How to put sideboards on an entrance to help stop starlings

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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

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I made a quick example: Its not neat, but my son put it on here. I made this quickly while he was here

The reason that this works is because the starling must go straight in but he cannot enter it because its 1-3/16in tall. Also, the starling cannot turn sideways to help it to enter (the width between the sides should be about 2 inches apart). Its really simple but it works. It also serves as a wing entrapment guard. To see the example, click on attachment below, and thumbnail.jpg
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Last edited by Emil Pampell-Tx on Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
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

I do not understand the downloading, it says its not downloaded yet, but I can see it when I click on thumbnail.jpg
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
Glynn B - LA
Posts: 322
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:59 pm
Location: Louisiana West Monroe

Yes I agree with Mr Emil, any SREH style entrance hole that’s 1 3/16 inch or 31 mm with the suggested side boards/walls installed will completely stop 99% of all starlings from entering. As long as that starling can’t turn sideways, ( this is what the sides accomplish )he will not and cannot enter. There’s another great martin life saving positive that comes along with Mr Emil’s proven side boards/walls, the horror that we call wing entrapment becomes non existent, totally eliminated. In the many years as a martin landlord, Mr Emil has never seen or himself had a single case of wing entrapment with the boards installed. I myself have been using his side board idea with great success. I’m like many martin landlords that have limited means when trying to control starlings and sparrows. I’m not allowed to shoot and trapping is my most productive way of elimination especially when dealing with house sparrows. The starlings that do try to enter any of my martin housing are promptly turned away with proper sized and installed SREH entrances. Even though I use Cresent SREH at my site( clearly the most nor tortious for wing entrapment) I have never had a wing entrapment when using the proper guards or side boards/walls. There’s nothing fancy about this type application, anyone can make them and install them. You can purchase the material at any big box hardware store. I purchased the white composite/plastic 1x2 lumber. Any questions can be answered by Mr Emil or I will reply. I do encourage everyone to try this proven method if you’re having starlings breaches, it’s a heakava lot cheaper and more effective than any other techniques out there.


Glynn
2019 26 pair 116 fledged
2018 20 pair 76 fledged
2017 19 pair 82 fledged
2016 13 pair 48 fledged
2015 3 pair 13 fledged
2014 1 pair 4 fledged
2013 2 pair 6 fledged
2012 0 pair
2011 0 pair

I don’t have the perfect site. One open flyway with trees within 80 ft. I do have a small pond they utilize during the heat of Summer. (2017) HEAVY HAWK PREDATION
Dave Duit
Posts: 1658
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.

Super fix, cheap and it does the job. This is a great idea for those old entrances without the anti wing entrapment already built in. Thanks for sharing Emil.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
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

Glynn B La, thank you very much for your kind endorsement of my SREH, it really works. My son put up 36 gourds ( I built his racks)and he used this method on some wrong entrances (the entrances were made wrong). For 3 years, 1 starling entered, and it died in the entrance because it could not get out. In my humble opinion, this is by far the best method that was ever suggested. Its so simple because the starling must enter straight in, but it cannot do this because the entrance is 1-3/6in tall and 99% of the starlings have a higher chestbone, and it cannot wiggle into the gourd by turning sideways. Plus so very important, its a perfect wing entrapment guard. I hate to post this because it may financially hurt martin suppliers, but its definitely for the good of martins. One size fits all in this method. If this method does not work for you, them please let me know, I want to tell you how to fix it. Also and most important, I do not want any patent charges if this is widely adopted, anyone may use it if you think that it works.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
Doug Martin - PA
Posts: 1919
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:47 am
Location: Pennsylvania/Fombell
Martin Colony History: First pair in 2009 after 28 years of trying. 3 pairs 2010, 17 pairs 2011 and 35-45 pairs since. Many additional colonies are now springing up around mine in an area once completely void of Martins. I offer 50 compartments at my site consisting of primarily Excluder II gourds on Gemini racks. Also a wooden T-14. I utilize electric fence type predator guards on the base of the poles. Supplemental feeding is crucial in maintaining my colony. I platform feed throughout the season as needed. My site tends to be a stop over point for additional birds as they migrate further north.

Emil, are the sideboards also 1 3/16 apart?
Supplemental feeding plays a major role in western Pennsylvania. Finally got my 1st pair in 2009 after 28 years of effort. 3 pairs in 2010. 17 pairs in 2011. 35 pairs and 150 young in 2012 & 2013. Plus a new 22 pair colony right down the road from me.
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

Doug, the entrance hole should be 1-3/16 inch tall, and 2 inches wide (The width is not critical, it can be as small as 1-7/8 inches, or up to 2-1/4 inches wide). The sides should be at least 3/4inches but can be thicker
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
Doug Martin - PA
Posts: 1919
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 10:47 am
Location: Pennsylvania/Fombell
Martin Colony History: First pair in 2009 after 28 years of trying. 3 pairs 2010, 17 pairs 2011 and 35-45 pairs since. Many additional colonies are now springing up around mine in an area once completely void of Martins. I offer 50 compartments at my site consisting of primarily Excluder II gourds on Gemini racks. Also a wooden T-14. I utilize electric fence type predator guards on the base of the poles. Supplemental feeding is crucial in maintaining my colony. I platform feed throughout the season as needed. My site tends to be a stop over point for additional birds as they migrate further north.

Very interesting. Thank you for sharing.

The wider the better for feeding young closer to fledging. Some of the SREH make it difficult for young to stick their heads out for food. Seems one bigger one can sometimes dominate a more restrictive opening.
Supplemental feeding plays a major role in western Pennsylvania. Finally got my 1st pair in 2009 after 28 years of effort. 3 pairs in 2010. 17 pairs in 2011. 35 pairs and 150 young in 2012 & 2013. Plus a new 22 pair colony right down the road from me.
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

I agree that wider entrances is better for feeding, but my first concern is preventing the starlings from entering. I did not research a maximum width, it may vary with starling size. The widest that I tried was the S&K tunnels, and their openings are about 2-1/4 inch, and this method stopped the starlings on some wrong sized entrances that were 1-3/16 inch tall.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
Dale D
Posts: 329
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:11 am
Location: Orlando, Fl
Martin Colony History: Landlord since 2004

Emil, you did an excellent job with this modification. Not only is it cost friendly but does an effective job of stopping Starlings and reducing the chance of Wing entrapment of Martins.
Orlando, FL Landlord since 2004
Offer 42 Cavities Total
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

I got a report from my brother-in-law that he had a martin in Gonzales, Texas. Last year, his place was overrun with starlings, so he told me that he may not put up the 10 year old supergourds with crescent openings. I told him about the Walls Modification so he did the Walls mods to his Supergourds and hung the gourds on the racks. He said the starlings came, tried to enter but could not enter. They tried to enter a few times, then they left. Now he wants something to stop the sparrows!....I will make a trap for him for the sparrows.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
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

This sideboard method should work on any porch height, but I have not tested that yet. If you try this on a different porch height, please post your findings. It works on any sreh (crescent, conley, excluder, old style clinger, even the rectangular entrance which I use and make myself) but the entrance must be 1-3/16in tall (the starlings chestbone is larger than 1-3/16in). An easy size to remember is 1in x 2in for the sideboards. Its also a perfect wing entrapment guard.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
Carlton
Posts: 1927
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 Delux Gourd Racks with 24 Excluder Gourds with Modified Excluder entrances. In our condo development, along the lake in a different section, I have 7 Excluder Gourds hanging from 84 inch Shepherd's Hooks with predator guards.

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

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

Glynn B - LA wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:08 am
Yes I agree with Mr Emil, any SREH style entrance hole that’s 1 3/16 inch or 31 mm with the suggested side boards/walls installed will completely stop 99% of all starlings from entering. As long as that starling can’t turn sideways, ( this is what the sides accomplish )he will not and cannot enter. There’s another great martin life saving positive that comes along with Mr Emil’s proven side boards/walls, the horror that we call wing entrapment becomes non existent, totally eliminated. In the many years as a martin landlord, Mr Emil has never seen or himself had a single case of wing entrapment with the boards installed. I myself have been using his side board idea with great success. I’m like many martin landlords that have limited means when trying to control starlings and sparrows. I’m not allowed to shoot and trapping is my most productive way of elimination especially when dealing with house sparrows. The starlings that do try to enter any of my martin housing are promptly turned away with proper sized and installed SREH entrances. Even though I use Cresent SREH at my site( clearly the most nor tortious for wing entrapment) I have never had a wing entrapment when using the proper guards or side boards/walls. There’s nothing fancy about this type application, anyone can make them and install them. You can purchase the material at any big box hardware store. I purchased the white composite/plastic 1x2 lumber. Any questions can be answered by Mr Emil or I will reply. I do encourage everyone to try this proven method if you’re having starlings breaches, it’s a heakava lot cheaper and more effective than any other techniques out there.


Thanks, Glynn and Emil. Much appreciated! I have not tried it but I know it will work if you say it will. Now get to work on something to exclude the dreaded HS guys. :-)

Glynn
Courtney-NC
Posts: 591
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 2:28 pm
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Martin Colony History: 2009-2015-Helped to manage Raleigh site, 36 cavities
2016- 33 pairs at Raleigh site, 1 pair at home site.
2017- 34 pairs at Raleigh site, 3 pairs + extra SYs at home site
2018- 33 pairs at Raleigh site, 5 pairs + extra SYs at home site
2019 - 32 pairs at Raleigh site, 7 pairs at home site, 2 pairs at new Holly Springs park site

Hi Emil, I like your idea and I wanted to check to see if I had the dimensions correct. I took your picture and drew on it, please let me know if this is what you meant. Thanks.
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-Courtney
-------------------
NC Purple Martin Society (PMCA affiliate)
http://www.ncpurplemartin.org
Carlton
Posts: 1927
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 Delux Gourd Racks with 24 Excluder Gourds with Modified Excluder entrances. In our condo development, along the lake in a different section, I have 7 Excluder Gourds hanging from 84 inch Shepherd's Hooks with predator guards.

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

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

I may try the Walls on my crescent Trendsetter entrance as I lost an ASY male this spring to wing entrapment. That was my first loss in many years. I guess I can just Waterproof Gorilla Glue the walls on each side of the entrance.

I really appreciate you sharing your findings with us Emil.

Carl
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

Courtney, the dimensions are correct but the left side does not need to be a definite value, the left side (on the measurements that you added. Both sides can be any thickness as long as the are 3/4 to 1inch from the entrance) can be any thickness. Yes, this will stop all wing entrapment, the 90deg corner will stop it.. Hope that you like it, it really is quite simple
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
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