Tunnels added to Heath house

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Keith
Posts: 415
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:45 pm
Location: Missouri/Ava

I make these wood tunnels from western cedar fencing material and plane down to 3/8 inch thick; [ very light weight ]. Reducing this house to 6 compartments would likely be better but I have had much success the last 2 yrs. with 100 % occupancy. Matt, I hope you are able to see this thread and give me some coaching here. I will try to show with pictures how we modify. First thing I do is cut house entrance large enough to put my hand in, drill holes for venting, and put foam board insulation underneath the roof. Second, we build the tunnels using the Clinger entrance that I really like, and you will see the metal angle at the top back to hook to the house. Note the picture where I tilt the tunnel to set in place. To further stabilize, one can always add a small screw up through the porch into tunnel.
Keith
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Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1881
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".

Keith ... Good looking job on the Heath House... Is this your first year with, the new design..? Or have they used the new designed house before.. Just wondering

Dave
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:

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:

PMCA Member
Keith
Posts: 415
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:45 pm
Location: Missouri/Ava

Dave, used this modified house two years now and it was fully occupied both years. Started using tunnels to help with Owl problems and it was successful. I really think the Martins feel safer in the house with tunnels, and they are. Another thing is that I have never had a Starling breach the Clinger style entrance. One drawback to this house is that a clutch of 5 or 6 offspring may be somewhat crowded. In driving around I sometimes find these houses just falling apart and the owner usually wants to get rid of it. We offer to repair for them but I find many people not interested or know what a Purple Martin is.

Keith
Matt F.
Posts: 3895
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

Fantastic work Keith!
Thanks for posting!
There are some folks I know that are hosting Martins in some Heath aluminum houses, and I've been looking for some ideas for them to modify the houses.
I'm going to show them this thread.
Thanks again!
MartinStudent
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:24 pm
Location: Mississippi

Nice job on the Heath house, Keith! Thanks for sharing the photos and information. I have two Heath houses that I plan on modifying and was actually looking into adding tunnels to them, too. One is so old it still has round holes. As a newbie wannabe landlord, it is always interesting to see how others are modifying PM houses.
Animal Lover. Voice for animals. Purple Martin Landlord Wannabe. Proponent for large cavities. :grin:
Keith
Posts: 415
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:45 pm
Location: Missouri/Ava

Martinstudent, the ones I worked on were older with round holes also. Some added information as to what we usually do is make the cut-out even with the top of original hole and also leave 3/4 to 1 inch up from the porch for bottom of opening just to help keep nesting material confined to the compartment.
keith
bobeteb
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:03 pm
Location: IL/Breese
Martin Colony History: 2014 no birds 12 rm trio house
2015 1 ASY pair fledged 5 modified trio to large rooms with 4 TVG under
2016 added second gourd rack with 2 THGs and added third floor to trio
2 ASY pair fledged 10.
2017 added 2 Bo 11 gourds, 6 pair 26 eggs 23 fledged.
2018 adding 2 more THGs and a 4th floor to the trio, hopefully something for everyone. All SRE, cant shoot in town, can't wait for April.
2018 16 pair fledged 65, great summer.
Just finished building a T14 and will be hanging 4 troyer gourds under it so we will see if my returning birds approve of the improvements for 2019.

Very nice
Dave Duit
Posts: 1701
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: Iowa / Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2019, 54 pair with 218 fledged youngsters. 83 total compartments available, 58 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified trio metal house units, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit www.iamartin.org and join.

Awesome craftsmanship Kieth. I enjoy seeing what other landlords can create. I too make modifications to many of my houses. I added Troyer tunnels to my Grandpa style metal houses, complete with hinged doors and latches. Almost all gourds and housing can be modofied to meet the needs or refurbish old housing. I think it is important to always think safety for the martins while making changes to the gourds and houses. You did a great job. Congrats.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
bobeteb
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:03 pm
Location: IL/Breese
Martin Colony History: 2014 no birds 12 rm trio house
2015 1 ASY pair fledged 5 modified trio to large rooms with 4 TVG under
2016 added second gourd rack with 2 THGs and added third floor to trio
2 ASY pair fledged 10.
2017 added 2 Bo 11 gourds, 6 pair 26 eggs 23 fledged.
2018 adding 2 more THGs and a 4th floor to the trio, hopefully something for everyone. All SRE, cant shoot in town, can't wait for April.
2018 16 pair fledged 65, great summer.
Just finished building a T14 and will be hanging 4 troyer gourds under it so we will see if my returning birds approve of the improvements for 2019.

Kieth, very nice looking modification to the heath house, i would be interested to try this if you would be inclined to post some measurements. the fact that your martins have accepted and were successfully raising young makes me want to give it a try. Also what did you use to make those nice clean cuts to the metal on the original house entrance?
Thanks Bob
Keith
Posts: 415
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:45 pm
Location: Missouri/Ava

In reference to some information requested to go along with this thread I will try to add another picture with dimensions. You may still need to refer to an earlier picture. Since I do the modifications to older houses, the roof and porches are usually removed to begin the project. Leaving all 6 sides of the entrance panels attached together, mark out the larger openings starting at top edge of round holes. The bottom of the openings are 1 inch from porch which leaves 1/4 inch to fold a hem to rid a sharp edge. Sides can then be marked having 3 1/4 inch wide opening. Cut out with tin snips and file and sand all rough edges. Assemble the tunnels with glue and small brads. Fasten angle bracket as shown to the tunnel with 3/8 inch screw. Tilt the tunnel up in front and hook the bracket in place behind the top edge of cut-out in house. Note: I usually put a 3/8 inch screw up underneath for stability. Easy to remove for clean-out. Demensions given for the tunnel parts are based on 3/8 inch thick material.
Keith
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Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1881
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".

Keith . .. Nice Picture... Well Done.... Thanks for the dimensions.

Dave
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:

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:

PMCA Member
bobeteb
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:03 pm
Location: IL/Breese
Martin Colony History: 2014 no birds 12 rm trio house
2015 1 ASY pair fledged 5 modified trio to large rooms with 4 TVG under
2016 added second gourd rack with 2 THGs and added third floor to trio
2 ASY pair fledged 10.
2017 added 2 Bo 11 gourds, 6 pair 26 eggs 23 fledged.
2018 adding 2 more THGs and a 4th floor to the trio, hopefully something for everyone. All SRE, cant shoot in town, can't wait for April.
2018 16 pair fledged 65, great summer.
Just finished building a T14 and will be hanging 4 troyer gourds under it so we will see if my returning birds approve of the improvements for 2019.

Thanks for the dimensions Kieth, very helpful
Bob
Fireflyfisherman
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:26 pm
Location: TX/Mckinney
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 Pair (5 Fledged)
2015 - 1 Pair (3 Fledged)

Really cool! I will be looking for old run down ones that need a good fixing up. Thanks for the dimensions.
KaraInTexas
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 7:29 am
Location: North Texas
Martin Colony History: 2020 - 10 nest sites.

2019 - 8 nest sites and 28 fledged.

2018 - Three mating pair. 12 babies, all fledged. Found one adult female dead in house. Cause of death - unable to ascertain. Very sad day.

2017 - First mating pair in Heath house. May 3-5: 5 eggs laid. June 1-3: all hatched. July 3: all 5 fledged.
Approximately 20 adult martins here for the fledge party.

July 1: Installed 4 gourds as well as the 3 houses. The Martins love them!

2016 - Many martins, no nests or eggs. Too many HOSP.
I have a 12 compartment Heath house I converted to a 4 compartment house to allow the Martins more room and hopefully evade owls. I have put in a second house, the S&K 12 compartment one which I converted to 6 compartments. My neighbor also has the same S&K house I converted to a 6 compartment house.
I have eight or more Martins that visit daily.

Love this! Amazing job!! Looking forward to pics of babies in there safe and sound!
May the Martins be with you. :grin:
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