Its going to be exciting for you, all the time, $$ and effort in the house. Its a lot of fun preparing. When your all ready to set up, house has arrived and all, please ask any questions; when it comes to the amount of cement, depth of the hole, even orientation of the house (what I mean by that is: pretend your drinking coffee watching your martin full house...youd want to be able to view as many compartments at one time as possible because they are so much FUN to watch, you can see the issues too). When in doubt of the amount of cement for example think about prolongued rain and a heavy wind event, and ask if the amount you planned is enough. I am one to worry, about everything! in the front yard here iv got a 14 foot lonestar gourd rack (first season up). 8 Natural gourds so load will be fairly light.
We have heavy clay soil that sticks to everything but lots of wind and when it gets dry is hard as a rock but temds to crack.
So i dug a 3.5 foot deep hole, 10 inches around, belled out at the bottom very nicely. Cut lengths of rebar and drove it in the bottom and sides before using almost 200 lbs of quickcrete. Its not going anywhere.
I looked to the forum for help while thinking of the depth...(mr barrow helped me site it in and orient correctly), one theme kept coming up...do it right, dont have to worry, birds will be safer.
I think we are all excited for you!
Your house will arrive just in time, the martins will cooperate!
PS You asked about pre nests; some folks do, some don't. I prefer to...keeps them off the ground away from predators and they don't need to expend needless energy...shoot, sometimes they re-do everything anyway...put a small handful of long dry pine needles in the nest tray, if can arrange it in a circle so much the better. female will dig down and spin around to get the nest bowl going. you can scatter a layer on the entire cavity floor...the birds will tromp through it and move it around but the floors may get slick. They will adjust if they wish.
Last edited by C.C.Martins
on Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2016- two visitors
2017- 5 pair 15 Fledged
2018-18 pairs 85 Fledged
2019-17 pair 81 fledged
Satellite location: oso bay preserve 12 gourds, modified trio