New to Martins and Forum....

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby T-Bird » Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:39 am

I used 2 foot lengths of regular rebar. Surprisingly easy to cut.
Pounded them in...not fun in a deep hole so used a board to press the ones on the sides in about half way so that the ends are extending into the hole. Ones on the bottom was easy.
Put a few inches of gravel in the bottom for drainage. Put in the cement. Hope this helps you sir
So just to be clear, you hammered 2’ft pieces of rebar about a foot into the floor of the hole, leaving a foot sticking up out of the ground? And the same thing into the sides? How many pieces did you use total floor and sides?

Sorry for all of the questions!

T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

Re: Ground Stake Concrete

Postby T-Bird » Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:53 am

T-Bird,
My sister in Seguin, TX made her first hole and concrete like Tom did - 14 in diameter x 3 1/2 ft deep with the belled out bottom. That 3" square 14 ft aluminum pole is identical to your pole and ground stake. She was not happy at all of the extra work but she loves that the martin gourd rack is perfectly plumb after 5 years.
Her second hole and concrete were as per the directions 10" x 24" deep by a friend (who is a construction contractor) who refused to follow her directions. After one season, the pole was severely leaning. She was so mad at the bad advise from the "expert". She and her husband had to dig out the "expert's" work and start all over. Now she has two plumb poles and she is happy.
Her advise to you, do it right the first time or do it again right the second time.

I am especially concerned about your site. It looks like your beautiful home and outdoor patio was built on fill dirt and will settle over the next few years. I hope that I am wrong. At least set your martin ground stake on a good footing.
Thank you for all of your input! My home has been here for about 15 years. I’m hoping that by now most of any initial settling has already occurred. We bought the home in 2018 and had the pool put in.

Anyway, I appreciate all of the suggestions and ideas from everyone!

C.C.Martins
Posts: 788
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA, made adjustments and next year was sucessful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged.
2018-18 pair. 85 fledged.
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020:?
Home colony: 17 natural gourds, one 6 compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony Oso bay preserve: 12 gourds: excluder, troyer horizontal, super gourds with tunnels. 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: ?
PMCA member

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby C.C.Martins » Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:55 pm

T-bird,
As far as the rebar i used 5, two in the bottom and three on the sides. Ones in the bottom straight up, 3 on the sides were at an angle. The ones on the side almost intersect or cross each other in the hole. One i drove into the side about 6 inches from the bottom, others are higher but none within 6 inches from ground level. It is easy to do, if you need to get the soil wet thats fine. The cement will set just fine.
Tom

2016- two visitors
2017- 5 pair 15 Fledged
2018-18 pairs 85 Fledged
2019-17 pair 81 fledged
2020:

Satellite location: oso bay preserve 12 gourds, modified trio
2019: Visitors
2020: hopeful!!!

4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1344
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.

Ground Stake Concrete

Postby 4th Gen Martin Fan » Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:50 pm

T-Bird/Tom,
Do I recall correctly that with the 3" square aluminum pole system, the Ground Stake itself is filled with concrete in addition to the concrete to fill the hole?
Or am I thinking of another type of ground stake?
Mark.
Firm believer in Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, S&S Control, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.

T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

Re: Ground Stake Concrete

Postby T-Bird » Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:06 pm

T-Bird/Tom,
Do I recall correctly that with the 3" square aluminum pole system, the Ground Stake itself is filled with concrete in addition to the concrete to fill the hole?
Or am I thinking of another type of ground stake?
Correct. The ground stake is to be filled with concrete. It is 48” long, and 24” of that is to be buried in concrete, and 24” above ground.

Question: any tricks on setting the stake?

Also, to you guys worrying about the depth of my hole, I dug it another foot. It’s now 36” deep and 15” x 15” square. Do y’all think I’m good at that depth?

4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1344
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.

Ground Stake Hole

Postby 4th Gen Martin Fan » Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:47 pm

T-Bird,
That hole size sounds great.
You will need to use supports to hold the ground stake exactly in place while you pour the concrete and let it set.
Do not eyeball it. Use a post level to get it right. You can get one for $7-10 at home improvement store. A slight error in plumb will be greatly exaggerated with a 14 ft pole.
Mark.
Firm believer in Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, S&S Control, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.

T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

Re: Ground Stake Hole

Postby T-Bird » Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:55 pm

T-Bird,
That hole size sounds great.
You will need to use supports to hold the ground stake exactly in place while you pour the concrete and let it set.
Do not eyeball it. Use a post level to get it right. You can get one for $7-10 at home improvement store. A slight error in plumb will be greatly exaggerated with a 14 ft pole.
Thank you for the post level idea!

What kind of support would you recommend to keep the stake at the right depth and to help keep it level while the cement dries? Also, how much should the bottom of the hole be “Belled Out” ?

4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1344
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.

Setting Ground Stake

Postby 4th Gen Martin Fan » Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:32 am

T-Bird,
Since you went to 15" diameter x 36" deep you probably don't need to bell out the bottom. The idea of the belled out bottom is to widen the base of the concrete to decrease list of the 14 ft pole over time. I have been known to make the bottom 20" diameter but then again I am kind of a perfectionist.
I use 1x4" board or 2 fence boards long enough to straddle the hole and sandwich the two boards on each side of the square ground stake. The boards are held tight against the stake with long bolts, flat washers and nuts. Those two boards maintain the stake depth and keep the stake steady at the ground level. I do not drill through the aluminum ground stake. The two bolts/nuts are on either side of the aluminum ground stake.
90 degrees to those boards, I use two 1x1" wood stakes long enough to be driven 1 foot into the ground outside the hole and long enough to be at least as tall as the ground stake. So 3-4 ft long wood stakes. I use twine or rope to attach to the wood stakes and the aluminum ground stake. I attach the post level to the ground stake and make sure everything is secure and plumb. That way when I pour the concrete I know that nothing is going to shift and the ground stake will be plumb while I work the concrete and then let the concrete set.
I personally mix the orange bag regular Quikrete with water and pour the concrete mix into the hole. It allows me to double check everything and work the concrete before the concrete sets. Some people like the red bag fast-setting Quikrete concrete mix but I am not a fan. It sets too fast for me.
I fill the hole to level with the ground so that dirt does not touch the aluminum ground stake. I even smooth the concrete with a slight dome so water flows away from the ground stake.
It doesn't hurt that I worked construction in the Texas summers to pay for college and learned how to set foundation forms and work concrete.
Mark.
Firm believer in Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, S&S Control, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.

T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby T-Bird » Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:40 am

The ground stake is actually steel, and quite heavy. My concern is because the hole is 36” deep, and I’m only burying this stake 24” into the ground, how do I suspend the stake while pouring the concrete while keeping it all level. I’m afraid that 2 fence boards bolted together wouldn’t be enough to suspend this 48” steel stake with no support underneath it.

4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1344
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.

Stabilizing Ground Stake to Pour Concrete Mix

Postby 4th Gen Martin Fan » Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:22 pm

T-Bird,
There are many ways to stabilize the ground stake.
If you are going to use the rebar to strengthen the concrete, then use rebar tie wire to hold the rebar together and even consider a few pieces of rebar to make a cradle for the ground stake to sit on. You wanted to know if the rebar sticks out above the ground level, the answer is no. I guess the rebar can poke into the ground but none of rebar should be above the top of the concrete or above the ground level. Any steel rebar that sticks into the dirt will rust but you won't care because it will be down in the ground.
You could stack three solid 4x8x16" cinder blocks to make 12" on the bottom of your hole to stabilize the bottom of the ground stake or place one 4x8x16" solid cinder block standing upright on end to hold the bottom of the ground stake. Of course it would work especially well if the block was set level so that the upright ground stake gets started on a plumb attitude. It all depends how deep you truly dug the hole. Work everything out so that you have 24" of the ground stake above ground.
I tend to use supplies available to me to decide how I will hold the ground stake in place while I am pouring the concrete. No wood inside the concrete that will rot and create a void.
Mark.
Firm believer in Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, S&S Control, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.

tor
Posts: 201
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:35 pm
Location: Marlboro County, SC
Martin Colony History: Capacity: 72 Troyers on 3 X Super-24 racks

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby tor » Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:54 pm

Welcome to the wonderful world of Purple Martins. Hopefully you'll see and host martins soon. Good luck to you.
Location: Marlboro County, SC

2020: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/11
2019: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/22 - 70 pair - 315 fledged
2018: Capacity: 70 - First Scouts: 2/18 - 60 pair - 270 fledged
2017: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 2/25 - 39 pair
2016: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 3/10 - 32 pair
2015: Capacity: 24 - First Scouts: 3/23 - 4 pair

Purple Martins Of South Carolina
Torlo.com - Live Life Like There is No Tomorrow

T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby T-Bird » Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:47 pm

Welcome to the wonderful world of Purple Martins. Hopefully you'll see and host martins soon. Good luck to you.
Thank you!

Rodger Drye
Posts: 645
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.

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby Rodger Drye » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:24 pm

T-Bird,

Glad to have you aboard our Forum. Yes you should educate yourself on every aspect of the Purple Martin and how best to care for them. Everyone has there own ways of establishing a Colony. Some like Aluminum housing, some like Plastic Gourds, some like Natural Gourds, and still others like wooden type housing. Everyone’s different it doesn’t matter really what ever works best for you and your Bird’s.
I started out with small 6 7/8” plastic Gourds because that’s what my Dad used and he literally had thousands of Martin’s. But there is a lot of other things to consider. I later found that those were just to small a Gourd for Purple Martin’s. The bird’s will use them if they have nothing else and I’ve seen many Nests raise 7 fledglings to maturity. But that’s a lot of Bird’s in one little house.
I’ve used Aluminum houses in the past i.e. Sunset Inns & Coats all with cresent entrances. Metal housing imo is just to hot for Martin’s and their babies. Measured with a Heat Gun on average the inside of a Metal house is 10 - 15 degrees hotter that a Plastic or Natural Gourd almost like a Sauna.
Like I said everyone’s different and to each his own. But to me the Best Martin house on the Market today is the 14 1/2” Troyer Horizontal. You must get them from the Omish man Andrew Troyer in Pennsylvania. All my Horizontals with cresent or Conley II entrances are the first to be filled each year.
My advise to you is to experiment and see what works best for you. You’ll find that most of the large Colonies have mostly if not all Gourds. I think it gives the Bird’s a sense of independence. Especially if you have Dominant Males or Females that want to take over more than one home. There are Landlord’s on this Forum that have great success each year with Trendsetter’s, but it gets Hot here in North Carolina and I try to help my Bird’s as best as I can, so no metal for me.

And I like the Square Poles as opposed to Round Poles - they are just stronger...... But if Mother Nature wants it she’ll take it down.
None of my Poles have ground stakes per say. They have what I call Pole Support Anchor’s. All my Poles are hinged on 2 -5/8” Case Hardened Bolts so I can lay them down and inspect them if i want to. I take 2 - 3/8” x 3” x 70” pieces of 1040 steel and weld them together with 3” clearance in the middle. Have them where about 32 to 34 inches from the top of the ground. I first clamp or tack the 3/8” pieces together and drill 2 -5/8” holes about 24- 28 inches apart, 30 to 36” in the ground with a 24” Round hole filled with Concrete, 3/4” Rock, and Brick Halves so you don’t have to use so much Concrete. You can even mix a little Dirt in with it as long as you mix it Good. Both my son’s are Brick & Stone Masons’ and they taught me that trick.

Also consider how you will service your Colony. There again everyone is different on this as well. Some use Rope, some use Bolts, but I use 5/8” Hex Drive Winches with Stainless Steel Cable. All you have to do is use a drill to lower or raise your Rack to it’s desired location. So Simple, So Easy.

Yes Predator Guards are a must and don’t forget 3/4” Bird Netting to ward off Snakes. Like someone had already committed if your Colony is compromised by Predators it may take a long time to get your Bird’s to return if ever.
I know it sounds like I go a little overboard on my set up and I guess to some I do. But I like to make things as easy on me as I can. I had a back injury while serving in the USMC in Viet-Nam, so anything I can do o make my life easier I’m all for it.
Keep reading this Forum and I’m sure you’ll find someone to help answer your questions.
Wishing you a Great 2020 Season!
Rodger
PMCA Member
Have been Hosting and Protecting Martin's for 30 years.

Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1832
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:35 pm
Location: Little Hocking, Oh.
Martin Colony History: 2018 Success at my Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”.
2019 Success at my home Site "Little Hocking, Ohio".

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby Dave Reynolds » Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:35 am

... I just used a sawhorse... and C-Clamp... Once the hole was dug and clear of all dirt.. I straddled the hole with a sawhorse and clamped the 3" by 3" ground stack to the sawhorse, while the ground stake hung from the sawhorse, I could adjust the sawhorse in any direction, to keep the ground stake hanging in the center of the hole.. Also you could rotate the sawhorse to keep the pole squared in any direction you chose. I didn't have to hold the ground stake while putting the concrete in the hole.. Just check the stake from time to time with a level, to keep it plumb while adding the concrete. And don't forget to wipe off any concrete on the ground stake after you fill the stake with concrete..
.

Dave
Home Site “Little Hocking, Ohio”
2010 / 2018 -- Lots of Visitors
2019 — First pair, 5 Eggs, 5 hatched, 5 fledged. :wink:
2020 — They are on the way. :wink:

Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”
2018 -- 15 Pair, 58 Eggs, 38 Hatched and 36 Fledged :wink:
2019 — 26 Pair, 128 Eggs, 99 Hatched and 97 Fledged. :wink:
2020 — They are on the way. :wink:

PMCA Member

4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1344
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.

Setting Ground Stake

Postby 4th Gen Martin Fan » Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:01 pm

Dave,
I like your sawhorse idea which will probably work for most people.
I am 6'8" tall and my sawhorses have longer legs to stand taller for my height. I am not going to make a separate sawhorse just for setting a ground stake that is 24" above the ground. Two foot comes to my knee.
Mark.
Firm believer in Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, S&S Control, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.

T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

Re: Stabilizing Ground Stake to Pour Concrete Mix

Postby T-Bird » Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:30 pm

T-Bird,
There are many ways to stabilize the ground stake.
If you are going to use the rebar to strengthen the concrete, then use rebar tie wire to hold the rebar together and even consider a few pieces of rebar to make a cradle for the ground stake to sit on. You wanted to know if the rebar sticks out above the ground level, the answer is no. I guess the rebar can poke into the ground but none of rebar should be above the top of the concrete or above the ground level. Any steel rebar that sticks into the dirt will rust but you won't care because it will be down in the ground.
You could stack three solid 4x8x16" cinder blocks to make 12" on the bottom of your hole to stabilize the bottom of the ground stake or place one 4x8x16" solid cinder block standing upright on end to hold the bottom of the ground stake. Of course it would work especially well if the block was set level so that the upright ground stake gets started on a plumb attitude. It all depends how deep you truly dug the hole. Work everything out so that you have 24" of the ground stake above ground.
I tend to use supplies available to me to decide how I will hold the ground stake in place while I am pouring the concrete. No wood inside the concrete that will rot and create a void.
Finally got the ground stake in the ground! My old back is aching!

Image
Last edited by T-Bird on Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.

T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby T-Bird » Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:37 pm

T-Bird,

Glad to have you aboard our Forum. Yes you should educate yourself on every aspect of the Purple Martin and how best to care for them. Everyone has there own ways of establishing a Colony. Some like Aluminum housing, some like Plastic Gourds, some like Natural Gourds, and still others like wooden type housing. Everyone’s different it doesn’t matter really what ever works best for you and your Bird’s.
I started out with small 6 7/8” plastic Gourds because that’s what my Dad used and he literally had thousands of Martin’s. But there is a lot of other things to consider. I later found that those were just to small a Gourd for Purple Martin’s. The bird’s will use them if they have nothing else and I’ve seen many Nests raise 7 fledglings to maturity. But that’s a lot of Bird’s in one little house.
I’ve used Aluminum houses in the past i.e. Sunset Inns & Coats all with cresent entrances. Metal housing imo is just to hot for Martin’s and their babies. Measured with a Heat Gun on average the inside of a Metal house is 10 - 15 degrees hotter that a Plastic or Natural Gourd almost like a Sauna.
Like I said everyone’s different and to each his own. But to me the Best Martin house on the Market today is the 14 1/2” Troyer Horizontal. You must get them from the Omish man Andrew Troyer in Pennsylvania. All my Horizontals with cresent or Conley II entrances are the first to be filled each year.
My advise to you is to experiment and see what works best for you. You’ll find that most of the large Colonies have mostly if not all Gourds. I think it gives the Bird’s a sense of independence. Especially if you have Dominant Males or Females that want to take over more than one home. There are Landlord’s on this Forum that have great success each year with Trendsetter’s, but it gets Hot here in North Carolina and I try to help my Bird’s as best as I can, so no metal for me.

And I like the Square Poles as opposed to Round Poles - they are just stronger...... But if Mother Nature wants it she’ll take it down.
None of my Poles have ground stakes per say. They have what I call Pole Support Anchor’s. All my Poles are hinged on 2 -5/8” Case Hardened Bolts so I can lay them down and inspect them if i want to. I take 2 - 3/8” x 3” x 70” pieces of 1040 steel and weld them together with 3” clearance in the middle. Have them where about 32 to 34 inches from the top of the ground. I first clamp or tack the 3/8” pieces together and drill 2 -5/8” holes about 24- 28 inches apart, 30 to 36” in the ground with a 24” Round hole filled with Concrete, 3/4” Rock, and Brick Halves so you don’t have to use so much Concrete. You can even mix a little Dirt in with it as long as you mix it Good. Both my son’s are Brick & Stone Masons’ and they taught me that trick.

Also consider how you will service your Colony. There again everyone is different on this as well. Some use Rope, some use Bolts, but I use 5/8” Hex Drive Winches with Stainless Steel Cable. All you have to do is use a drill to lower or raise your Rack to it’s desired location. So Simple, So Easy.

Yes Predator Guards are a must and don’t forget 3/4” Bird Netting to ward off Snakes. Like someone had already committed if your Colony is compromised by Predators it may take a long time to get your Bird’s to return if ever.
I know it sounds like I go a little overboard on my set up and I guess to some I do. But I like to make things as easy on me as I can. I had a back injury while serving in the USMC in Viet-Nam, so anything I can do o make my life easier I’m all for it.
Keep reading this Forum and I’m sure you’ll find someone to help answer your questions.
Wishing you a Great 2020 Season!
Rodger
Thanks Rodger, for all of the great advice. I look forward to learning more about these incredible birds!

T

T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

Re: New to Martins and Forum....

Postby T-Bird » Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:44 pm

... I just used a sawhorse... and C-Clamp... Once the hole was dug and clear of all dirt.. I straddled the hole with a sawhorse and clamped the 3" by 3" ground stack to the sawhorse, while the ground stake hung from the sawhorse, I could adjust the sawhorse in any direction, to keep the ground stake hanging in the center of the hole.. Also you could rotate the sawhorse to keep the pole squared in any direction you chose. I didn't have to hold the ground stake while putting the concrete in the hole.. Just check the stake from time to time with a level, to keep it plumb while adding the concrete. And don't forget to wipe off any concrete on the ground stake after you fill the stake with concrete..
.

Dave
Thanks for the tips, Dave!

T-Bird
Last edited by T-Bird on Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1344
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.

Ground Stake Set!

Postby 4th Gen Martin Fan » Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:19 am

"Finally got the ground stake in the ground! My old back is aching!"

T-Bird,
The ground stake looks great! Good job! I missed the post level until I realized it is blue and hidden against the blue ground stake.
You cannot say you're old yet. The standing fellow looks 45 and the kneeling fellow looks 35. My Father (91 yo) considers anyone less than 70 yo a "Young Pup". He was born, raised and educated in Texas so you know he is a character and now proudly calls himself an "Old Codger".
Mark.
Firm believer in Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, S&S Control, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.

T-Bird
Posts: 93
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:08 am
Location: McKinney Texas
Martin Colony History: Rookie Season
Trendsetter 12
PMCA Member

Re: Ground Stake Set!

Postby T-Bird » Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:23 am

"Finally got the ground stake in the ground! My old back is aching!"

T-Bird,
The ground stake looks great! Good job! I missed the post level until I realized it is blue and hidden against the blue ground stake.
You cannot say you're old yet. The standing fellow looks 45 and the kneeling fellow looks 35. My Father (91 yo) considers anyone less than 70 yo a "Young Pup". He was born, raised and educated in Texas so you know he is a character and now proudly calls himself an "Old Codger".
Thanks!

I bought some blue painter’s tape, and wrapped the grey painted ground stake, to help keep the concrete off of the stake. Yeah, the post level was the same color as the tape, so its hard to see. The guy standing is me, and at 50 years old, I am starting to feel my age. My buddy who is kneeling, he’s actually a year older than me. He’ll get a kick out of what you said. My Mother, who is 87, and who lives with my wife and I, is still pretty active. She is from San Antonio originally. There are some days that I can’t keep up with her. This Martin house was a Christmas present to her, but I am just as excited about it as she is! Sounds like your Pop is a piece of work!

Image
Last edited by T-Bird on Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Return to “Purple Martin Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 15 guests