DIY Martin House Poles

Making a purple martin house gives the migrating birds a yearly nesting area.

Wooden Post

Use an old tree limb as a purple martin bird house pole.Use an old tree limb as a purple martin bird house pole.
Largest of all species of swallows, purple martins spend time in Brazil while not breeding. When their breeding period occurs, they travel to North America in search of nests. Making a purple martin house is relatively basic. You can purchase already crafted houses, but they can be expensive. Using a pole to support the house is an important element of the bird house. Fortunately, there is a variety of homemade options bird house makers have to create a support pole.
Wooden posts work well holding the purple martin bird house.

Attach two wooden 4-inch-by-4-inch posts together, if one post does not reach at least 12 feet in height once installed. The total recommended height of the purple martin house should be 12 to 20 feet, according to The Purple Martin Conservation Association.

Measure the posts to the desired length. Mark them using a pen or pencil where you are making the cut. Saw the posts to the desired length.

Lay both posts on a flat surface end to end. Wrap a metal tie wrap around the touching ends, joining them together. Nail the posts together by inserting nails into the holes located on both sides of the tie wrap.

Attach the purple martin bird house to the top pole end. Nail or screw the base in place to the pole end.

Dig an 18- to 24-inch deep hole that is approximately 6 inches in diameter wider than the wooden post. Use a posthole digger to create the hole.

Mix one bag of quick-mix concrete, according to package instructions.

Place the wooden post into the hole. Use another person to hold the post upright and straight.

Pour the concrete mix around the post and into the hole. Pack it down using a shovel. Straighten the post using a level and tapping it with a hammer to get it straight. Allow concrete to dry.

Tree Limb

Saw off a tree limb, approximately 14 feet in length and 8 to 10 inches in diameter. Use a relatively straight branch so it stands upright when placed into the ground.

Trim off any side branches flush with the main limb. Use pruning shears, loppers or a chain saw.

Attach the purple martin house to the top section of the limb. Use screws or nails to attach the bird house's base to the limb.

Dig an 18- to 24-inch hole that is approximately 6 inches in diameter wider than the limb. Use a post hole digger to create the hole.

Mix one bag of quick-mix concrete, according to package instructions. Stand the limb upright into the hole and have a second person hold it in place. Pour the concrete into the hole around the limb and pack it down using a shovel. Use a level to make sure it's straight.

Things You Will Need

  • Post
  • Measuring tape
  • Pen
  • Pencil
  • Saw
  • Metal tie wrap
  • Level
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Bird house
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws
  • Posthole digger
  • Concrete
  • Tree limb
  • Pruning shears
  • Loppers
  • Chainsaw

Tips

  • Situate a purple martin house approximately 100 feet from structures, patios, swimming pools or other areas of human activity.
  • Keep the bird house approximately 40 feet from trees.
  • There are generally four to six babies in each nest.

About the Author

For over 25 years, Joyce Starr has owned businesses dealing with landscape & design, lawn maintenance, specialty herbs and a garden center. She holds certificates in landscape design and xeriscaping. Starr shares her passion for nature in her writing, publishing articles on horticulture, outdoor recreation, travel as well as business.