Pole Mounting Mounting the Amador Barn Owl Box on a removable pole is the preferred choice. In addition to allowing maximum flexibility for choice of location, this approach provides the easiest access to the box for annual cleanout. (Note that is strongly suggested, for safety reasons, that two people are available when erecting or removing the pole with the box attached.)
(As a special note, PLEASE check the box prior to removal to ensure that no raptors or birds are in residence)
Couple of Related Notes 1. A metal pole is preferred to wood as: (a) it will not rot and, (b) it is far more difficult for predatory animals to scale. 2. One or two nesting boxes for every ten acres of rodent infested land is recommended; one box for every 4 acres is maximum. 3. Although the box should be located away from dense woods, nearby trees give the fledgling owls a place to perch outside of the box while they learn to hunt. 4. Face the opening away from the prevailing wind.
NOTE: IN 2015, THE OLDER "BRACKET" MOUNTING APPROACH WAS REPLACED WITH A NEW PRE-MOUNTED "BLOCK" APPROACH. INTRUCTIONS FOR BOTH ARE INCLUDED HERE AS THE "BRACKETS" ARE STILL BEING SOLD AT SOME RETAILERS UNTIL OUT OF STOCK. PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS.
1. NEWEST APPROACH: Using Pole Mounting Blocks Replaces Brackets and Pole-Ready Mounting Kit The new Pole Mounting Blocks (also called “Falco Blocks”) make mounting an Amador Barn Owl Box on a metal pole much simpler – and less expensive - than ever before.Professionally selected woods are used to create two mounting blocks that are pre-mounted on the back of the Barn Owl Box (see photo above-right).
One block (top) is drilled half way thru to receive- and provide a cap for - the pole *. It is mounted at the top of the back, hole down. The second (bottom) block is drilled to allow the pole to slide through. It is mounted centered on the back of the box on the bottom. A set screw is used to tighten each block to the pole.
NOTE: If the optional Pole Mounting Blocks are purchased, your Amador Barn Owl Box will be shipped with the blocks attached to the box unless specified otherwise.
Included with the Barn Owl Box when equipped with Pole Mounting Blocks
Self-Tapping Metal Set Screws
14' section of 1-1/4" (ID) schedule 40 thickness galvanized metal pipe
38" section of 1" (ID) schedule 40 thickness galvanized metal pipe (the 'sleeve)
50lb bag of post hole cement
Tools Needed Shovel or post-hole digger or auger (6" or 8") Level Screwdriver or wrench for self-tapping screws (Drill - if you wish to pre-drill pilot hole for self-tapping screws
Mounting First, dig a hole 2’ deep. Using an augur or post hole digger works best as they create a well-formed hole. Second, mix one bag of cement with water. Third, center and insert the 1” pipe (sleeve) and, while holding the pipe straight pour the cement into the hole. (Alternative is to pour one bag of cement into the hole, add water and mix.) Use a level to be sure pipe is vertical and hold until cement is sufficiently hard to hold it in place - it will only take minutes.
Usually, one 50 lb. bag of Post Hole Cement is sufficient for securing the 1” pipe in the ground.
Next, mount the box on the 1 1/4 “ pipe. The pipe is run through the bottom block into the top block. Tighten the set screws into the pipe, and you’re ready to raise the box. Let cement harden overnight and you’re ready to raise the box onto the 1” stem.
Putting the Box Up It's best to have two people erect the mounted box. One person holds the bottom end of the pipe at an anglel seated on top the 1" sleeve; the other 'walks' the box up until, when vertical, it slides down over the 1" sleeve. (note: clean the top of the 1:" sleeve and bottom of the 1 1/4" pipe before mounting.
Alternative approaches include (1) using customer’s available materials; well pipe for example. (2) Using a tall sleeve with box mounted on 2nd pipe – discussed below.
In all cases, assure that the bottom of the box is 12’ above the ground.
NOTE: again, it is recommended that at least 2 persons be present to place the attached box onto the 1” standing pipe. The balance may be a bit precarious for a single person.
2. OLD APPROACH: Using the Pole-Ready Mounting Kit
Please note again that this is the original mounting technique and is largely phased out.
A wood bracket was used for mounting. The bracket - with box attached - was mounted on the galvanized pole. The instructions are included here as Brackets and Pole-Ready Mounting Kits (Bracket plus mounting hardware) may still be available at reseller stores.
Whether using the new 'Block' pole mounts, or the 'Bracket', the approach we have the most experience with is mounting the Amador Barn Owl Box on a 1-1/4" inside diameter Schedule 40 steel pipe, 14’ long. We recommend galvanized pipe to minimize rusting. Mounting the box as high as possible on the pole assures that the bottom of the box is 12’ above the ground. The pole is then slid down over a 1" pipe that has been cemented in the ground about 2 feet.
Materials needed: ** (1) 14' section of 1-1/4" (ID) schedule 40 metal pipe (2) 38" secton of 1" (ID) schedule 40 metal pipe (2) @ 50# bags of post hole cement (2) @ U-Bolts, 5/8" x 2-1/2" x 5" (2) @ 2-1/2" deck screws (2) @ 2" deck screws (4) @ 1-1/4" deck screws (4) @ 5/8" flat washers (4) @ 5/8" lock washers (1) @ 1-1/4” Split ring hanger collar (or appropriate size for pipe you use) (1) @ 3/8/” x 3/4” long bolt
** All of the items on the material list, except poles, are included in our installation Kit
Erecting the Pole-Mounted Barn Owl Box Once you have determined the best location for your nesting box, dig a hole 24 to 30 inches deep and cement the 1" section of pipe into the hole. Make sure that the pipe is straight (We use a level to check this.). To assist in this task a section of 1-1/4" PVC may be of benefit; slip it over the steel pipe as an extension to better check alignment.
Once the cement has set you are ready to continue the mounting process.
Place your owl nesting box on the ground with the back of the box facing up. Place the Amador Barn Owl Company Mounting Bracket in the middle, side to side, of the back of the box. Make sure that the bottom of the bracket is snug against the bottom of the box, and install the 1-1/4" screws through the back of the bracket into the back of the box.
Next install the 2" screws through the bottom of the bracket into the bottom of the box, followed by the installation of the 2-1/2" screws through the top of the mounting bracket into the top of the box.
To install the U-Bolts, it is necessary to drill 2 holes through the back of each the top and bottom portions of the mounting bracket. Make sure that they correspond to the width of the U-Bolt, and pass through both the backing and ledger portions of the bracket. The U-Bolt holes should be drilled so that when installed, the U-Bolt is equidistant from each side of the mounting bracket. If you purchase the installation kit at the same time as the bracket directly from us, this process will have already been completed.
A 3/8” hole needs to be drilled through the 1-1/4” galvanized pipe approximately 24” down from the top of the pipe. The split ring collar is then mounted at this location with the 3/8” bolt passing through the collar, and into the hole in the pipe. Attach the two halves of the collar together. It is recommended that you use some type of thread lock on all of the connector bolts. Once installed, this will prevent the box from slipping down the pole.
With the mounting bracket attached to the box, place the box on the ground face down. Place the 1-1/4" metal pipe on the center line of the mounting bracket, with the collar butted against the bottom of the mounting bracket. The U-Bolt is to be placed over the pipe with the provided double washer sandwiched between the metal pole and the wooden portion of the back of the bracket. Make sure this is done to both brackets before attempting to tighten the U-bolts. Depending on the size of hole you drilled, it may be necessary to tap the back of the U-bolts through the wood. Install the round, flat and lock washers followed by the nuts and tighten the U-Bolts.
It is recommended that at least 2 persons be present to place the pipe with the box attached onto the standing pipe cemented in the ground as the balance may be a bit precarious for a single person.
Another Alternative Approach - Telescoping Pole We have little experience with this approach, but one Vineyard Manager cements a section of 1-¼” OD pipe into the ground about 2 ½’ -3’ feet deep.
The Barn Owl box is secured (same as above) to a shorter, slightly larger diameter, section of galvanized pipe.
The pipe with the box slides over the standing pipe and secured in place by means of a pin or bolt through both pieced of pipe. A single hole is drilled through both pipes for a galvanized pin or bolt to slide through. The pin holds the upper pipe in place and may be removed to lower the box to ground level for cleaning without removing the pipe.
If wooden posts are a must, Redwood is preferable. Suggest 16’ long 6”x 6” set in concrete with 31⁄2’ below grade. They should be plumb. Attach the box to the post with lag screws, making sure that the box is level and centered on the post.
To deter predators from attempting to climb up to the nesting box, wood posts should have a 3-foot width of metal flashing wrapped around the base of the post 1 foot above the ground. In vineyard situations, it is very helpful to number the boxes before they are installed.