Owls at Night

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Spiderman
Posts: 822
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

So, I’ve been a member of the Forum for many years and trying to deter owls from catching Martins at night has always been an issue that didn’t have an answer.

For Christmas last year a neighbor bought a laser light that projects red, blue, and green light dots into their trees. The lights move and form various designs as it goes through it’s routine. I eventually bought one too.

I finally had to turn it off because we were feeding deer in the backyard and it scared them so bad at night (lights crawling across the ground) that they wouldn’t even return during the daytime.

So fast forward to about a week ago. There is a tree about 100 yards from the ground racks and I check the ground under it every few days searching for Martin feathers. Sure enough as in years past, the flight feathers from Martin wings were on the ground. I picked up all of the feathers and put them in the trash.

So I hooked the laser light up so that it has dots crawling across the gourds at night. It’s been 4 nights and so far there are no Martin feathers under the tree. I set it on a timer to come on at 9:00pm and go off at 5:00am.

So if you purchased one of the laser lights for Christmas to display designs on your roof, you might want to dust it off and give it a try. The light pattern movement on the gourds and the ground may be the answer we have all been looking for.

Best of Luck!
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
brent
Posts: 451
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Very interested. What is yours called? It doesn't affect your martins? I guess by 9 they're all in bed. Let me know the specific name. I want to get one. It's a matter of time here. I saw a GHO a couple of weeks ago perched in a distant tree. He knows they're here. Thanks, Brent
steve r
Posts: 353
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 8:16 am
Location: Antioch/Plant City Fla

I’ve been using music for years to keep the owls away. My set up a PA speaker wired to a cheap radio one that’s stays on even when the power off wired to a timer. I have the PA just below the gourds on my main gourd rack. I used to get a lot of owl attacks but have none since going to the music. I play load enough to drown out the martins make noise in the gourds.
Spiderman
Posts: 822
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

It’s made by www.ledmall.com

Model: LM-LL-RGBMP-0002

I attached it to a 2X12” board and sat it on the back patio facing the gourd rack and some trees.

It’s been 2 weeks and I haven’t found anymore Martin wing feathers where the owl has been eating them.
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
deancamp
Posts: 674
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Spiderman, thanks for sharing your experience. I have not had an owl issue, but at some point I figure I will as owls set and hunt near my colony. I often ponder what approach I will take when it happens. This sounds like a good option.
Jeff Dean
Spiderman
Posts: 822
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

Well it’s been 11 days since I created this post.

I’m Happy to report that I am not having any night time visits from the Owls. There are two trees that over the years the Owls have used to pull the flight feathers and eat their Martins.

I check every afternoon and so far their have been no Martin feathers at either of these trees or the surrounding trees,

Also, I have not found any Owl feathers in my yard near the gourd racks.
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
C.C.Martins
Posts: 1131
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA made adjustments and next year was successful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021:
Home colony: mix natural gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 gourds: PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021:
PMCA member

congrats on the outside the box thinking. Sounds like it works great, especially a spot that was on their radar!
Saved your martins!
Tom
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
Gary-La
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 7:07 pm
Location: Rural Louisiana
Martin Colony History: 90 nesting pair

Spiderman - have you not seen any physical evidence , ie gourd/housing damage, etc on previous owl attacks?
Spiderman
Posts: 822
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

The only thing you will find around the gourd racks is one owl feather on occasion. If you google great horned or barred owl feathers you can become familiar with them. Owls shed feathers continually so if he visits nightly like this one did he will leave a feather on occasion.

He puts the side of his head up to a gourd and listens for life. Then he will peck on the side of the gourd softly or drag his claws across it waiting for one to look out of the tunnel. Then he will snatch the bird and leave.

They will pull the long wing feathers out and swallow the Martin whole. So if you search large trees with relatively low hanging limbs in your neighbors yard, there will be an accumulation of Martin feathers on the ground. Probably less than 50 yards from the gourd rack.
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
Spiderman
Posts: 822
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

I always pick up all the Martin feathers I find so I can see how often he is successful.

They will always be in the same place under a particular tree.
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
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