Ultimate Gourd Rack Bundle Thoughts

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Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:48 pm
Location: TX

Ultimate Gourd Rack Bundle Thoughts

Postby meli » Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:20 pm

Hi, a newbie here! We are in our second year of Purple Martins and have been looking at upgrading our current housing. This year, we found out that we were doing lots of things wrong (no predator guards, no nest checks...), so we've been doing lots of research recently to get things right now and also for next year and the years to come! We have since put up predator guards (hawks are the worst :-( ) on the houses we have now, but in our research have found out that they are too small for PMs. So, for next year, we are looking at switching to gourds(we've read to keep up the house we have now next year to ease into the transition). We are looking at purchasing the Ultimate Gourd Rack Bundle with crescent openings, along with the predator guards. We will probably put up 12 or so of the gourds next year and keep the others empty to use for nest changes, if needed and then reevaluate for the next year. So, for those that have this bundle, what are your thoughts. Thank you so much!

G Saner
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:37 pm
Location: TX/Kerrville
Martin Colony History: Fort Worth, TX (1967-1976), The Colony, TX (1981-1985), Carrollton, TX (1986-2013), Kerrville, TX (2015-present).

Two SuperGourd poles (12 gourds on each) at River Point Assisted Living Center.

Re: Ultimate Gourd Rack Bundle Thoughts

Postby G Saner » Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:49 am


I have two Deluxe Gourd Racks (12 gourds each) that I am very happy with. I have had them since 2000. I prefer gourds due to the higher occupancy rate compared to a house. This year I had 22 out of 24 gourds raise fledglings. You are correct to leave the house an extra year.

My personal opinion is that two poles of 12 gourds are better than one pole of 24 (if you have room). It can take a while to do nest checks on 24 gourds. During that time the nestlings are not being fed. Also, 24 gourds can be a little heavy in high winds although the Ultimate has a 3 inch pole.

I think you would be happy with either. My gourds are nearly 20 years old and look great. I expect them to be good for at least another 20 years. I always tell my mentees to divide the initial cost by at least 25 years.
G Saner

Posts: 693
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

Re: Ultimate Gourd Rack Bundle Thoughts

Postby Spiderman » Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:13 pm

Like everything else in life it depends on how much you want to spend. I have 3 Gemini Gourd racks with Troyer Horizontal Gourds. They come with 24 gourds and a 3" Aluminum pole. The pole is 16' tall when assembled. Wish I would have bought them 15 years ago. It is a two layer rack. My wife checks the bottom layer of gourds while I check the upper level.

They will sell them as a package.

I don't get the box of pine straw. I have plenty locally. The tunnel trap will come in handy at some point either for Starlings or performing nest checks. You may elect to omit the predator guard and use 1/2" & 3/4" netting which is what I do to catch any snakes that try to climb the pole.
2008 - 33 PAIR - FLEDGED 96 YOUNG
2009 - 51 PAIR - FLEDGED 166 YOUNG
2010 - 45 PAIR - FLEDGED 146 YOUNG
2011 - 33 PAIR - 128 HATCHED, 97 FLEDGED
2012 - 37 PAIR - 119 HATCHED, 101 FLEDGED

Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6727
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)
Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

Re: Ultimate Gourd Rack Bundle Thoughts

Postby Emil Pampell-Tx » Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:51 pm

Whatever you choose, here are some suggestions:

1)Do not put too many gourds on one pole, I would max it out at 24. They get too heavy with more, and it takes longer to check each pole, and the martins probably do not like the long delays in feeding
2)space the poles far apart. Ten feet is very close, I would suggest more space between poles if you have the room.
3)be sure to use a predator guard that is effective. Some of the short ones are not reliable. I suggest electric, 6ft of pvc, or a netting that is well placed so that the snake must crawl thru it.
4)I use sevin powder before the season, and I usually never get any mites. Taking the housing down in the winter does not kill the mites, the housing needs to be treated as the spring season starts.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps

Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:48 pm
Location: TX

Re: Ultimate Gourd Rack Bundle Thoughts

Postby meli » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:44 am

Hi G Saner, Spiderman and Emil,

Thank you so much for your thoughts! They are all very informative! I'm going to check out the other racks and gourds that you mentioned to make a decision. Will let you know what I get and hopefully will have some good Purple Martin photos to share with everyone next season! :grin:


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