Newbie needs advice

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Dave Schmidt
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:08 am
Location: St. Louis area

I just put up my first house - a store-bought kit of wood. The pole I made isn't straight or terribly stiff - how important is that? I kinda want to see how this works before I sink a lot of $$ into it...
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2860
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

The pole swaying a little wont bother the martins. Many people have gourds that rock back and forth in the wind. The bigger concern is the overall stabilty. It would be a shame to get your first breading martins only to have a wind storm trash the house. Post a picture of your house and pole. Or at least describe its size and the materials its built from.
2020 47 of 52 cavities with nest (5/29)(HOSP Count 7)
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair last count 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.
Dink
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:37 pm
Location: St James Mo
Martin Colony History: I have had an interest in martins for several years and now have 6 poles and 134 houses (plastic gourds mainly Troyer). Last year
112 houses with 90-95% occupancy! I have seen a few scouts and am now 60% full and gaining everydaybut hope to have some this week! My houses are located just south of St.James on hwy 68 south by the golf course

I have had a bad experience with a triangular pole that bent and fell during a windstorm - my martins basically left. I now use 2" steel square stock and weld up my own racks - no more problems. I use a double pulley system to raise and lower the racks !! Good Luck
Dink
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:37 pm
Location: St James Mo
Martin Colony History: I have had an interest in martins for several years and now have 6 poles and 134 houses (plastic gourds mainly Troyer). Last year
112 houses with 90-95% occupancy! I have seen a few scouts and am now 60% full and gaining everydaybut hope to have some this week! My houses are located just south of St.James on hwy 68 south by the golf course

I have had the same problem with the triangular aluminum poles failing!! I also am using 2” square metal poles with double pulleys ( I get the double pulleys that have a pin with cotter pin so you can get the ropes in the correct order so they pull easier - I learned the hard way to protect myself and the birds and myself - once the racks are in position I drill a hole in the square tubing and put a bolt under the rack in case to secure it from inadvertently slamming down. The rope seems to deteriorate after a few years so keep an eye on it!!!
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2860
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

What is the name of the wood kit you bought. Just curious to see the design and how it’s made.
2020 47 of 52 cavities with nest (5/29)(HOSP Count 7)
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair last count 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.
Ed Pace
Posts: 668
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:31 pm
Location: NY/Jamestown

Dave if you have a round pole and wanted to try something to Strengthen it ,not knowing what size and shape you have is hard to answer but what I would do is take the next size bigger and put it on the outside of your original pole or if your original pole is maybe 2 inch diameter then put the next size smaller diameter inside that should add a lot of strength you might be able to get away with doing that. If nothing else the wind may just bend your pole rather than collapse it totally. losing your first nesting pair is a bad deal. Ed
Rodger Drye
Posts: 671
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:07 am
Location: NC/Mt. Pleasant
Martin Colony History: Have been hosting and providing a sanactuary for Purple Martins for 30 years.

Dave,

The first pole systems I built were made out of 1/4” x 2” x 2”, 1040 cold rolled steel. They’re still standing just like the day I put them up, and that’s been 31 years ago. Even Hurricane winds of 165 mph from Hurricane Hugo couldn’t take them down. Hugo did blow down and or twist off 72 trees here on the farm, a Barn and an Equipment Shed.
I built the Rack’s that ride up and down out of steel also. My Poles are 14 to 16 feet tall and approximately 6 ft. Up I have a case hardened 1/2” Safety Bolt just in case one were to fall.

I use Worm Gear Winches which are (if anyone knows anything about Winches) some of the Best Brake Winches on the market that anyone can find today. All my Poles have the Safety Bolt Feature. But my Worm Gear Winches are so efficient that I’ve never had not one Rack ever give me a problem about failing or falling.

All the rest of my Poles are 2” x 2” Reinforced or 1/8” x 3” x 3” Aluminum Poles . Some of my Gourd’s swing on certain Rack’s, and some are mounted on Gourd Mounting Arms.

All my Pole Systems utilize 3/16” and or 1/4” #316 Stainless Steel Cable.

Understanding you don’t want to put a lot of money into it until you know if you’ll get some Bird’s (Martin’s).
Unfortunately, these Bird’s are Colony Nester’s meaning they like to Nest in a Colony with other Bird’s of their same species.
Purple Martin’s are more comfortable in a group. It seems to calm them down and give them more confidence. The same way they are more comfortable to be close by Human habitation, It simply makes them feel better knowing that human’s are close by.
That’s a Good question, but I don’t know of anyone who has Martin’s that only has one house for them. I do know of a man that has 4 gourd’s and his Bird’s come back to the same Gourd’s every year.
Best Of Luck!!

Rodger
PMCA Member
Have been Hosting and Protecting Martin's for 30 years.
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