Wing guards for starling "proofing" gourd entrances

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Brad Biddle
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Wing guards for starling "proofing" gourd entrances

Postby Brad Biddle » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:31 pm

Last spring/summer I started a thread about how NON stariling resistant the Conley II entrances are on my Troyer vertical gourds. Someone posted a link to an article about using wing entrapment guards for entrance reducers. Said that would take care of the Starlings. I had killed most all of the Starlings that were nesting in my gourds by the time my entrance reducers came in so I never put them on. After having my first 2019 arrival earlier in the week, I put them on today. I had bought 24 but will need at least 100 more if they work.

So for those who have used them, is all I need to do is install the curved guard on the entrance?

Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6696
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)

Re: Wing guards for starling "proofing" gourd entrances

Postby Emil Pampell-Tx » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:38 am

Brad, why not try the modification that I suggest in the post below "How to put sideboards on an entrance to help stop starlings ". The walls are so easy to make and lexel can be used to attach the sidewalls. They also are a perfect wing entrapment guard. The walls force the starling to enter straight in, thus it cannot enter. Works on any entrance that is 1-3/16 inch tall. Anything works that forces the starling to go straight in.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps

Lewis
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 3:21 pm
Location: Georgia/Newnan

Re: Wing guards for starling "proofing" gourd entrances

Postby Lewis » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:24 am

Brad,

John Miller has reported that it has worked for him and I have read where it has worked for others. Using the screws that come with the guard and a counter sink drill you can install the guard in less than 5 min. You can always raise floor later if needed.

Lewis
Spring Garden Keeper

Brad Biddle
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: Wing guards for starling "proofing" gourd entrances

Postby Brad Biddle » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:29 am

Emil, I saw what you posted and it sure looks like it would work good, but I just don't have time anymore to do a lot of DIY projects. That's a great problem for me because that means our business is doing good. After nearly 6 years of self employment, I am no longer employable. I just don't think I could work for someone else again. I hope and pray I never have to find out.

I had 24 of the guards and installed them very quickly yesterday. We have a battery powered Milwaukee pop rivet gun at our shop and I installed them with one 3/16 x 5/8" aluminum pop rivet. They don't even wiggle. I wish I had all these cool tools back when I was making my own tunnels. LOL

Thanks for the reply Lewis. They look like they would work good when installed. They surely cut the entrance size down quite a bit. I hope I put them on correctly. I put the top of the arch, flush with the top of the opening. I hope I didn't get any too low.

Brad Biddle
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: Wing guards for starling "proofing" gourd entrances

Postby Brad Biddle » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:36 am

Lewis, I just went back and re-read the article you wrote about those guards. It appears that you have yours raised up above the top of the entrance a bit. Have you tried any with the guard mounted flush at the top?

Lewis
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 3:21 pm
Location: Georgia/Newnan

Re: Wing guards for starling "proofing" gourd entrances

Postby Lewis » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:11 pm

No I installed all of mine so to maintain the the Conley II entrance 1 and 3/16 in. from the dip in the Conley II to the top edge of the Conley II.
If you installed yours where you still have a 1 an 3/16 in clearance you should be all right. You will know when the martins try to enter. I think you will be OK. I got one male here on the 8th expect others any day. Yours should be there soon.

Lewis
Spring Garden Keeper

Brad Biddle
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: Wing guards for starling "proofing" gourd entrances

Postby Brad Biddle » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:28 pm

Thanks. My first one arrived on 2/7. Earliest arrival ever at this colony. I started this colony in either 02 or 03 and the previous earliest arrival was on 2/8. I have not averaged my first arrival date, but I know it's at least a week earlier than average. IIRC, that 2/8 year was a horribly cold, late spring.

4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1263
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:19 pm
Location: TN/Collierville
Martin Colony History: I have been exposed to purple martin sounds in utero when my mother went out to get my father away from his martin colony.
I played around the martin colony every summer and watched as my father maintained his colony. In the late 50's until the 70's he did not notice European Starlings in south Texas.
When old enough, I helped maintain his colony. My primary task was eliminating English House Sparrows with a scoped Benjamin .177 pellet rifle.
When I settled into my own home, I started my first colony with an original Trio Castle and Trio Grandpa. When I moved again, I did not put up any martin houses. Frustration with European Starlings in the Southeast US was overwhelming.
Found PMCA Forum and learned about modern enlarged compartments and SREHs.
Inherited my father's last martin house, a Trio Grandma, modified it to modern specifications and have had good results since then.

Wing guards for starling "proofing" gourd entrances

Postby 4th Gen Martin Fan » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:43 pm

Brad,
I have installed the wing entrapment protectors, "WEP", aka wing guards flush with the top of the Conley II entrances and had the martins enter without any problems.
I have also installed WEPs on crescent entrances flush to the top of the crescent SREH without issues for the martins.
I agree with Lewis and Emil that the most critical factor is maintaining the 1 3/16 inch height to the SREHs.
I use a go/no go height gauge on all SREHs to confirm that the height is correct. John Miller discusses how important that height is in this post:

https://www.purplemartin.org/forum/view ... ht#p257752

Less than 1 3/16 inch and the Purple Martins cannot enter. Greater than 1 7/32 inch and the European Starlings can enter.
My purple landlording experience has been revolutionized since I learned about the Lewis Modification to Conley II and Crescent entrances.
I also believe that Emil's approach is viable but have not tried it.
Mark.
Firm believer in Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, S&S Control, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.

Brad Biddle
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: Wing guards for starling "proofing" gourd entrances

Postby Brad Biddle » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:36 pm

Thanks for the reply. I'm well versed in SREH design and sizing. II use to make my own tunnels and still have many in use but I don't have time to do that now. The Conley II entrance replaced the WDC (Willie D Conley) entrance when a threat of a lawsuit came from Duke Snyder for patent infringement with the Excluder entrance. The WDC (my favorite all time SREH) when built to exactly 1.1875" tall, was 100% starling PROOF. I've used them for 10-15 years, or since whenever they came out. There was also some argument about who actually came up with what is now known as the Conley II. It was first seen and designed by members on the pmclubhouse before it was released by Conley, but it could have been developed by him at the same time. It's the only logical way around the patent. When the Conley II came out, after the WDC lawsuit threat, I knew it was just a matter of time before Starlings breached them. It's basically just an old obround entrance with a little more restriction. Obround entrances were only a mild inconvenience for Starlings.

Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6696
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)

Re: Wing guards for starling "proofing" gourd entrances

Postby Emil Pampell-Tx » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:48 am

Brad, its so nice to see your business going great, keep on trucking! I too know who developed the Clubhouse entrance (later called the Conley), but it does not matter any more to me, some people just do odd things.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps

Kayak guy
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:27 am
Location: Florida

Re: Wing guards for starling "proofing" gourd entrances

Postby Kayak guy » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:33 am

Hello
I am just starting with a new PM house with gourds. I ordered with modified excluder openings. Do I need to get starling guards for these?

Lewis
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 3:21 pm
Location: Georgia/Newnan

Re: Wing guards for starling "proofing" gourd entrances

Postby Lewis » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:53 pm

Kayak,

Sounds like you ordered the Excluder Gourds from PMCA. I don't think the the wing guards are necessary and probably will not fit this gourd.For your house, I don't think you can buy Modified Excluder plates, however you can order the full Excluder plates from PMCA.

Lewis
Spring Garden Keeper


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