PMCA gourd setups

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ossnap
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:12 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Hello Forum, I'm a new member here. I was considering purchasing a gourd setup for a (new to me) home I recently moved into. My father had a house when I was younger and I have always wanted to setup one for myself. I keep putting it off every year it seems. Question: Does PMCA not offer the gourd bundles with the horizontal troyer gourds? Is there a big difference between the vertical VS horizontal? My brief amount of research seemed to indicate that they might prefer the horizontals? I really want to get something up ASAP for this year if possible and am considering all my options. Hoping to order something this weekend. Thanks.
James Strickland FL
Posts: 2249
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 8:04 pm
Location: Reidsville NC
Martin Colony History: 2017 Had a lot visitors no Matins nesting, hoping 2018 will be different.
2018 Had 1 pair
2019 had 30 pair

Hi ossnap and Welcome. At my site I have both and I have found that my martins go for the Vertical more than the Horizontal ones. I use now use Super gourds and Troyer. I have a starling problem and mine have conley ll and a sher entrances. Now they are heavy so you will need a strong Gourd Rack to hold them up. Good Luck this year.
PMCA MEMBER
ossnap
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:12 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Thanks for the reply, James. So, you say you have a starling problem even with the conley2 entrances? I thought those were supposed to prevent starlings? I was thinking about ordering this setup with the conley2 entrances,

https://www.purplemartin.org/shop/produ ... er-gourds/

Any preferences or recommendations when it comes to the Excluder VS Troyer gourds? It looks like the excluders have more options for entrances available. Including the crescent. If you are having issues with the conley entrances then maybe I should consider the excluder over the troyer? So many options, so confusing. arghh
John Miller
Posts: 4774
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Hello

Get them gourds up! The main consideration is having a nice open location. That said, some people have observed that martins will choose the horizontals first. it may be that the female feels more snug. However, and I'm expressing opinion, the horizontals probably are harder to vent well in the heat, and you know that late in the season-- May - June in your area -- it can get very hot. Personally, I'd go with all verticals. With the tunnels on the Troyer gourds, there's probably not much difference in making the female feel secure. the entrances on the Troyer gourds probably are not as starling resistant as those on the excluder gourds. that can be a plus at new locations, if you are concerned about martins being able to enter the small entrance initially. But probably not a big deal. I have had great success with the excluder gourds and martins enter them fine when ready. Again, the major consideration is how open - and a bit of luck.
James Strickland FL
Posts: 2249
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 8:04 pm
Location: Reidsville NC
Martin Colony History: 2017 Had a lot visitors no Matins nesting, hoping 2018 will be different.
2018 Had 1 pair
2019 had 30 pair

Hi Ossnap, No that is why I have the entrances so Starling can not get in. Starlings go to the trap because they can not get in the gourds. The Conleys are good.
PMCA MEMBER
ossnap
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:12 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Well, I placed my order for my setup just now. I appreciate the couple of replies I got. I ended up going with the following,

https://www.purplemartin.org/shop/produ ... ourd-rack/
+
12 Troyer vertical gourds with the conley2 entrances.

I found it cheaper to go ahead and go this route VS getting the 6 gourd bundle and adding 6 later. I'll admit, I did find another site that had this cheaper but not by much. I decided it was worth paying a little extra to support PMCA.

Wish me luck.
JeanS
Posts: 115
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2007 9:08 pm
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Martin Colony History: 2002 -Coates metal houses- about 18 pairs
2005 - Added a gourd rack- many more pairs
2007 - Added another gourd rack, gave the Coates houses away
2008-2015 - Experimented with many gourds & a few racks (its a sickness) fledged over 200 chicks/year. Hubby keeps records, not me. :-)
2016 - 64 gourds and expect most will be occupied

Good luck! Sorry I didn't see your questions earlier. We have used all the Troyer gourds, including the ones you went with. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. The horizontals are what we use now because the longer entrance seemed to be more protective in our own humanizing way of looking at them. We had an owl problem a few years ago. We felt like the purple martins could tuck further away from the entrance and flush less often.

However, the vertical ones are great because there is more room for the heat to rise to the top and vent out. At one point, we had both types hanging and my husband did notice a preference, but to be honest, I can't remember which one it was. It doesn't matter that much because we have a prime location and when the preferred gourds are filled, the others are used anyway. We almost always enjoy full occupancy.

I think you chose well. I'm excited for you and I hope you post updates.

All the best,
Jean S
2002 - Coates metal houses- about 18 pairs
2005-2007 - added a gourd rack, then another gourd rack = many more pairs
2008-2015 - Experimented with many gourds & a few racks (its a sickness) fledged over 200 chicks/year
2016 - 64 gourds and expect most will be occupied
ossnap
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:12 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Jean, thanks for the reply. It seems you're not too far from me either. I'm in the Copperfield area. So, hello neighbor! Anyways, I almost went with 6 of the horizontal to try both out. In the end, it was a little cheaper to get all the same. My main reason for choosing the verticals was due to the heat escape since it gets so hot here, and being able to drill the holes in them under the little built in canopies. I hope they do well, it was quite an investment. I'd really feel bad if it turns into a ghost rack. I have a fairly big backyard that I plan to put the house in the middle of. The yard backs up to an elementary school with lots of open area so I'm hoping the spot will be successful. I'll post pictures and updates for sure. I saw your racks in your other post. Those are amazing! So many gourds! /drool
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