Ideas wanted for housing portable base

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bootjack farm
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:30 am
Location: Russell, Pa
Martin Colony History: 9 years of trying hard...finally in 2017 I had 3 pair w/ 11 babies. T-14 +4 w/ 4 Troyer horiz. gourds. Troyer Super System 24. Fast forward to 2020... 64 fledged.

I am working with the local Audubon Center on an idea to rent out a 6 gourd Troyer unit (as a fund raiser and to increase interest in PUMAs). Someone is willing to donate four units with ground stakes (no gourds) to them. We are kicking around the idea of completing the setups and renting them out to prospective landlords. Sites would need to be deemed suitable and delivery would be included.

A hangup is coming up with a base that is portable. Does anyone have any ideas or experiences to share? Thanks
Northwest PA
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2938
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

I can't picture anything that is truely portable and would hold up to winds etc. might be easier to buy the ground stake and cement it in. If they don't get martins you can remove the pole and cut the stake off at the ground.
2020 Currently 42 nest, 110 babies, 64 eggs left to hatch(6-22-20) HOSP count-8
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.
bootjack farm
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:30 am
Location: Russell, Pa
Martin Colony History: 9 years of trying hard...finally in 2017 I had 3 pair w/ 11 babies. T-14 +4 w/ 4 Troyer horiz. gourds. Troyer Super System 24. Fast forward to 2020... 64 fledged.

I was thinking about retro fitting an outdoor basketball hoop base or attaching guy wires to the pole and anchor it with ground screws or rebar stakes. The guys would need to be below the predator guard. I was hoping someone out there has tried something that did or didn't work or had other ideas. These are small units (2" aluminum pole I think) with only 6 gourds. My guess is that folks wouldn't want a concrete base left in their yard even if underground when they return the unit. Ground stakes alone cost $55. Way too expensive to abandon.
Northwest PA
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2938
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Depends on how you look at it. $50.00 is a lot cheaper than having a rack full of martins tip over during a wind storm. Basically 100% of the people who have martin houses have their housing on a pole that is in the ground. If there was a cheap and reliable way to have portable housing all of us would be doing it. I'm not saying you not going to be able to find something but I am guessing it won't be as simple as a ground stake.
2020 Currently 42 nest, 110 babies, 64 eggs left to hatch(6-22-20) HOSP count-8
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.
Kegger
Posts: 117
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:58 am
Location: Awesome Florida
Martin Colony History: Newbie in 2020: 2 pair of SY with 4 eggs each in Troyer Horizontals
fledged a total of 7 Martins

hang a rental gourd or house from a tree or a building or suspend between 2 points??
tripod?
bootjack farm
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:30 am
Location: Russell, Pa
Martin Colony History: 9 years of trying hard...finally in 2017 I had 3 pair w/ 11 babies. T-14 +4 w/ 4 Troyer horiz. gourds. Troyer Super System 24. Fast forward to 2020... 64 fledged.

So here's what I would like to try ( Also remember we are trying to utilize the Troyer poles and ground stakes that are being donated): 1) Have a steel collar that slips over the ground stake. This would need to be fabricated. 2) From that collar, weld one piece of angle iron to each of the collar's 4 sides making an "X" pattern. These would be parallel to the ground. They would be about 3 foot long and have attachment for ground stakes at their ends. The angle iron "outriggers" would be flush with the ground so at to not create a tripping hazard. (Note : If the ground was uneven; SS cables could be used as outriggers with slack being taken up by SS turnbuckles)

I should think 4 ground stakes, 3 foot out would be sufficient to anchor this relatively small 6 gourd unit. That said I would like to try it first with unoccupied units to make sure it can hold up to the winds.
Northwest PA
~Ray~Gingerich
Posts: 2121
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Delaware/Dover

Best way is cement in the ground, they do make ground sockets that can be cemented in level with the concrete then the ground stake is inserted into socket. Please don't use guy wires, snakes and ground predators will have fun with that! I suppose if you are dead set on something portable a base could be installed half in and half out of the ground if with enough surface area and weight, but then you would need a tractor to move it.
~Ray~ Gingerich
1999 1pair, 2006 2 pair, 2008 2 pair,
2009 23 pair, 2010 39 pair, 2011 67 pair,
2012 115 pair, 2013 160 pair,
2014 152 pair, 2015 174 pair, 2016 178 pair
2017 187 pair, 2018 200 pair, 2019 171pair
2020 233 pair
Dave Duit
Posts: 1757
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: Iowa / Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2020, 60 pair with 285 fledged youngsters. 83 total cavities available, 58 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified deep trio metal house units, 1 fallout shelter, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President and founder of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit www.iamartin.org and join.

Hi bootjack farm,
Ray is 100% correct about guy wires as a route for predators. A bag of quickcret is inexpensive and a hole is easy to dig. I understand your wish is for it to be portable and the idea is well intentioned, but I worry about high winds. What you are doing for a fundraiser is very honorable and I prasie you for your idea and efforts in helping the martins. We need more good folks like you.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
bootjack farm
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:30 am
Location: Russell, Pa
Martin Colony History: 9 years of trying hard...finally in 2017 I had 3 pair w/ 11 babies. T-14 +4 w/ 4 Troyer horiz. gourds. Troyer Super System 24. Fast forward to 2020... 64 fledged.

The idea is to lend out the units for however long it takes to attract PUMAS so prospective landlords don't have the initial outlay of the high cost of a good set up. As you know wantabees often buy pretty low rent housing which may work against attracting PUMAs. The idea is that the newly successful landlord is responsible for purchasing a permanent set up after they attract the PUMAs and then return the borrowed unit to be re-used by others. Concrete does not make installation or removing easy or cost effective if you have to buy a ground stake each time. Not sure I see the problem with guy wires as long the predator guard is above them.
Northwest PA
Dave Duit
Posts: 1757
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: Iowa / Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2020, 60 pair with 285 fledged youngsters. 83 total cavities available, 58 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified deep trio metal house units, 1 fallout shelter, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President and founder of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit www.iamartin.org and join.

The guy wires with predator guards is a great idea and it would work. But, the issue is with how the purple martin perceive the guy wires. Martins have a built in instinct to look belwo for things such as thick brush or anything that could hide ground predators and they would instantly see the route of the predator up the guy wires. The pole guard would stop the predator, but the martin doesn't know that. To humans it is very logical that it works, but martins see it in terms of clear belwo and to the sides as desired. It is the same reason they like wide open fly zones around their housing. Don't get me wrong, as I do understand the concept of guy wires and pole baffle combo.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
PMDavid
Posts: 418
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 8:50 pm
Location: Boyce,Louisiana
Martin Colony History: Second year trying to attract martins. This year I am getting rid of the wooden house and showing something they are used to seeing.
Offering 2 trio grandpaws w/2natural gourds under each and C.Abare gourd rack w/16 natural gourds. And one rehabbed 16 compartment Coates original with two natural gourds.Lots of lookers,a few overnighters and daily activity cruising and looking. All gourds have a rain canopy and wire perch.2019 7 pair moving into 2020 almost double pairs from 2019. Still have most of the month of March to go for new arrivals and April.Here late in season seemed to have as many as 18 Pr of nesting birds. Huge upscale in birds from 2019. Will also have a 20 gourd satellite rack prepared for the 2021 season.

Hey bootjack ,since others have thrown out ideas here’s mine. It still involves concrete but,it doesn’t include $55 .00 for ground stakes or the wires to trip someone and get sued. If you may look at 3” thick wall sewer pipe. The ID is in fact 3” and your pole is 2” so ,did you know that they often “sand” in flagpoles.? Concrete in a section of the sewer pipe below the level of their yard,then wash in sand while holding the pole plumbed up wash it down with a bit of water and add a bit more sand till it s up to the top. When you have to retrieve your unit ,add water and twist and pull out. Cover the hole left and ur done outa sight and below grade of the yard,gone
~Ray~Gingerich
Posts: 2121
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Delaware/Dover

I have a bluebird house set up on a concrete base, the base is a 2ft cube of concrete and the house is up about 8ft.The base is heavy and solid but I used a tractor bucket to move it, I believe a base of this size and weight would easily handle a 6 gourd rack on a solid pole at 10 to 12 ft. Concrete weight is about 150 lbs per cubic foot.
~Ray~ Gingerich
1999 1pair, 2006 2 pair, 2008 2 pair,
2009 23 pair, 2010 39 pair, 2011 67 pair,
2012 115 pair, 2013 160 pair,
2014 152 pair, 2015 174 pair, 2016 178 pair
2017 187 pair, 2018 200 pair, 2019 171pair
2020 233 pair
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