Round 7: Starling defeats original Excluder!

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Peggy Riley
Posts: 885
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:21 pm
Location: TX/Tolar

Mike I'd try raising it flush above the indentation and see what happens.

Is the indentation necessary? FYI I don't have any Conley II.

Peggy
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John Miller
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I'd go to a different entrance. Once a female starling has learned to enter, she's less likely to be stopped by shimming up the porch level. Putting a different plate on the front of these should be pretty feasible.

John M
Scully
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Location: Texas/San Antonio

Actually, courtesy of S&K, I have a reg'lar plethora of entrances right now 8)

What I dont have yet is a Troyer Horizontal trap, nor an older-style Excluder entrance. Will order the trap Monday, first thing.

With this particular starling I'm trying different entrances.

Next up is a Modified Excluder entrance tho I'll have to commit the sacriledge of cutting up a perfectly good Modified Excluder gourd to get it

I feel pretty confident the regular Excluder would stop it, and certainly the Dually, but at the end of all this I'd like to capture, humanely kill and weigh this starling just to see how large it is compared to "regular" starlings.

I can't exclude and catch it both, if you get my drift.



OTOH, another affected gourd rack at the other elementary school has a starling in a Conley II Horizontal Troyer sitting on seven eggs just laid this week.

THAT rack I intend to replace the Conley II's with Dually entrances this coming week. Some apprehension there though on account of two other Troyers there already have martin broods in them, I would hate to prevent the adult martins from getting in if they cant learn the Dually's.

Mike Scully
...if the gentlemen of Virginia shall send us a dozen of their sons, we would take great care in their education, instruct them in all we know, and make men of them. Canasatego 1744
KathyF
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Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

So, are you going to remove the lip on the porch to try it, since she was using that to push from?
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
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Matt F.
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Scully wrote:I forget who it was, someone here a few years back put captured starlings inside gourds with different SREH's on them much as you did with that Conley II. Under those circumstances, the starlings, in desperately trying to escape, negotiated every SREH style on hand.

I don't know if these results included the Excluder.
Great article. Discusses some of the testing Duke conducted:
http://purplemartin.org/update/10(1)snyder.html
Scott D.- La
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[quote="Scully"]

With this particular starling I'm trying different entrances.

Next up is a Modified Excluder entrance tho I'll have to commit the sacriledge of cutting up a perfectly good Modified Excluder gourd to get it



Mike, If you noticed my previous post, It was a Modified Excluder which was breeched and a nest built in a Troyer Horizontal. Just trying to help you out as I think the Starling will most certainly breech the Modified Excluder. No sense in destroying a gourd to get it out IMO! I also had a flush mount Wing Entrapment Guard installed on the ME. I would try the Dually, and see what happen's.
Scully
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Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 5:35 pm
Location: Texas/San Antonio

OK, shimming the whole porch flush with the entrance while leaving the space for the cutout semed a bit daunting in terms of time spent searching for materials so I opted for cardboard intstead. After all I know the timetable of this starling well-enough that this entrance would only have to serve for less than an hour.

OK, at dusk, here it is.....

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I must apologize for the even worse-than-usual photos, I accidentally left the camera on the "micro" setting for close-ups.

First off, the importance of a secure perch to the starling was a surprise, here it is halfway perched on the smooth cardboard in a straddle-legged posture, one leg actually splayed back, clinging to the owl guard for support while, head down, it peers into the entrance.....

Image

Once on the porch the lack of traction was obvious, the starling scrambling wildly with its legs as it tried to enter the gourd. Here it is between rounds, thoroughly stymied.

Image

Starlings in this situation will often fly away for a few minutes, or pause for an extended preening session, before coming back to give it another try. The starling did that three times.

Here's mid-way in the fourth and final effort, after much wild scrabbling with its feet it actually paused for about thirty seconds this way, apparently mid-way into the entrance, possibly on its side.

Image

One final wriggle though and in it went.

So yes, raising a smooth porch to the level of the entrance does indeed make it harder for starlings to get into a Conley II, and that may serve to discourage prospecting rather than nesting starlingsl.

My question is though how is a smooth porch like that not a death trap to any older nestlings that wander out onto it. Surely they would fall off, sooner rather than later?

Mike Scully
...if the gentlemen of Virginia shall send us a dozen of their sons, we would take great care in their education, instruct them in all we know, and make men of them. Canasatego 1744
~Ray~Gingerich
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Well I had to move one of my gourd racks because I fenced the area off for livestock, I ordered a new ground stake and moved the pole to the new location, I do overkill on my ground stakes 12" dia and 36" deep so I didn't think I could remove the old stake without a lot of digging, yesterday I gave it a try, I dug down around the outside just enough to wrap a chain around the cement then left a little slack on the chain and pulled sideways twice with my tractor, then I attached the chain to my tractor bucket and pulled vertically, on the 3rd tug the ground socket, cement and all pulled right out! all done in 5 minutes, sure saved me a lot of work :)
~Ray~ Gingerich
1999 1pair, 2006 2 pair, 2008 2 pair,
2009 23 pair, 2010 39 pair, 2011 67 pair,
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2020 233 pair
~Ray~Gingerich
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Don't know how my new posting went here?
~Ray~ Gingerich
1999 1pair, 2006 2 pair, 2008 2 pair,
2009 23 pair, 2010 39 pair, 2011 67 pair,
2012 115 pair, 2013 160 pair,
2014 152 pair, 2015 174 pair, 2016 178 pair
2017 187 pair, 2018 200 pair, 2019 171pair
2020 233 pair
Carlton
Posts: 1942
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Location: Florida/Pompano Beach
Martin Colony History: I moved to South Florida, from Delaware, in August of 2015.

I will have 2 MSS-8 houses, with Excluder entrances, here on my condo grounds. This season I will also have two Deluxe Gourd Racks with 24 Excluder Gourds with Modified Excluder entrances. In our condo development, along the lake in a different section, I have 8 Excluder Gourds hanging from 84 inch Shepherd's Hooks with predator guards.

At Quiet Waters Park, nearby in Deerfield Beach, I care for a Deluxe Gourd Rack with 12 TVG's. I also care for a Deluxe Gourd rack with 12 Excluder gourds with Modified Excluder entrances.

At another local park, Tradewinds Park at Coconut Creek, care for a Trendsetter 12, 5 gourds rack with 60 Excluder gourds with Modified Excluder Entrances and 1 Deluxe Gourd Rack with 12 Troyer Vertical Gourds with wing guards over the Conley II to keep out smaller starlings.

I would be interested in seeing the results of an unporched gourd with a Clinger entrance.

When I was using natural gourds I had three with Clinger entrances and no porches. They did have two curved rods hanging down in front of the entrance for owl protection. The martins quickly learned how to just fly to the entrance, do a sort of pull up and scoot inside. There were large clutches of eggs in those huge, natural gourds that year and no losses. No starlings ever got in.

Carl
Emil Pampell-Tx
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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

Carl, I tested that exact entrance in the manner you describe, and no starlings escaped the test box. I tried using that method the following year, the martins don't like to use them, many remained empty. Our martins like porches and tunnels. I tried about 10 natural gourds like that, and about 7 remained empty. For the ones that used them, there was no problem, they went right in. In my opinion, it would make any entrance much more starling resistant if you did not use porches

My opinion is that it would be much harder to start a new colony that way, and harder to fill up the housing that way. Many potential martins will simply go to some other site.

Then there is my preference for our enjoyment, I like to see them sit on the porches, and don't enjoy seeing them hanging onto the entrance. If I had a severe starling problem, I may reconsider
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Scully
Posts: 2008
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Location: Texas/San Antonio

I'm just the opposite, if I could get by without a single porch I'd be good with it.

Image

Up until last year S&K stuff was the only type we ran porches on.

Gonna try our Conley II's with cling plates and I'm gonna try a cling plate Clinger on one of those starlings.

Mike Scully
...if the gentlemen of Virginia shall send us a dozen of their sons, we would take great care in their education, instruct them in all we know, and make men of them. Canasatego 1744
Carlton
Posts: 1942
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 6:42 pm
Location: Florida/Pompano Beach
Martin Colony History: I moved to South Florida, from Delaware, in August of 2015.

I will have 2 MSS-8 houses, with Excluder entrances, here on my condo grounds. This season I will also have two Deluxe Gourd Racks with 24 Excluder Gourds with Modified Excluder entrances. In our condo development, along the lake in a different section, I have 8 Excluder Gourds hanging from 84 inch Shepherd's Hooks with predator guards.

At Quiet Waters Park, nearby in Deerfield Beach, I care for a Deluxe Gourd Rack with 12 TVG's. I also care for a Deluxe Gourd rack with 12 Excluder gourds with Modified Excluder entrances.

At another local park, Tradewinds Park at Coconut Creek, care for a Trendsetter 12, 5 gourds rack with 60 Excluder gourds with Modified Excluder Entrances and 1 Deluxe Gourd Rack with 12 Troyer Vertical Gourds with wing guards over the Conley II to keep out smaller starlings.

I found your comments VERY interesting, Emil. Thanks!

I wonder if offspring raised in gourds without porches would react differently to such gourds when they returned to breed the next year.

One benefit I found of having the large, unporched gourds was that the young stayed in the safety of the gourd and did not venture outside as quickly.

Looking forward to the results of your tests, Mike.
Louise Chambers
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When the PMCA first tested crescent SREHs at our Edinboro PA site, we used unporched crescents on natural gourds - no problem for the martins. Later we tried Excluder plates on unporched naturals, martins used them.

I think porches came into wide use with the advent of plastic gourds with SREHS. The slicker surface of a plastic gourd (SuperGourds) made it harder for martins to enter, even with traction ridges below the entrance hole, so porches were added to make it easier for the birds to enter. Plastic gourds with round entrances were no problem for the martins. And I agree with Carl's statement that without porches, young stay inside - it's a trade-off. Martins can use SREHS on plastic gourds without porches but use them more readily with porches.

We have never had a starling get into any SREH that I can recall, porched or unporched. Maybe we breed 'em nice and fat in NW Pennsylvania. :wink: But that's true here in Texas too, so far - using Conley IIs, crescents, Excluders, and Modified Excluders. At least wiith everyone sharing results and ideas here, those with problems will find solutions sooner than they would on their own.
Scully
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John Miller kindly sent three entrance plates to test (thank you John).

I was loking forward to trying trying the origianl Excluder, but as it turns out it is wider than the Troyer horizntal at the tunnel entrance....

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Because time is pressing, I decided to skip testing the Modified Excluder...

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...and move on to the much harder-looking Excluder II..

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Seemed promising but no luck. The three starling eggs have just hatched, didn't take the starling long at all, about the third attempt :???:

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Next up; Conley II and Clinger entrances with cling plates.

Mike Scully
...if the gentlemen of Virginia shall send us a dozen of their sons, we would take great care in their education, instruct them in all we know, and make men of them. Canasatego 1744
Matt F.
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Location: Houston, TX

Scully wrote:John Miller kindly sent three entrance plates to test (thank you John).

I was looking forward to trying trying the origianl Excluder, but as it turns out it is wider than the Troyer horizntal at the tunnel entrance....
Mike,
I would still try the original Excluder. The small amount on either end that does not clear the tunnel, I'm confident is not going to alter the performance of that entrance.
Last edited by Matt F. on Wed May 09, 2012 9:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
Emil Pampell-Tx
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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 aqree with Matt, the outside parts of the excluder are not used in any way, so it would not matter if they stick over.

What mostly determines the effectiveness of the entrance are the location and height of the pips (or the angle of the bottom near the center). Narrow entrances help somewhat but are not a hugh factor

For instance, the Dually does not have pips, but its very effective because of the slope of the bottom (near the center). The width between the pips, or the slope are very important.

The base of the starling is wider than a purple martin in my opinion, so the angle of the slope, or the angle of the pips is what prevents the starling from entering.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
Rick Meyer
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Recently had a starling breach my flush crescent entries on my Lonestar Alamo. She shoved her head in as far as she could and started to wiggle back and forth....I couldn't believe it. Starlings are like a plague this year...anyway.....there's now 4 fewer in the world.
Scully
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Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 5:35 pm
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Not sure I would have believed it if I didn't just see it with my own eyes.

Fully expecting the original Excluder to win, I wanted it to beat the starling fair and square. Opening up one of the entrances Dave from S&K kindly gave me allowed me to mount the Excluder plate (thank you John Miller ) fully unencumbered by the sides of the Troyer tunnel.

Also note I made no effort to mount the opening flush with the porch.

Image

The biggest pain was watching the starling preen almost uninterrupted for 45 minutes before making a serious effort to enter. It seems that starlings get more aggressive with young in the nest, several times she attacked martins perching on the gourd rack, flying right into them and in one case grappling with one as they fell.

A starling nesting on a nearby building, also with young, was aggressively chasing sparrows in flight from the vicinity of the nest, a behavior I have not witnessed before.

When the gourd rack Starling did get serious about getting in, at late dusk, it took her all of about thirty seconds to figure it out :???:

It was dark enough that the flash went off, in the first pic, note the eye shine on the martin on the left, and inside the Modified Excluder gourd on the right...

Image


Image

Mike Scully
...if the gentlemen of Virginia shall send us a dozen of their sons, we would take great care in their education, instruct them in all we know, and make men of them. Canasatego 1744
M.Stephens
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Mike, Ken Landry has succeesfully tested his new Dually II entrance and it is starling proof! It has been tested with nesting starlings that has eggs in the nest and the females cannot get in and the martins can enter and exit this same entrance succesfully. The new entrance will not be available this season but is in the process. The first step was the testing but it should be available next season. : )
Malcolm
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