entrance holes too small ?

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Post Reply
jimnks
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:31 pm
Location: kansas/tonganoxie

hello all, my name is jim, i live in ks. 35 miles west of kc. first martin finally showed up today!!! i have 3 martin houses,1 commercial, 2 homeade all have SREHs. i built one new one to replace old one,and modified other 2 to 6"by 12" nest compartments. the 2 homeade ones have porch dividers and have been converted this year to SREHs from previous round holes. the commercial house has been converted to 6"by12" nest compartments and has the same SREHs as in previous years but i turned it 90 degrees on the pole. the martin did not enter any of the houses, it only stuck it's head in the holes, my wife said the holes look too small. i know they can get in the commercial house because they nested in it last year. i cut the SREHs on the homeade houses even with the floor, the commercial house openings are off the floor apx. 1/2". shall i enlarge the holes a little bit, or shall i give them some time to adapt? i used the pattern of the 3" circle and the 1 3/16" height from top of circle.
jim
jimnks
Guest

It wouldn't hurt to enlarge the hole a bit when trying to establish a new colony but if you had birds last year its probably not necessary they will get in if they want to.

dick
John Miller
Posts: 4776
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

A big welcome to the Forum.

The martin's behavior is not unusual -- just peering in.

It's important to have the openings sized precisely and it's hard to measure with a ruler, especially the wooden crescents already installed flush.

You can make a gauge.

http://www.purplemartin.org/forum/viewt ... nogo+gauge.

Or just cut something that's exactly 1 3/16 tall and hold it against the openings, flush to the porch.

Flush is the hardest for starlings to enter, but starlings love wooden houses and will try harder, so I'd be hesitant to open these...but sometimes just wood swelling can make them too small. So measure carefully.

John
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3077
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

If you have a black plastic film canister around I believe those are pretty close to the correct size. It should slide inside of the SREH and not be too loose.
Keith
Posts: 418
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:45 pm
Location: Missouri/Ava
Martin Colony History: 85 pair in 2020. Seems fairly consistent the last few years.

Hello Jim,

I don't know how thick the material is that your houses are made from, but something that I personally have noticed is that any material thicker than one/fourth inch for the crescent entrance seems rejected by the martins. Other Martin landlords may not agree with this.

Good luck,
Keith Pellham
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

Keith, I heard the same thing, and I think its probably right
1 Ron Vasser
Posts: 581
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 8:26 pm
Location: Georgia/Rome

I've heard the same thing about thick entrances but I have 3 T-14 with 3/4" fronts and the martins use them fine. I've been questioned before if they are oversize and I've double checked them. They are crescent and ob-round and I've never had a martin trapped in them. If this house fills this year, and it's probably close now, it'll be the 5th time in 6 years.

Image
Ron
Keith
Posts: 418
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:45 pm
Location: Missouri/Ava
Martin Colony History: 85 pair in 2020. Seems fairly consistent the last few years.

Ron,

Thanks for letting me know about your house having the thicker entrance being used with success. Its good to know these things just so I can share sometime later.

Thanks,
Keith Pellham
jimnks
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:31 pm
Location: kansas/tonganoxie

Thanks all for your suggestions, the fronts are made out of 1/2" plywood, everything else is 3/4". I think I will take the front off of 1 house today and enlarge a couple of the 6 holes.I know how persistent starlings can be, but I will try to enforce "NO starlings or HOSP" rule with 12 gauge.
jimnks
Post Reply