Posts Tagged ‘purple martin gourd rack’

New Purple Martin Gourd Rack Package

Monday, February 8th, 2010

I am not sure how long this deal will be going on. It includes a New Starter 4 purple martin gourd rack and 4 Troyer gourds of your choice. The usual cost for this system is $250. The special package price is only $218 which makes it a bit more cost effective for those that are looking to buy an inexpensive martin house.

These Starter 4 racks are new to the market place and feature a pulley system for those that don’t want to deal with hoisting up a telescopic pole and want the benefits of a gourd rack at a great price. I started out in purple martins with telescopic poles but soon discovered that my manicure was allergic to raising and lowering the poles.

I am a steadfast lover of gourds over houses. The main reason is they truly reduce dominance by male purple martins that can chase other prospective residents from your house. The gourds are spaced far enough apart that this porch dominance doesn’t take place as much. Besides, gourds look cool!

Accidental Birding at a Purple Martin Colony

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

I have never really thought of myself as a birder. I mean, geez, growing up in South Florida in a basically urban environment, there were not many opportunities for me to feed my hidden bird loving tendencies.  House Sparrows and Rock Pigeons were the basic “bird de jour” in my backyard. The mockingbird and doves would make a token visit and the glimpse of a Blue Jay or red-bellied woodpecker was enough to send me flying to my diary. As a young girl all ‘black’ birds were the same, but even in this un-exotic location I was observant enough to see that there was a big bird world out there. Beyond my 80 x 100 backyard, I knew there were birds I only saw pictured in books. So it went until I moved to the semi rural area I now call home.

Every morning I look out my bedroom window and look out back. A quick glance at the Purple Martins to assure myself that they are in fact still there. I often find myself accidentally birding. Like the time I saw my first Pileated Woodpecker out on the Purple Martins favorite slash pine. Or the Red-Headed Woodpecker that I only see a few times per year, the Flickers, the Eastern Phoebes, the Blue-Gray GnatCatchers, the Bronze-Headed Cowbirds and of course the plethora of Ibis, Egrets, Herons, and other marsh birds that frequent the area.

Today was no different. I was amazed by a simple visit to the Purple Martin Gourd rack by a Red-Winged Blackbird. The Martins were all up in arms about the Turkey Vultures that were swooping way to close for comfort. The Vultures, though not a threat were quite annoying to the Martins who were up and back in frantic bursts. To be quite honest, I don’t think I have ever seen the vultures flying so low to the ground.

Then of course my attention turns, as it always does to the purple gems singing in my backyard. Dozens of them. Now with several younger SY birds looking the rack over in search of an open compartment. No shyness with me. No coyness, no attempts to duck and cover from me. Their casual disregard to my approach is as comical as my look; outside, just rolled out of bed, hair in disarray, coffee in hand and a big dumb smile on my face. My transient children that come home to partner with me in raising their young. My Purple Martins.


Purple Martin Nest Cam is ONLINE!

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

Copyright: S.Halpin/

Don’t get me wrong. My excitement is tempered with a healthy dose of reality. The nestcam is using (thank you tech support) and the birdcam is using I welcome any and all feedback on which you like better. Both insert the most annoying ads that I do NOT profit from. So please, no hate mail. The weight of the camera housing makes the gourd list to the side a bit but not too bad. Gourd #4 was the winner of the online poll to determine which gourd would get the camera first. The Nestcam seems to kick off a bit more frequently which requires me to focus a fair bit of my OCD tendencies to checking the 2 spare computers Internet connection. My husband is at the end of his patience…I think. I only know I would be. I am sure he wonders when he will get me back from the birds and is counting the days until the season is over.

This has been a very busy year. Between the websites and all that entails and my outreach efforts, I have been talking, thinking, and breathing purple.

I don’t know if I mentioned the Purple Martin presentation I gave at Green Cay Nature Center a few weeks ago. There were some 20 + people there and many questions were asked. I brought a selection of gourds and tried to “make some converts”. I have also been sending out flyer’s to local residences that have purple martin houses in their backyards.

My martins appear very happy and are quite loud. The pool water feature runs 24/7 to mask any noise that may attract Owls. We added the sheet metal to the pine tree under the Owls nest box and hope that helps to keep them safe from raccoons. But back to the martins, I need to hang more gourds to accommodate the birds that have yet to arrive. I still have yet to see a SY.

On today’s nest check I noticed that most of the gourds had either pine bark or leaves brought in and all seem used. Spotless clean of course but all but 1 or 2 have perfectly shaped nest bowls swirled like soft serve ice cream.

I hope you all enjoy the nest cam and bird cam and let me know what you think.