Lonestar Alamo vs Goliath

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hmouch12
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:57 pm
Location: Addis, LA

As this season comes to an end for my colony I’m looking forward to upgrading to a better set up next year. Last year was my first successful year with one pair and this year I had 8 nesting pair. My colony has fledged 28 babies so far and the last 4 Babies should fledge any day and they’ll be gone. With that being said I currently have two cheap barn houses with gourds underneath on telescopic poles. Once the birds start nesting they get much harder and heavier to lower for proper maintenance and nest checks. I also get my kids to help and they can’t handle the telescopic units so I need something that lowers with a winch. . I live in Louisiana where it’s hot so I need good options for heat, and I was looking at the Lonestar housing with the add a rack for gourds under it. I’m looking for any pros and cons of going with the Goliath or Alamo. Just curious what you experienced folks can share in regards to these houses.
Hmouch12
2018-visitors only
2019 1 pair 5 fledged
2020 8 pair 32 fledged, great year!
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1487
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm
Location: TN/Collierville
Martin Colony History: I have been exposed to purple martin sounds in utero when my mother went out to get my father away from his martin colony.
I played around the martin colony every summer and watched as my father maintained his colony. In the late 50's until the 70's he did not notice European Starlings in south Texas.
When old enough, I helped maintain his colony. My primary task was eliminating English House Sparrows with a 1956 Benjamin 317 .177 air rifle.
When I settled into my own home, I started my first colony with an original Trio Castle and Trio Grandpa. When I moved again, I did not put up any martin houses. Frustration with European Starlings in the Southeast US was overwhelming.
Found PMCA Forum and learned about modern enlarged compartments and SREHs.
Inherited my father's last martin house, a Trio Grandma, modified it to modern specifications and have had good results since then.

I like both houses and especially like the durability of aluminum vs. wood. You should not have as many problems with late spring cold snaps in Louisiana so insulated housing is less important than in northern latitude landlords. Not impossible but I feel that nest trays help reduce cold weather losses.
Soffitts can be used to ventilate the compartments for your hot summer days. The soffitts look more refined that PVC elbows and allow more ventilation.
The nest trays for the Lonestar system houses are very nice. They make nest checks so much easier. As you pointed out, gourds can be added to Lonestar houses.
Many people will try to steer you to gourd racks but you have to consider what you want.
Make your purple martins' lives safer by using SREH entrances. You have an established colony and have seen how easily purple martins take to SREH.
Mark.
Firm believer in HOSP/EUST Control, Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.
hmouch12
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:57 pm
Location: Addis, LA

Thanks Mark, I will definitely continue to offer both houses and gourds since 4 of the 8 pair I had used the houses. I want something tat will last and our heat and humidity and moisture is steering me away from anything made from wood.
Hmouch12
2018-visitors only
2019 1 pair 5 fledged
2020 8 pair 32 fledged, great year!
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2962
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

The right wood can last a vary long time if taken care of. I'm not trying to change your mind, just letting you know it shouldn't be ruled out. I think the wood houses would also be able to keep temps stable better in the hot southern temps. My first T 14 was built from Hemlock which a friend of mine hauled a load of back from TN. I had never used it before but there are some old tobacco barns built down there with it that are very old. Mine is over 10 years old, holding up well and has been re-painted once. A good quality paint and primer is the key.
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.
hmouch12
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:57 pm
Location: Addis, LA

Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind for sure. Just have to decide if I want to build vs buy as well.
Hmouch12
2018-visitors only
2019 1 pair 5 fledged
2020 8 pair 32 fledged, great year!
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2962
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

In the past I have built. Here is what I learned this year after building a T14 for a friend of mine. When I built my 2nd T-14 last year the lumber cost for cedar was $215.00. This year the same material list was just under $400.00. With Covid and other issues building material prices have skyrocketed. I had under $400.00 in the entire project last year, this year it was over $550.00 (all hardware, paint, brushes, etc.). Basically the same price as I could have bought a T14 for. The lumber is a big cost but when you start buying screws, good paint and primer, hinges, latches, etc. that stuff adds up quick as well.
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.
hmouch12
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:57 pm
Location: Addis, LA

Thanks for the info, crazy how COVID is affecting everything. If it’s close in cost, I would probably buy Vs build to save time. Still looking but I’m going to have to buy something for next year after my old tri-tel pole broke in half after a storm.
Hmouch12
2018-visitors only
2019 1 pair 5 fledged
2020 8 pair 32 fledged, great year!
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