Replacement Pole for Martin House

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Posts: 9
Joined: Fri May 08, 2020 8:57 am
Location: Evanston, Illinois, USA

Hello again…
This is related to my earlier post about possibly moving a martin house. It’s a 12-room Nature House Pioneer, 10-15 years old and in pretty good shape. However, it’s on a three-part telescoping pole that’s a bit heavy for this older martineer. If we decide to move the house and pole, can the pole be retrofitted with a winch system? Or Is there another type of pole system that could lower this house while I stand at ground level? I’m thinking not, but figured I would ask.
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 Stuart,
Yes, the Trio (Nature House) M12k can be made to fit onto a winch and cable system. You can put 2 of them on a multi-purpose pole from the PMCA.
Since the house doesn't have a way to slide a pole through it, the base of the house is mounted onto the rack of the multi-purpose pole, and then it can go up and down on a winch and cable system. You can then even put 4 gourds underneath it. Picture and link here: ... pose-pole/
NC Purple Martin Society (PMCA affiliate)
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1483
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 concur with Courtney. The Multipurpose Pole with Winch System and 3 inch Pole from the PMCA Store is an excellent replacement pole for you. They are manufactured by Hilltop Specialties, LLC. It is easy to raise and lower with the winch system and strong enough with the 3 inch pole to withstand strong winds. Expensive but well worth it.
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.
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri May 08, 2020 8:57 am
Location: Evanston, Illinois, USA

Thanks Courtney and Mark. I will suggest getting one of these poles for next year's martin season. Cheers, Stuart
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:06 pm
Location: fredericksburg, va
Martin Colony History: 2016 bought 6 gourds. Pole put up late in June due to HOA approval. Had visitor birds but no pairs that stayed.
2017 12 gourds- Pole up 3/1 and had male and females visit but didn’t pair up.
2018 upgraded to 2 inch sq pole/winch and will have 24 gourds. Many solo visitors but seem to be passing by. Will trim trees and check fly ways.
2019 saw only one or two martins all summer. Brothers Martins didn’t show up at all.
2020 3 pairs, 1st- 5 eggs/ 2nd hatched 2 fledged, 2 - 5 eggs/ 2-5 hatched fledging 7/20-8/1, 3rd formed late July and no nest built.

I would agree with the prior posters. The multipurpose pole would be great for your setup. I would get another house to go with the one you got and convert them both from 12 to a 6 holes and make the depth of the compartments bigger. You could add tunnels and SREH plates at a minimum if you have round holes. There are several online links to converting the 12 barn type houses to a 6. So you could end up with two houses with 12 compartments 10-11 or so inches deep adding protection from owl and hawks. You could even hang a few gourds off the bottom or add a rack if you wanted that is below the houses.. Wench system is a must due to weight and most people getting up in age. My predator guard acts as a stop for my rack. Just make sure you get a removable predator guard and place it 48 inches above the wench not the ground. I run the cable up through the guard and I made a small hole for it. I had the tri pole with a barn 14 house setup and had to raise it up and down for things and it was hard at times without my wife helping out with the pins and such. I did swap to gourds because I can get more houses on my pole due to HOA rules. My pole is 2 inch but I am sure the 3 inch is even better and with the Mk 12 catching the wind more due to flat surfaces I would go with the 3 inch myself. Gourds seem to be more aerodynamic when it comes to wind issues and stress the pole less so I get away with having the 2 inch square pole. I do lower the pole 2 feet during high wind storms just to be safe.

Posts: 9
Joined: Fri May 08, 2020 8:57 am
Location: Evanston, Illinois, USA

Thanks, Red, for your helpful post and advice about the multi-purpose pole. The compartments in the existing house are already enlarged, so yes, if we added another similar house we would have 12 compartments total. Cheers, Stuart
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