Have you ever witnessed wing entrapment at your site?

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zoefluf
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Bush, Louisiana

Just wondering how many cases of wing entrapment there are in our Martin colonies, when they occur, which gourds and which entrances are prone to wing entrapment. I know it can happen in any entrance and any gourd but it would be good to have more information about this topic.

So, if you have ever had wing entrapment, would you report it here?

For me it happens at the beginning of the season when the PMs are fighting for mates and gourds. Over the past three years, I have had entrapments in Troyer Horizontals with the Conley II entrance (2), the Troyer Horizontal with the round entrance (1) and in a Coates house with the round entrance(1). Jeanne
"Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap, yet your heavenly Father feeds them."
Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6743
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)
Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

I never had wing entrapment. It occurs on wide tunnels, or wide fronts on houses. Since I use gourds and smaller tunnels, I never had the problem. Now recently, I used some wider tunnels, so I put these sideboards on the porch side of the entrance. The martins use these gourds, and the starlings have not been able to enter these. I think the sideboards help, the starling cannot enter sideways to get thru the entrance
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
Craig Dyer
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 2:24 pm
Location: Nevada, TX
Martin Colony History: Area is rural. Offer 28 compartments...metal housing (Lonestar Goliad) & Supergourds all w/crescent entrance holes. Purple martins are abundant here and eager for quality, well maintained, safe housing. Expect near 100% occupancy this season.

Hi Jeanne,

Unfortunately I too have experienced wing entrapment at my colony. It occurs every season during the period when the martins are jostling & fighting for nesting compartments. In my case wing entrapment occurs almost exclusively in the crescent entrances of a Lonestar Goliad. In this all metal housing the base of the crescent entrance hole is flush with the exterior porch and also flush with the interior cavity floor. I believe this, in addition to the thin cross section thickness of the metal door, facilitates a situation where a fighting martin easily slides into the pinch zone of the crescent entrance hole; resulting in wing entrapment. There are remedies and modifications that can be done to the housing that will minimize this. John Miller has offered some excellent remedies that can be found in previous Forum posts.

I almost never see wing entrapment in the other housing that I have offered (Grandpa Trio and Super Gourds). These also have crescent entrance holes. The base of the Trio's crescent entrance holes are slightly higher than the exterior porch and also higher than the interior flooring (about 3/8" inch). This appears to make all the difference in avoiding wing entrapment. The Super Gourds also have interior and exterior porches. The base of the crescent entrance holes are 3/8" to 1/2" higher than the interior and exterior porches. Again, this appears to make a big difference.
Craig Dyer
Steve Kroenke
Posts: 4342
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:49 pm
Location: Louisiana/Logansport

I have seen maybe over a dozen purple martins killed in crescent entrances on aluminum houses and others that died as a result of being "entombed" by the dead trapped martins. Most of these entrapments are the result of martins fighting inside the cavity and the loser tries to get out and becomes stuck in the entrance. However, we have seen dead martins stuck in crescent entrances and there were NO other martins inside the compartments. Just recently we found a dead female martin wedged in a crescent and a male stuck in another crescent at one of our satellite colonies. These were single martins that died in the crescents and no other martins were inside the compartments.

I have never had any martins permanently entrapped in any round holes in my colonies though a martin may “appear” to be stuck when trying to escape from another martin which is holding his/her victim in the entrance. Martin nesting behavior evolved for thousands of years in round hole cavities so martins are better adapted to enter/exit such entrances under a variety of situations, including stressful ones involving inter-specific fighting inside nest cavities.

Here is a photo of a dead martin that we found some time ago at one of our satellite colonies. She was FIRMLY wedged in the crescent and there were NO other martins inside the cavity with her:

Image

Steve
PMCA Member
300+ pairs of martins each season
Craig Dyer
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 2:24 pm
Location: Nevada, TX
Martin Colony History: Area is rural. Offer 28 compartments...metal housing (Lonestar Goliad) & Supergourds all w/crescent entrance holes. Purple martins are abundant here and eager for quality, well maintained, safe housing. Expect near 100% occupancy this season.

Maybe I should clarify...the interior cavity flooring of the Goliad is actually 1/2" lower the the base of the crescent entrance hole. When using nest trays (I recommend using) the interior flooring then becomes flush with the crescent entrance hole base.
Craig Dyer
zoefluf
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Bush, Louisiana

Steve,
I know you have different set-ups and housing at your site. Would you say that adding the Conley tunnel onto the Troyer horizontal gourd makes the tunnel entrance too long and a perfect place for the PMs to get trapped in when fighting?
JEANNE
"Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap, yet your heavenly Father feeds them."
klcretired
Posts: 2174
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2003 3:06 am
Location: Grand Prairie,Tx

I Have Never had a Wing Entrapment at either of my Colonies, Grand prairie Texas, safe side city park or Shreveport, La colony
Pictures Taken with Canon Rebel XT Digital using a Sigma 50-500 Long Lens.

Wishing everyone a Great Martin Year
Happy Martining for 2020 to everyone,

K.C.

klcretired@tx.rr.com
zoefluf
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Bush, Louisiana

K.C.,
What kind of gourds and entrances do you have at your colonies?
Jeanne
"Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap, yet your heavenly Father feeds them."
Steve Kroenke
Posts: 4342
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:49 pm
Location: Louisiana/Logansport

Hey Jeanne,

I use many Troyer Horizontals, including those with the cling plate and no add-on tunnel and the those with the add-on tunnel/porch.

I have never had any entrapment in the Troyer gourd with the cling plate. The tunnel area appears about just right in length for martins to escape during a fight inside the gourd.

However, I have had martins trapped in the add-on tunnel during violent fights. What seems to happen is that the losing martin gets turned sideways or even upside down inside the add-on tunnel and had a hard time getting out, particularly when an aggressive martin is attacking him/her. The older Troyer Horizontals with the add-on tunnels have an internal lip on the inside which creates an almost "double" tunnel area. This can cause martins to become trapped inside the add-on tunnel. The space is so confined that a martin can get its body twisted inside the add-on tunnel and the martin can't get out.

I don't think the add-on tunnel creates a "too long" tunnel. The internal lip which creates a double tunnel area may cause many of these entrapments because the martins become twisted sideways or upside down inside this confined space and the martins can't get out.

The newer Troyer Horizontals with the add-on tunnel don't have the internal lip and the tunnel area is open. So far, I have not had any martins becomes entrapped in these newer Horizontals.

Though I use round holes in my personal colony, the newer Troyer Horizontals with Conely II entrances have wing entrapment guards I believe and the tunnel area is open. These improvements should minimize wing entrapment issues.

If you have the older Troyer Horizontals with the internal lip, you can remove the lip and open up the tunnel area. This may help to minimize entrapment.

Steve
PMCA Member
300+ pairs of martins each season
zoefluf
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Bush, Louisiana

Steve,

I did remove the lip last year from all of my older Troyer Horizontals. Having done that, I thought I was home free! Yet, last year I lost three PMs to entrapment and this year have already had one entrapment. I will invest in all new tunnels next year with the entrapment guard but if that doesn't work, I'll think about replacing my Troyer Horizontals.

Hummm, perhaps my reputation as a loving landlord has caused all the clamor among the Martins, their tenacity in fighting for a home at my site. That's what I get for laying down the red carpet - i.e. soft pine needles, clean shiny gourds, pest free environment, tender loving care, crazy woman screaming at the hawks... :roll:
Jeanne
"Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap, yet your heavenly Father feeds them."
Lhawk
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri May 28, 2004 10:23 am
Location: Tennesse,Memphis
Martin Colony History: Started tying in 2001 finally got 3 pair in 2003. Since then I had a steady increase to the 34 pair I now host in 2 Watersedge Suites 1 Trendsetter,and 12 plastic gourds.

Jeanne,
I have had wing entrapment issues in the past, but after reading all the great information posted here I have greatly reduced the problem. I have a total of 34 cavities here in town, 24 in aluminum houses and 10 gourds, all the gourds have 3" tunnels and have never been a problem. The houses on the other hand had several instances of entrapment before I added the 5/8" weather stripping around the inside of the openings. These were both crescent and excluder entrances and I have not had a recurrance since I installed the weather strippng. I hope you have a wonderful Martin year
Lee
Tenth year as a landlord. Started with 9 pair the second year housing was up ,2004. Now have 32 pair here in town, and 38 pair at the farm. Life is truly good
KathyF
Posts: 3518
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

I've had wing entrapment in my Conley II equipped horizontals, but never the Troyer verticals. I've even had wing entrapment in my Trendsetter with the ConleyII plates on the front. I think it's the nature of the beast, so to speak. Keeping watch on the nest cavities is the only sure way to prevent it from becoming fatal.
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com
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