My idea for a pole guard on a T-14 wood pole

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Guest

Here's my problem. Wife says "if it don't look good, its not going in the yard".
Stove pipe, garbage cans and buckets are out of the question. I'm thinking 3' high Plexiglas panels above the winch. I'm thinking I can counter sink the screws to prevent any grab points for snakes. Also going to bevel the top of each panel so the T-14 would slide over the plexi and not get caught up on an edge. Anyone foresee any problems? Image
RC Moser
Posts: 1537
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 3:25 am

I had a tin chinney adapter 14" necked down to 10" and about 10" long on the bottom of my T14 and a snake still defeated it climbing the cable. I finely put bird netting above the cranks and wrapped it between and around the cable. SO far I got two snakes out of it and have found none in the nest cavities. I would atleast make it 16 to 20 inches long and till use the bird netting.
jimnks
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:31 pm
Location: kansas/tonganoxie

hi dennis,i have a solution, tell wife who is in charge of yard decorations,then build it the way she wants it.I put a square bucket on mine and painted it ,wife said it still looked like crap, i told her it was out of her area anyway, it was in the hay field. a line has now been drawn deep in the sand where hayfield meets yard now! but bucket is still there. post pictures of new plexiglass guard when finished, please. also noticed are your doors 1/2"plywood? the reason i ask is i cut SREH holes in 1/2" plywood flush with floor in 2 of my houses this year that had round holes in them last year i heard that some people had problems with martins entering them if the front was thicker than 1/4". i have had some scouts but none have entered any house, one is a commercial house that had birds last year with SREH openings. i even enlarged the holes a little on the homeade houses,starlings still can't get in but they sure try.have you had any problems with birds entering yours?
jim
jimnks
Guest

The doors are 1/2" pine. The SREH are plates set in front of over sized holes in the 1/2". I still have time to do modifications to the hose. ASY's just started to come into the area. SY's are still about a month away.

Going to change some of the plates that are facing me to round holes while still providing SREH's to the area which I can't see. I'm determined to get some birds this year by offering several options for them to choose from.
Guest

RC. not many snakes out here/ Its still a concern but not a major one. I have a lab that hunts them. All we get are Gardner snakes. More worried about Raccoons and squirrels.
Guest

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I used Plexiglas and counter sunk the screws. House slides over the plexi. Next year I might make a few little changes to it. My local squirrel that usually climbs the pole tried and couldn't get a foot hole. Hope the same is with any raccoons that might wander into the yard. This should be ok with the wife. :grin:
Guest

RC. not many snakes out here/ Its still a concern but not a major one. I have a lab that hunts them. All we get are Gardner snakes. More worried about Raccoons and squirrels.
You definitely with the "inconspicuos gaurd" of the year award.

It should definitely keep squirells & coons out, house cat though may be able to jump above & grab a foot hole.

Snakes, you ask? It will never keep them out!!!!!!! I'm gonna go out on limb here and assume the "Gardner" snake you speak of is what we call a "Garter " snake. (see signature)

First let me set the stage, your profile says you're trying to attract birds for the second year. That is why you don't have a snake problem yet, but
when you get birds, and the subsequent numbers of mouths screaming to be fed, you will then be "trying" to get snakes. Think about it like this--you do everything possible to attract the martins who are picky---but all the snake needs is for there to be meal there---that being the martins you have worked so hard to attract. When eggs hatch and are discarded out of the cavity, not to mention the frequent vocalizations throughout the night---it's like a lit runway for any predator--especially like a tree climbing, cavity crawling around in, serpent son-of-a-**** garter snake.

I have been a landlord, well ok-there have been martins and houses around all my life. I just got my T-14 after hurricane Isabell, so I have only recently become a "landlord". This will be my third "intensely active season" with respect to my role as their attendant.

Here is my tale you should be interested in---------
Looking back at last years notes, the entry for 6-14-08 reads like this-"first sign of snakes is too late to do anything! 1 dead young on ground,1 dead young at entrance,1 baby unaccounted for, 1 dead ASY female at entrance, 1 live "25" inch garter snake in back of cavity, 2 dead young in belly of said snake, 1 ASY male unaccounted for----Asy male showed up lost & lonely that afternoon, flew around for about 20 minutes with a dragonfly in his mouth, he was very weary of his porch, finally passed dragonfly off to another male on the perches that fed to his young.-This nest check was made early because I observed what I thought to be a stick hanging out of the entrance--it turned out to be the dead mother's wing tip".

So I needed something quick- I had a house full of babys to protect and it turns out snakes can climb-who'da thunk it (sarcasim gets me everywhere). I had some slilck metal falshing laying around and figured it would be great, I think it 14 inches wide & I put three layers up makin a smooth surface ot about 42 inches. 12 days later garter snake number 2 wiped out pre-mature fledgling in fallout shelter (above flashing) ---look up and he's hangin out of the same freakin hole! (different snake though, I saw an alligator eat the first one) So I lower the house thinking he went in empty nest and I got off lucky just loosing the dropout--NOT-the cavity below him was completely wiped out of 6, 20 day old birds.

In total, 2 snakes killed around 12 birds in two attacks---now I know I must have better snake protection before hatching begins (and yeh, I gotta plan). You may never see a snake at your site, but please don't assume that plexiglass willl keep them down, I have since observed one climbing a tree almost vertically that he couldn't reach around. The plexiglass doesn't stick out far enough to keep the snake from coiling up around the pole and just squeezing himslef right on up and over, they are after a meal after all-that's a pretty strong urge. I just don't think a snake would even notice your handy work, much less be detered by it. The value of 2 cents just went down by half!

I don't know how to help with wifey-could be worse than the snakes :lol: :lol:
Last edited by Guest on Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6743
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)
Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

Snakes can smell the birds, see the birds, hear the birds, and can detect their body heat if the birds are motionless.

Quite frankly, you are trying to reinvent the wheel. I doubt that what you have will work...having said that, I wish you luck. We never know what will work until we try it. Many people get by a few years without losing their colony, then suddenly its gone due to a single snake. It just takes one snake to chase all of the martins away (some are eaten, some leave)
Gobbler T
Posts: 1518
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:13 am
Location: Mississippi / Columbus

Hi all,
Has anyone here ever put sulfur on the ground around their poles.
I have been taught all my life that a snake will not cross a line of sulfur.
My grandfather use to put it all the way around the chicken house every summer for that very reason, and I don't remember him ever having trouble with snakes.
I have a friend who has a hunting camp (house trailer) off down in the woods. These woods are known for having a lot, sometimes very LARGE rattle snakes. I have seen them there! He does the same thing after finding one inside. He said he has had no problem with them sense.
Just a thought.
Tony


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Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6743
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)
Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

Tony, its hard to say if sulpher would stop the snakes.

It doesn't seem logical, but who knows, it may work. I would be afraid to try it myself, just couldn't trust it. In my many years being assoiciated with martins, I have heard many many things, most turned out to be superstitions more so than fact. Me personally, I would rather suggest and stick with what is proven, what works, and use it.

I have wondered many times why these old sayings last so long.

Examples:

1)Scouts come first, decide which house they will go to, then go back to get the rest of the flock
2)martins eat mostly mosquitoes, and they don't arrive until the mosquitoes are plentiful
3)snakes can't climb metal poles
4)martins want round holes so they can escape hawks more easily
5)martins like to live close to trees, I have seen it nearly everywhere
6)sparrows and martins can thrive in the same house, they like to be neighbors
7)snakes will not climb over a rope

etc etc...

Of course, I don't believe any of those things but I have heard them many times...I just usually disagree with those statements but don't agrue about them.
Julio
Posts: 876
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:37 am
Location: Pembroke Pines, FL

Hey Folks snakes are deaf, snakes are deaf to air borne sounds but they do pick up vibrations in their jawbones and on their scent apparatus on their tongue. Scent molecules are sent to the Jacobson's Organ.Snakes see the world much the same way some birds of prey can visualize UV trails on the ground. In the case of the snake its the scent they see. In general snake eyesight isn't very good, with a few exceptions like racers and others. And yes the belly scales on the Rat snakes can easily grip and climb some smooth obstacles, i say get some snake netting and be worry free.
"We can judge the heart of man by his treatment of animals." - Immanual Kant.

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flyin-lowe
Posts: 3077
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

I myself cannot see that stopping a snake of any size. That is the one problem I am having at my site coming up with an effective predator guard that looks decent and won't be a huge hassle to remove or work around during nest checks.
Julio
Posts: 876
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:37 am
Location: Pembroke Pines, FL

flyin-lowe wrote:I myself cannot see that stopping a snake of any size. That is the one problem I am having at my site coming up with an effective predator guard that looks decent and won't be a huge hassle to remove or work around during nest checks.
A PVC 4" by 30" Baffle with carefully placed electrodes and a Solar powered electric fence charger will stop anything even a human :)
"We can judge the heart of man by his treatment of animals." - Immanual Kant.

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Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6743
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)
Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

Julio has a good idea, and here is my addition. Put some more plexiglass under the winch. The plexiglass is an insulator to an electric fence. Wrap some bare copper wire around the plexiglass, and hook it up to the hot wire of the electric fence. The earth around the pole would be the ground, the hot wire around the plexiglass would make the hair stand up on a racoon, dog, cat, child, or stop the snakes. Part of the snake would be on the ground when he first touches the very bottom of the hot wire.

I use an electric fence on all of my poles. I have an underground wire connecting all the poles, and up to the shed where the charger is. It will stop the snakes, racoons, etc
Last edited by Emil Pampell-Tx on Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Guest

Julio wrote:
flyin-lowe wrote:I myself cannot see that stopping a snake of any size. That is the one problem I am having at my site coming up with an effective predator guard that looks decent and won't be a huge hassle to remove or work around during nest checks.
A PVC 4" by 30" Baffle with carefully placed electrodes and a Solar powered electric fence charger will stop anything even a human :)
flyin-lowe, If you come up with something, please let us know.

Julio, my post is 6x4. I only "PVC" type I can get is 8" and thats a very heavy sucker and doesn't look to good. I guess for now its best to just take it down and forget about martins until I can figure something out.
Guest

Emil, That might work. I have a daughter that is mentally handicap and 2 dogs to worry about. It might be possible to put it on a timer so its off during the day but active at dusk. Price might also be a factor. But its something to look into
Julio
Posts: 876
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:37 am
Location: Pembroke Pines, FL

Dennis what Emil stated is the best solution if you want a sure thing. I'm sure the Lexan will do the trick with some Raccoons and other small animals.But i assure a determined Raccoon will bear-hug the 4X6 Lexan covered pole and climb it, a large snake uses the other end of its body for leverage in climbing :shock: those suckers can climb anything less than 8" wide without a sweat, even climb vertical walls. I have seen a small solar powered fence chargers at home depot on sale for $40, the charge produced by these smaller units is harmless it just hurts like hell. And frankly if you really want piece of mind in a area infested with snakes this is the best way to go. Or simply settle for a nice large 6 -8" diameter 4' PVC pipe sprayed with WD40 once a week. Or the wobbling 8"X 24"stovepipe Baffle placed 5 feet up also sprayed once a week with WD40.
"We can judge the heart of man by his treatment of animals." - Immanual Kant.

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Guest

I found this in archives but there was no follow up
http://www.purplemartin.org/forumarchiv ... keElec.htm

and this in a google search
http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/loa ... 15149.html

I would say this is a possibility but when it rains, won't that ground out the system? During the summer over night everything gets coated with dew . What do you think.
Julio
Posts: 876
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:37 am
Location: Pembroke Pines, FL

Dennis you can carefully drill holes and place screws in a spiral corkscrew arrangement or vertically on the lexan baffle. This will allow you to place the wire (Stainless Steel or Aluminum), that will act as a main electrode and spiral upward.Or electrify an entire stovepipe baffle, this requires that the baffle have a plastic top as a standoff from the pole. The HOT electrode will be around the Baffle and the ground can be 1 foot or so away from the hot lead along with a necessary 3 foot ground rod, do not use a PM pole as a ground rod. If you keep the "Electrical Poles" 4" to 1 foot away from each other at these low currents rain wont be a problem or cause shorts or arcing.
"We can judge the heart of man by his treatment of animals." - Immanual Kant.

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