looking for new martin house coastal NC

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Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:47 pm
Location: Kitty Hawk NC

Let me ask a question to the group I have a home built 8 room Martin house that I've had up for the last 4 years. We take it down at the end of the season and I put it back up on the top of a 20-foot 4 x 4 treated lumber house piling in the backyard. I live about 300 yards from the Atlantic Ocean so metal poles are not a good idea here and we do get lots of wind sometimes 30 to 50 mile an hour in the Martin nesting season. The house I have now was built by a neighbor and it's so heavy it takes two of us to put it up on top of the piling. I think you could drop it off the side of a building and it wouldn't hurt it it's built so overboard. I also have 4 gourds. The last four years in the 8 room Martin house I've only ever had one family nest and it's always in the same hole so I want to get a new Martin house for next year. My concern is being so close to the Atlantic Ocean and in a high wind area. Plastic Martin houses worry me as being too flimsy in high winds. Can someone give me some suggestions of a house that I could mount on top of my 4 by 4 piling without spending three to $500?
Posts: 2114
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Delaware/Dover

I would try the Cedar Suite, it looks like it would work in your situation, you can buy the plans in PMCA shop
~Ray~ Gingerich
1999 1pair, 2006 2 pair, 2008 2 pair,
2009 23 pair, 2010 39 pair, 2011 67 pair,
2012 115 pair, 2013 160 pair,
2014 152 pair, 2015 174 pair, 2016 178 pair
2017 187 pair, 2018 200 pair
Posts: 214
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:43 am
Location: Sugarcreek, Ohio
Martin Colony History: 2016 First Yr.

Try the Troyer's T-14 you can raise and lower it very easily, Large nesting cavities, many great options, give him a call at link not allowed for a free catalog for all your Martin needs...Great setup.
2016 - 1st Yr. 14 Compartments 4 Active Nests 9 fledged, 2.25 Fledged per Active Nest
2017 - 2nd Yr. 36 Compartments 18 Active Nests 65 Fledged, 3.61 Fledged per Active Nest
2018 - 3rd Yr. 54 Compartments 43 Active Nests 169 Fledged, 3.93 Fledged per Active Nest
2019 - 4th Yr. 108 Compartments 67 Active Nests 209 Fledged, 3.12 Fledged per Active Nest
2020 - 5th Yr. 108 Compartments ?
Posts: 591
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:28 pm
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Martin Colony History: 2009-2015-Helped to manage Raleigh site, 36 cavities
2016- 33 pairs at Raleigh site, 1 pair at home site.
2017- 34 pairs at Raleigh site, 3 pairs + extra SYs at home site
2018- 33 pairs at Raleigh site, 5 pairs + extra SYs at home site
2019 - 32 pairs at Raleigh site, 7 pairs at home site, 2 pairs at new Holly Springs park site

Hi to another NC martin caretaker!
Here is the direct link to the PMCA's T-14 house plans:

You can also look at the cedar suite as mentioned above:
https://www.purplemartin.org/shop/120/c ... cessories/

In both cases, the plans are toward the bottom of the pages.
I would highly recommend putting the house on a pulley/winch system that you can raise and lower for maintenance, nest checks, etc.
NC Purple Martin Society (PMCA affiliate)
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1480
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 found the "Troyer's T-14 Purple Martin Plans; Complete Set of Plans" at the PMCA Shop under "Plans".
Oops, Courtney beat me.
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.
Ed Svetich-WI
Posts: 786
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:05 pm
Location: Brooks, Wi (McGinnis Lake)
Martin Colony History: 24 Super and Excluder Gourds on two gourd racks, all SREH. Full occupancy. My philosophy is to maximize fledge % with existing cavities rather than adding gourds to grow colony, thus providing opportunities for new colony expansion. Fledge over 100 nestlings yearly from 24 gourds. Band nestlings in cooperation with state university. 2019 Adendum: Reduced colony size to 12 gourds to focus on more intensive management regimen.

With winds that high, lowering the house may be a wise move. 12-14 feet is adequate as far as the martins are concerned. As to the ability of plastic gourds to withstand high winds, you have nothing to worry about. They are anything but flimsy. Mine are all Super gourds and Excluder gourds over 10 years old and have withstood severe weather including hail several times without a scratch. They are still like new. Additionally, the ability of gourds to withstand high winds may be better than a house due to their shape and the fact that they offer less wind resistance.In a salt water, higher humidity environment, heavy plastic gourds would be unaffected requiring no maintenance other than a quick wash at the end of the season.

With gourds, you can add to the colony as needed rather than commiting to many cavities to begin with. They may be an economical solution to your question.

Good luck with your colony in the future. Grow into it.

Posts: 2114
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Delaware/Dover

He's using a wood 20' 4x4, that's a little light for a heavy t-14 I think, would be better with multi layer 2x6 pole
~Ray~ Gingerich
1999 1pair, 2006 2 pair, 2008 2 pair,
2009 23 pair, 2010 39 pair, 2011 67 pair,
2012 115 pair, 2013 160 pair,
2014 152 pair, 2015 174 pair, 2016 178 pair
2017 187 pair, 2018 200 pair
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