Starlings & help with Troyer Vertical Gourds and Wing Entrapment Protectors

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mechlingfamily
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 9:54 am
Location: Royse City, TX
Martin Colony History: 2015 ~ first year ~ 1 breeding pair ~ 5 eggs ~ Abandoned nest
2016 ~ 1 breeding pair ~ 5 hatched & fledged
2017 ~ 1 ASY breeding pair and a SY spare ~ 4 hatched & fledged
2018 ~ 2 breeding pair ~ 5 eggs each ~ 9 hatched & fledged
2019 ~ 2 breeding pair~ 5 & 6 eggs ~ 2 nesting pair ~ 1 to 2 roosting pair ~ lost 2 other eggs to Starlings
Housing:
2015 - Vintage inherited Coates Original 12 room aluminum housing
2016-2018 - Above listed house modified with SREH and remodeled to 6 Suite Watersedge configuration. Added aluminum vented nesting trays to all 6 compartments.
*Plans to add addt'l housing - gourds/new house(s) winter 18-19
2019 ~ added 2 Troyer Vertical Gourds with Tunnel Conley II entrance

Trapping HOSP & shooting Starlings

PMCA members - 3rd generation PM Landlords

Starlings & help with Troyer Vertical Gourds and Wing Entrapment Protectors

Postby mechlingfamily » Tue May 14, 2019 8:44 am

This is our best year ever so far for Martins. We just added 2 Troyer Vertical Gourds this year below our house and the Martins went straight to them and began nesting in them early. We have consistently seen 6 pair on our Coates Original 12 room modified to 6 suite Watersedge Configuration with SREH. We have, so far, had very little issues with HOSP and have only had to dispatch around 2 dozen. However, now we are having to battle the Starlings for the first time ever. We had our first PM eggs laid in one of the 2 new gourds. And then we came home to discover they had been cracked and nesting material was on top of them. We have watched the Starlings get most of the way into the entrance of our new gourds, and as I have already searched and read on this forum this is not uncommon. So far we have only been successful at shooting 2 of them. Here come our questions:

Both gourds had substantial PM nests in them (one with green leaves and the 2 eggs and the other no green leaves yet) before the Starlings started invading. We cannot tell if the PMs abandoned those and then moved into the Coates house but assume so. We HAVE seen at least 1 pair of PM entering and exiting the front gourd and believe they are roosting in it.
Do we remove the original PM nesting material from both gourds and allow the PMs to start again fresh or leave it as is?

We were so excited adding the gourds and are now so crestfallen with them being so easy for the Starlings to enter. I thought after reading some of the posts that buying the WEP would help keep the Starlings from entering the gourds but when I went to order them it says "not for use with Troyer Gourds". We definitely have PMs interested in our gourds so we don't want to just take them down but we also don't want to keep losing ground to the Starlings. And to a lesser degree, if we can't attract PMs to them we feel that as long as the gourds are there maybe they will leave the nests in the house alone. So what do we do?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Debbie & Warren ~ PMCA Members
2015 ~ first year ~ 1 breeding pair ~ 5 eggs ~ Abandoned nest
2016 ~ 1 breeding pair ~ 5 hatched & fledged
2017 ~ 1 ASY breeding pair and a SY spare ~ 4 hatched & fledged
2018 ~ 2 breeding pair ~ 5 eggs each ~ currently 5 & 4 hatchlings/1 egg ~ 9 fledged

Hanover Bill
Posts: 571
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 3:10 pm
Location: Pennsylvania/Hanover Township
Martin Colony History: 2009 & 10 - 0
2011 & 12 - Visitors
2013 - 2 pr. fledged 9
2014 - 3 pr. fledged 13
2015 - 7 pr. fledged 27
2016 - 15 pr. fledged 72

Re: Starlings & help with Troyer Vertical Gourds and Wing Entrapment Protectors

Postby Hanover Bill » Tue May 14, 2019 9:39 am

Hi mechling family;

Welcome to the life of a Purple Martin Landlord. It is a constant battle to keep the HOSP and Starlings out of the Martin housing, it seems like it never ends, probably because it doesn't.

If you are using the Troyer Gourds with Conley II entrances, I have found that the Haskel Tunnel Trap works great on that gourd and entrance, for both HOSP and Starlings. My biggest issue has always been HOSP, but now it seems as if a smaller Starling variety has shown up on the scene, and they are breaching the SREH entrances with relative ease at times.

Keep after them. I know sometimes it seems hopeless, but perseverance and patience will pay off in the end.

Best of luck to you.

Hanover Bill.
2009 & 10 - 0
2011 & 12 - Visitors
2013 - 2 pr. fledged 9
2014 - 3 pr. fledged 13
2015 - 7 pr. fledged 27
2016 - 15 pr. fledged 72

Carlton
Posts: 1926
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, MSS-8 and Minicastle. The Park and I erected and care for an additional 60 Excluder Gourds with modified Excluder entrances.

Re: Starlings & help with Troyer Vertical Gourds and Wing Entrapment Protectors

Postby Carlton » Tue May 14, 2019 10:42 am

Ignore that statement on the Wing Guards. I use them all the time and they work. Personally, I used a Waterproof Gorilla Glue and glued them centered over the Conley II with the top of the curve in the guard just under the hole for the loop trap. I did not raise the porches. Even though they tried and tried no starlings got past this modification. One can also use the stainless steel screws by drilling and inserting them from the back of the gourd's entrance plate but I found the gluing worked well for me. I did have to let it set up for a few hours. My two racks of 24 TVG's are full up with zero starlings. Maybe on gourds already hanging one could use clamps or something to hold the wing guards securely in place for a few hours while the glue dried thoroughly. Be sure to use a Waterproof glue that works on plastic.
Last edited by Carlton on Tue May 14, 2019 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6719
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)

Re: Starlings & help with Troyer Vertical Gourds and Wing Entrapment Protectors

Postby Emil Pampell-Tx » Tue May 14, 2019 10:44 am

PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps

Carlton
Posts: 1926
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, MSS-8 and Minicastle. The Park and I erected and care for an additional 60 Excluder Gourds with modified Excluder entrances.

Re: Starlings & help with Troyer Vertical Gourds and Wing Entrapment Protectors

Postby Carlton » Tue May 14, 2019 10:52 am

Another method that works is to use the corrugated, plastic, 1/8 inch ( I think) signboard from a hobby shop. When I did mine the signboard came right up to the bottom of the entrance hole's horizontal entrance and covered the dip. Use a silicon waterproof adhesive and cement the board to the porch. You cut the board to fit exactly in the porch with the little edges of the porch helping to secure it in place. Then, you use a round tool and smash down the signboard at the dip to open that area up. You might have to cut out a bit of the signboard at the dip as you need that area lowered to the bottom of the dip. Smash it down going out onto the porch a bit like a runway to the dip. The martins can get in but the starlings can not at least not with my experience. This is easy and only takes a few minutes. The cement can set up while martins are still using the entrance as it is under the signboard.

I prefer using the wing entrapment guards though, without raising the porch, method as it is just more lasting. The signboard will last a season or two and then need to be replaced.

Carlton
Posts: 1926
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, MSS-8 and Minicastle. The Park and I erected and care for an additional 60 Excluder Gourds with modified Excluder entrances.

Re: Starlings & help with Troyer Vertical Gourds and Wing Entrapment Protectors

Postby Carlton » Tue May 14, 2019 11:01 am

Image
Ignore that statement on the Wing Guards. I use them all the time and they work. Personally, I used a Waterproof Gorilla Glue and glued them centered over the Conley II with the top of the curve in the guard just under the hole for the loop trap. I did not raise the porches. Even though they tried and tried no starlings got past this modification. One can also use the stainless steel screws by drilling and inserting them from the back of the gourd's entrance plate but I found the gluing worked well for me. I did have to let it set up for a few hours. My two racks of 24 TVG's are full up with zero starlings. Maybe on gourds already hanging one could use clamps or something to hold the wing guards securely in place for a few hours while the glue dried thoroughly. Be sure to use a Waterproof glue that works on plastic.
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Spiderman
Posts: 679
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

Re: Starlings & help with Troyer Vertical Gourds and Wing Entrapment Protectors

Postby Spiderman » Tue May 14, 2019 1:23 pm

It is tough when Starlings nest on top of Martin eggs. Starlings Love the gourds and will do anything possible to gain access and nest in them (Martins Love the Troyer Gourds too).

If you will purchase a Van Ert Trap, paint it white, and put it on a pole very near your Martin housing, (like 5') you will catch a Starling a day until they are all gone.

I don't really see any Starlings anymore where I live, but last year I caught 27 Starlings and so far this year I have caught 12 Starlings.

Good Luck with your Martin Season!
2008 - 33 PAIR - FLEDGED 96 YOUNG
2009 - 51 PAIR - FLEDGED 166 YOUNG
2010 - 45 PAIR - FLEDGED 146 YOUNG
2011 - 33 PAIR - 128 HATCHED, 97 FLEDGED
2012 - 37 PAIR - 119 HATCHED, 101 FLEDGED

Lewis
Posts: 203
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 3:21 pm
Location: Georgia/Newnan

Re: Starlings & help with Troyer Vertical Gourds and Wing Entrapment Protectors

Postby Lewis » Tue May 14, 2019 4:30 pm

Carlton has given you good advice on how to use the WEP. Look at the above link on tips for the 2019 season and you will find my article on the "Lewis Modification" Wing guards help stop starlings. I prefer to use a counter sink drill so I can use the SS screws that come with the WEP. This way you can easily remove the WEP if you need to use the Troyer Haskel trap to catch sparrows or any starling that may still get in. Search "Lewis Modification" and you will find a great deal of information on how succcessful others have been stopping starlings with this modification.
Spring Garden Keeper

flyin-lowe
Posts: 2603
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Re: Starlings & help with Troyer Vertical Gourds and Wing Entrapment Protectors

Postby flyin-lowe » Tue May 14, 2019 4:50 pm

Have you actually seen starlings get in? It is not uncommon for them to go halfway in trying to get in. I would not be surprised if a HOSP. or wren was not the problem. Was there any small sticks over the eggs and original nest? House wrens will go in and build right on top, they will destroy eggs and kill young also. Starlings do breach from time to time but overall it is pretty rare. I've only seen in happen one time myself in 10 plus years, given the thousands of starlings in my area at any given time that is pretty good.
2019- Currently 31 complete nests (27 with eggs or babies) 94 babies hatched and 19 eggs still to hatch) 6-22-19
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.

John Miller
Posts: 4730
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Starlings & help with Troyer Vertical Gourds and Wing Entrapment Protectors

Postby John Miller » Wed May 15, 2019 12:30 pm

delete ....can't figure how to add photos...whew.

mechlingfamily
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 9:54 am
Location: Royse City, TX
Martin Colony History: 2015 ~ first year ~ 1 breeding pair ~ 5 eggs ~ Abandoned nest
2016 ~ 1 breeding pair ~ 5 hatched & fledged
2017 ~ 1 ASY breeding pair and a SY spare ~ 4 hatched & fledged
2018 ~ 2 breeding pair ~ 5 eggs each ~ 9 hatched & fledged
2019 ~ 2 breeding pair~ 5 & 6 eggs ~ 2 nesting pair ~ 1 to 2 roosting pair ~ lost 2 other eggs to Starlings
Housing:
2015 - Vintage inherited Coates Original 12 room aluminum housing
2016-2018 - Above listed house modified with SREH and remodeled to 6 Suite Watersedge configuration. Added aluminum vented nesting trays to all 6 compartments.
*Plans to add addt'l housing - gourds/new house(s) winter 18-19
2019 ~ added 2 Troyer Vertical Gourds with Tunnel Conley II entrance

Trapping HOSP & shooting Starlings

PMCA members - 3rd generation PM Landlords

Re: Starlings & help with Troyer Vertical Gourds and Wing Entrapment Protectors

Postby mechlingfamily » Wed May 15, 2019 2:24 pm

Emil,

As of last night we were able to do exactly as your recommend and we attached sidewalls to the one front gourd. We waited and watched and the roosting pair hestitated for a bit but did end up entering our gourd for the night. Thanks for the help! We will do the other gourd this evening as well. We were happy to be able to solve the entry problem immediately without needing to wait for parts to arrive. After this season we will replace the walls with something more durable but for now these 1x2 pieces will work.

Should we empty out the previous PM nesting materials from just two weeks ago in the 2 gourds or just leave it for them to decide if they want to clean house? It's all just pine needles...nothing was allowed to remain from the starling attempts to renest.

We appreciated all the advice from others as well. This method was the easiest to tackle ASAP.

Debbie & Warren
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Debbie & Warren ~ PMCA Members
2015 ~ first year ~ 1 breeding pair ~ 5 eggs ~ Abandoned nest
2016 ~ 1 breeding pair ~ 5 hatched & fledged
2017 ~ 1 ASY breeding pair and a SY spare ~ 4 hatched & fledged
2018 ~ 2 breeding pair ~ 5 eggs each ~ currently 5 & 4 hatchlings/1 egg ~ 9 fledged

Brad Biddle
Posts: 152
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: Starlings & help with Troyer Vertical Gourds and Wing Entrapment Protectors

Postby Brad Biddle » Wed May 15, 2019 2:44 pm

The WEP's say that about Troyer gourds because they are designed to go inside the tunnel to help stop wing entrapment. They fit outside perfectly.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 102 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.

mechlingfamily
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 9:54 am
Location: Royse City, TX
Martin Colony History: 2015 ~ first year ~ 1 breeding pair ~ 5 eggs ~ Abandoned nest
2016 ~ 1 breeding pair ~ 5 hatched & fledged
2017 ~ 1 ASY breeding pair and a SY spare ~ 4 hatched & fledged
2018 ~ 2 breeding pair ~ 5 eggs each ~ 9 hatched & fledged
2019 ~ 2 breeding pair~ 5 & 6 eggs ~ 2 nesting pair ~ 1 to 2 roosting pair ~ lost 2 other eggs to Starlings
Housing:
2015 - Vintage inherited Coates Original 12 room aluminum housing
2016-2018 - Above listed house modified with SREH and remodeled to 6 Suite Watersedge configuration. Added aluminum vented nesting trays to all 6 compartments.
*Plans to add addt'l housing - gourds/new house(s) winter 18-19
2019 ~ added 2 Troyer Vertical Gourds with Tunnel Conley II entrance

Trapping HOSP & shooting Starlings

PMCA members - 3rd generation PM Landlords

Re: Starlings & help with Troyer Vertical Gourds and Wing Entrapment Protectors

Postby mechlingfamily » Wed May 15, 2019 4:19 pm

Have you actually seen starlings get in? It is not uncommon for them to go halfway in trying to get in. I would not be surprised if a HOSP. or wren was not the problem. Was there any small sticks over the eggs and original nest? House wrens will go in and build right on top, they will destroy eggs and kill young also. Starlings do breach from time to time but overall it is pretty rare. I've only seen in happen one time myself in 10 plus years, given the thousands of starlings in my area at any given time that is pretty good.
It's most definitely a Starling situation. We have been experiencing this for the first time here as many others are also reporting. I have watched them bringing nesting materials to the gourds and although they aren't getting in all the way, they are getting in enough to deposit their materials. My husband saw one actually get all the way in and back out. But I have faith that the new sidewalls will take care of the gourd problem and we will DEFINITELY be building a nest box trap to mount on our shop where the Starlings are currently attempting nesting above where we can possibly reach.
Debbie & Warren ~ PMCA Members
2015 ~ first year ~ 1 breeding pair ~ 5 eggs ~ Abandoned nest
2016 ~ 1 breeding pair ~ 5 hatched & fledged
2017 ~ 1 ASY breeding pair and a SY spare ~ 4 hatched & fledged
2018 ~ 2 breeding pair ~ 5 eggs each ~ currently 5 & 4 hatchlings/1 egg ~ 9 fledged

deancamp
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: MO

Re: Starlings & help with Troyer Vertical Gourds and Wing Entrapment Protectors

Postby deancamp » Wed May 15, 2019 5:26 pm

I see no problem in leaving the nesting material in. No different than prenesting. Just my 2 cents.


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