leaving pop-up tower out during the winter

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Nov 7, 2023, 7:34:00 AM11/7/23
to Motus Wildlife Tracking System
Hi everyone, 

We have been deploying temporary pop-up towers in our study area for the past few years for a couple of research projects. However, we always took them down before the winter, as the projects we needed them for were usually completed by the end of the fall and we didn't have permission from the landowners to keep them out throughout the winter. 

This year we would like to keep them out until the spring, as we have an ongoing research project on local Northern Cardinal movements. 
We were wondering if anyone has run into problems when keeping their pop-up towers out throughout all winter? I just saw that Motus recommends to screw on wooden blocks to the tripod to prevent it from sinking during the spring when the ground softens. We did not do that with our two pop-up towers. Is that a common problem? Have you also had problems with snow going inside the storage box where the sensorgnome and battery is? 
I know a lot of projects leave out their towers out during the winter, so I don't expect we will run into many problems, but I still wanted to check :) Thanks! 

Kelly Williams

Nov 14, 2023, 9:08:45 AM11/14/23
to motu...@googlegroups.com
I have pop up towers out all year (2 have been up for over 2 years).   I used a 5 foot pipe as a base (2.5 ft or more in the ground) instead of relying on the tripod. The tripod is still there but mainly as a frame for the solar panel.    I put 5/8 inch stainless steel bolts through the joints of the mast for added support. I upgraded to 3 foot angle iron (solid black) for guy wire anchors. Drilling holes through the angle iron required good drill bits and a drill press but the angle iron provides a lot more stability than my previous anchors.  I check the tower at least every 3 months to make sure guy wires are tight and all looks good.  I do winter tagging so I do check the tower more frequently in winter/spring.  

Good luck! 

Dr. Kelly Williams
Rush Elliott Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
318 Irvine Hall
Ohio University 
Athens, OH 45701

On Nov 7, 2023, at 7:33 AM, anacmo...@gmail.com <anacmo...@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi everyone, 
The Motus Wildlife Tracking System (Motus) is an international collaborative research network that uses coordinated automated radio telemetry to facilitate research and education on the ecology and conservation of migratory animals. Motus is a program of Birds Canada in partnership with collaborating researchers and organizations. Learn more at https://motus.org
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