A cheap predator guard for telescoping pole?

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jfwestjr
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:01 pm
Location: Deltona, FL

I'm trying to figure out a cheap way to attach ground-based predator protection to a telescoping pole. Wobbly baffles would get in the way and make raising and lowering the pole a bit of a pain. I know there are removable versions that can be purchased (pricey) or homemade (again, a bit of a pain).

As I continued thinking about this, it occurred to me that the bottom of the house itself is like a cone. How do the snakes get past that? What if I simply attached hardware cloth to the bottom of the house, extending out another foot or two from the sides? How would anything get past that?

It would be wobbly, floppy, and wouldn't weigh much. Not very pretty and I would have to be careful of sharp edges while doing next checks, but is there any reason this wouldn't work to defeat hungry critters?

I found this picture on line. Not quite what I'm talking about, but close.

Image
Archer
Posts: 757
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:09 pm
Location: Manitoba/Altona
Martin Colony History: six pair in 2014, have grown to 52 pairs in 2017.

Hardware cloth would collapse under the weight of a racoon. If not, the racoon would climb right over. A cone needs to be smooth and slippery, essentially unclimbable.
2011- first year trying, a few visitors.
2012-One ASY pair, raised two young, lots of subby visitors. So thankfull.
2013-daily subby visits.
2014-Six SY pairs
2015-18 pair, 83 fledglings
2016-36 pair, 147 fledglings
2017-52 pairs, 192 fledglings.
2018-60 pair, 246 fledglings.
2019-59 pair, 238 fledglings.
jfwestjr
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:01 pm
Location: Deltona, FL

So, if you put a cone under the hardware cloth "drape" wouldn't that be better than the cone by itself? I need this to be up near the bottom of the house, so that it's on the top pole and doesn't get in the way when I grab the pole to lift it or lower it into the next pole down. Does that make sense?
Henry Limpet
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 3:48 pm
Location: IN./Howe, via the s/w side of Chicago
Martin Colony History: Trendsetter-8. Set up in 2014 at my summer cottage, a beautiful natural inland lake in N.E. Indiana's Amish Country. T-8 is on cleared land behind my pole barn and adjacent to a farmer's field

2015: Had several flyovers in early June with 1 dedicated SYM visitor who visited each day for well over a month. He brought by a few PM "parades", with 8-12 PM's who would visit all at once, but soon leave. (Added 2 gourds to bottom of the T-8). We discovered a large (Amish) colony apx. 3/4 mile South of our T-8, while on a bike ride through the country. We think this will eventually be our "feeder" colony.

2016: Put up a Trio G'Pa lakeside. Overall, not as much interest as 2015, likely because of our vacation to Gulf Shores, AL. in early June.

2017: Finally switched over to wheat straw. Success!! One nesting pair. Fledged 4!

2018: Zilch.

2019: Slow start, nothing observed by mid June. Wet, cold Spring a factor??

I use an upside down 5 gallon bucket.

Try to find one without a lot of "ribbing" or overhanging flaps around the top. If necessary, cut them off with a sharp box cutter. Cut a near perfect hole in the center of bucket bottom to accommodate your pole.

You then drill a very small pilot hole at "3" and "9" O'clock, apx. 1/2" above the solid floor of the bucket. I then slide a foot long section from a screen door reinforcing turnbuckle through the bucket, through a hole in my steel pole, and out the other side of the bucket. It has a threaded nut on each end when affixed, to prevent the turn buckle from coming out.

It only takes a second to remove it and slide it down to the bottom when lowering the house.

The bucket remains wobbly enough to deter predators but can't be removed.

Good luck!!!
Be careful how you wish . . for wishes can come true . . be sure that every wish you make is one that's right for you!
Ed Pace
Posts: 668
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:31 pm
Location: NY/Jamestown

If you put your netting at the top of the pole and caught a snake that would frighten your birds away for good, put you're net at the bottom. Ed
jfwestjr
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:01 pm
Location: Deltona, FL

This is a telescoping pole. If the guard has to slide down to the ground, then it would have to be mounted on the very bottom pole, and that would be too close to the ground. Anywhere in the middle it will only slide as far as the next lower pole (both due to the increasing pole size and the locking pin). Then you'd have to work around the darn thing to raise/lower, lock/unlock. That's why I'm trying to go up top... it's the only way to get the thing out of the way so I can grab the poles and raise/lower the house without having to move the guard at all.
Archer
Posts: 757
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:09 pm
Location: Manitoba/Altona
Martin Colony History: six pair in 2014, have grown to 52 pairs in 2017.

What about a 4 foot section of 6"pvc pipe? It can rest on the ground, slide it over you pole, put some snake netting on top of it and you're done. 4 feet is high enough that a racoon can't get past it. I have the same pipe on some of my martin housing.
2011- first year trying, a few visitors.
2012-One ASY pair, raised two young, lots of subby visitors. So thankfull.
2013-daily subby visits.
2014-Six SY pairs
2015-18 pair, 83 fledglings
2016-36 pair, 147 fledglings
2017-52 pairs, 192 fledglings.
2018-60 pair, 246 fledglings.
2019-59 pair, 238 fledglings.
MartinStudent
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:24 pm
Location: Mississippi

Hello again! I like both ideas for cheap predator guards: the 5 gallon bucket and the PVC Pipe. Another option is using sections of stove pipe for wood stoves. We purchased a 4ft long section at ACE Hardware for $5.00. We used mesh wire at top. We purchased a real Predator Guard from PMCA for our first real house. The stove pipe we made for the old aluminum house that Blue Birds lived in for last few years. It works. Should we be so luck to get any Martins, we'll try each option and see what works best. In theory, and in practice they should all do the same thing without breaking the bank.
Animal Lover. Voice for animals. Purple Martin Landlord Wannabe. Proponent for large cavities. :grin:
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