T-14 owl guards

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Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:49 pm
Location: MD/Westminster

Hi all, Wanted to share another one of my feeble attempts to discourage owls.
I have extended the original porches out to 12 inches by securing a cedar porch
to the original porch and adding flat 1/2 aluminum slates as shown. Also I have added
hardware cloth along the sides out about 5 1/2 inches. The hardware cloth is to
keep the owls away from the immediate vicinity of the entrance holes from the sides.
I have concluded that owls must be kept well away from the entrance hole, at a minimum of 12 inches.
I may extend the hardware cloth out the entire length of the porches (12") at the end of the season if
I have further problems with owls. I also believe that most of the commercial owl guards are minimally
effective at best and I have tried them all. Last year I did the wire cages around this same house. The wire cages did work!! but I
cannot take the birds slowing down and flopping clumsily through the 2" X 4" opening to get to the porches. The martins
just do not present well with wire cages not to mention the acsethics of the setup itself. But that's me. I have a friend with
a martin colony and he says I must consider and accept owl predation as a 10% tax on the colony. Something we must pay to enjoy the birds.
I do not believe I can take his advice just yet.
Hope evey one has a great season!
T-14 Owl Guards.jpg
T-14 Owl Guards.jpg (153.39 KiB) Viewed 2361 times
Posts: 2121
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Delaware/Dover

Nice job Joe
~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
Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1886
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:35 pm
Location: Little Hocking, Oh.
Martin Colony History: 2018 Success at my Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”.
2019 Success at my home Site "Little Hocking, Ohio".

JoeD --- That looks really good.. I like it.. Good job.. Should keep the owls out.

Home Site “Little Hocking, Ohio”
2010 / 2018 -- Lots of Visitors
2019 — 1 Pair, 5 Eggs, 5 Babies, 5 fledged. :wink:
2020 — 1 Pair, 4 Eggs, 4 Babies, 4 fledged. :wink:
2021 — Waiting on March 2021

Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”
2018 -- 15 Pair, 58 Eggs, 38 Hatched and 36 Fledged :wink:
2019 — 26 Pair, 128 Eggs, 99 Babies and 97 Fledged. :wink:
2020 — 30 Pair, 156 Eggs, 137 Babies and 137 Fledged. :wink:
2021 — Waiting on March 2021

PMCA Member
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:08 am
Location: MI

Not sure on your friends idea, on 10% tax on the colony... He's accepted the fact its going to happen, and don't seem to care... You on the other hand, are doing what you can to prevent it, by doing the extra modifications... I'd say your doing a great job, keep up the good work... Good luck with this years Martins...
Posts: 823
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 1:24 pm
Location: Florida/Tallahassee

This looks great! Good job!
Posts: 586
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:10 am
Location: IL/Gillespie
Martin Colony History: 2015 28 cavities 2 pairs
2016 big upgrade 56cavities 16 pairs great year
2017. 76 cavities 36 pairs
2018. 146 cavities

I like that ,it looks great I too have a problem with the way some owl guards look they can in my opinion look to bulky and spoil the look of the house ,that really looks neat and sure it will stop the owls getting close enough to do and damage to the birds in the nest ,up to yet not seen many owls around here but am afraid that as my colony grows the may come a calling ,
Does anybody in my area of Illinois have big problems with owls hoping I never have to deal with it but I know it can happen and maybe I'm being ignorant not having any protection on my houses or gourds thanks for the pictures not a feeble attempt at all
2018 146 cavities.
RC Moser
Posts: 1537
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 3:25 am

This is the problem with the old T14 design. Straight through entries. Check out the Kenny Flecker Ghost house using search. I made my own version of this house in 2013 and posted picture back then (should be able to search it also) when I redone my old t14. Any T14 style house can be easily modified by moving the entry holes to the sides (back so the nest chamber is L shaped) making new door with no holes in it and add porches to the side where the entry holes are mounted. then you can wire off the entry similar to the Ghost house plus there is no visual site to the nest chamber due to the L shaped design the way the purple martins enter. IMO this leave no avenue for the owl to see or reach into the nest chamber.
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1483
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 1956 Benjamin 317 .177 air 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.

These are a couple of pictures of Kenny Flecker's Ghost House.
Kenny Flecker Ghost Martin House Porch.jpg
Kenny Flecker Ghost Martin House Porch.jpg (140.7 KiB) Viewed 2116 times
Kenny Flecker Ghost Martin House.jpg
Kenny Flecker Ghost Martin House.jpg (119.6 KiB) Viewed 2116 times
Firm believer in HOSP/EUST Control, Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.
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