we have so many eggs and young babies now, instead of them all being fledged, they are in the nests while there is plenty to eat thanks to the rain.
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 3:12 pm
Location: Kansas/Holcomb

Here in southwest Kansas I don't know how I can possibly keep the occasional 30-40 mph wind gusts from tearing away any sort of fabric shade. All of my housing units have elbow vents and this year I attached a scrap sheet of metal above the Cedar Suite as a shade. Hope this summer ends up cooler than 2012.
arthur nonhof
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6208
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Right now long term forecasts show hotter than average in much of the country, but that does not mean all landlords will have heat problems at their colonies. It's good to be prepared ahead of time, as far as having a plan and having materials on hand.

Art, a shade panel for your house is a great idea - anything that you can do to shield west side of house and roof from the sun will help the martins.
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