Posts Tagged ‘snakes’

Snake Netting DIY Must Do!

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Facebook (in general) can be a good source for information. The multiple groups that gather people with similar interests can be a great way to learn from others. Yesterday I found a great description of how to easily and effectively add snake netting (aka bird netting) to your martin housing to prevent snake predation.

Anyone that has been in martins long enough should know that a snake can EASILY climb up ANY pole. There is no pole a snake cant climb people. There are only a few reasons why you may not have had this happen to you yet. 1. You don’t have martins. 2. You didn’t see it happen, but it did. 3. It’s about ready to happen. So is it really worth the heartache? Nope.

Our thanks to Robert I. for the following:

I’ve had a lot of questions about my snake netting and custom supports, so here you go. Each tuft has a full 14 foot roll of netting in it used FULL width. The supports are both flat bar and angled aluminum stock with holes drilled in each to be able to zip tie the netting. Then zip tied at top and bottom to seal the tuft into the neat ball shape. An animal cannot stand on the supports. They are on edge and/or cut to bend down and give way at any extra weight. Just heavy enough to support the netting and nothing else. I do put swinging EZ off guards above them once birds are here. I cannot poke a finger fully in without it getting stuck anywhere in the tuft. Hope it helps someone. Overkill? Hell yes! I’m extremely OCD on things. Have to look and perform the way I want them too, no matter the cost or effort. I’m my own worst critic. Each one of these took a full 5 hours to create start to finish. There are 3 inch square, 2 inch square and round poles included in pics. The tufts are large and just dense enough. The brackets above them will later raise to support my swinging EZ off predator guards.

Our sincere thanks to Robert I. for allowing us to post these photos.

Snake Netting Making an Early Save!

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

20140303-135938.jpg
Snake netting is one of the cheapest, easiest, and most effective way to protect your purple Martin colony from the very real danger of snakes. Though it is early in the season, and the birds have just started nest building, a snake has already been caught in our snake netting.
Snake netting is really a product called bird netting. Available in the garden section of any home improvement store. Learn more by reading the following from a blog entry of ours from 2011.

How to Make Snake Netting to Protect Your Martins
Bluebird trails, Tree swallow boxes and purple martin landlords can all benefit from using snake netting (actually bird netting) on your poles. Snakes can climb up any pole and can even thwart many predator guards. Since no predator guard is 100% fool proof, this quick and easy tip can further decrease the chances of one of these critters from slinking their way up your martin pole.

Bird netting can be found at just about any garden center, home improvement center and is used to keep birds from eating the fruit and veggies in your garden. It can be found in either rolls or flat packaging, and comes in several sizes. We recommend using 2 sizes to protect against larger and smaller snakes. 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch.

The exact way to attach the netting to your poles is unimportant. The netting needs to be held out and away from the pole to both prevent ground predators from using the net to circumvent any other predator guards in place (such as a stovepipe type) and to make the snake go through the net rather than up and around it. Thus the exact way to layer the netting is a debatable issue. Many different techniques have been used successfully. The main idea is for it to be above your predator guard to serve as a last “hail Mary” of protection. The netting should be full and hang loosely. Think of a big fluffy skirt under your housing.

Purple Martin Colony Loss: Getting Your Martins Back

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Here is a question I received concerning what to do when a colony is lost due to predation.

Q:

Dear PurpleMartins-R-Us:
My 92-year old grandfather has two purple martin houses (a 24-compartment house and a 12-compartment house). Unfortunately, after about 10 years of successfully colonizing, snakes climbed the poles about five years ago and that was, of course, the end of the purple martins. He misses them dearly and is highly motivated to resume his landlord duties should the martins come home.
My question is, how do we bring the martins back? He continues to clean the houses and raise them in time for their migrations, but to no avail. Do we need to replace the houses? Do we need to move the houses?
We appreciate any advice you can offer and thank you for your time!

A:

Basically he has to start from scratch. Use tools like dawnsong CD’s to attract them in to the site and decoys, prevent any further predation from snakes and he should be able to attract new martins from his surrounding area. Unfortunately, The martins that lived in his houses, that lost babies due to the snakes, will never return. Moving or changing the houses should not be necessary.

This question highlights the need to vigilance when it comes to protecting your colony from predation. Predator Guards, Snake netting and nest checks are tools that can keep your martin colony healthy and thriving.

How to Make Snake Netting to Protect Your Martins

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

Krueger Snake NetBluebird trails, Tree swallow boxes and purple martin landlords can all benefit from using snake netting (actually bird netting) on your poles. Snakes can climb up any pole and can even thwart many predator guards. Since no predator guard is 100% fool proof, this quick and easy tip can further decrease the chances of one of these critters from slinking their way up your martin pole.

Bird netting can be found at just about any garden center, home improvement center and is used to keep birds from eating the fruit and veggies in your garden. It can be found in either rolls or flat packaging, and comes in several sizes. We recommend using 2 sizes to protect against larger and smaller snakes. 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch.

European Starling and Bird Netting

The exact way to attach the netting to your poles is unimportant. The netting needs to be held out and away from the pole to both prevent ground predators from using the net to circumvent any other predator guards in place (such as a stovepipe type)  and to make the snake go through the net rather than up and around it. Thus the exact way to layer the netting is  a debatable issue. Many different techniques have been used successfully. The main idea is for it to be above your predator guard to serve as a last “hail Mary” of protection. The netting should be full and hang loosely. Think of a big fluffy skirt under your housing.

The image of the Krueger Snake Net above will take you to the website of Audubon-omaha.org page on how to make your own snake netting.