Make old house into sparrow trap

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Posts: 1413
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

I just ordered 2 sreh traps to put in the too small of house I built last year. I plan to mount it about six feet off the ground on the old 4x4 post. Will the martins stay away from it, being that its too low to the ground? Can I make a hole too small for a martin to enter, if so what size does the hole need to be? I am determined to keep the sparrows out of the T14 so my hopefully, new colony will be safe.
Posts: 1480
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 12:30 pm
Location: Missouri/Lone Jack
Martin Colony History: Active since 2003

I have had a martin investigate my blue bird house which was around 5 feet off the ground and since you live in the south I bet the pms would go there easily
Posts: 1413
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

I just need to drill a hole small enough for a sparrow to fit through. I will redo the entrnces to the old house.
Posts: 2898
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Martins will investigate a house that is close to the ground. The best thing to do as metioned above is to make the entry hole smaller then a standard SREH entrance. That is the best way to insure that they don't get trapped.
2020 Currently 42 nest, 110 babies, 64 eggs left to hatch(6-22-20) HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair last count 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.

I'm no great expert, but I share the same problem with sparrows. It is my thinking that the traps do not have to be all that close to the martins. I am setting a bird house with a trap door about forty feet away from the martins, nearer to some trees and a shed. That location is more attractive to sparrows and less to martins.

If it isn't too much trouble to move the post you might want to try something of that sort.

I also have a wire cage trap that was pretty successful last year. I located it right under the martin house and baited it with seed containing lots of corn.
Mary Wilson-SW Ont
Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:24 pm
Location: Leamington Ontario

Martins definitely will consider nesting sites lower to the ground. One year we had two martin pairs in shepherd hooks which were situated below and between our gourd racks. ..... the website of the Ontario Purple Martin Association, in SW Ontario, Can

You can put the traps near some bushes or trees.
John Carter
Posts: 132
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2004 1:15 am
Location: Burlington/Iowa

In my experience with martins, bluebird and wrens I found that a sparrow can enter a hole as small as 1 1/8 inches. I have used sparrow doors on my trio house for many years and have never had a martin enter the trapping compartment. Hope this info helps.
john in SE IA
Posts: 1413
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

It does help. So 1 1/8 it is. Thanks alot.
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