what makes a SREH starling resistant/proof

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Lewis
Posts: 209
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 3:21 pm
Location: Georgia/Newnan

what makes a SREH starling resistant/proof

Postby Lewis » Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:28 pm

I think you must have a porch almost flush and you need something like Emil's side boards or the PMCA wing guard on the outside and over the entrance to force the starling to enter straight on vs side ways. If the starling can get next to the entrance they can use their feet and head to leverage their way in. There are reports that they have breached the Excluder II entrance. They must be able to go in sideways as opposed to straight on to enter. The flush porch takes their legs out from under them. Couple that with they have to bend down to enter they have no push. If the sreh is 1 and 3/16" , their thorax (chest) will not fit. Even with very small starlings all of these modifications will make it difficult.

Lewis
Spring Garden Keeper

Brad Biddle
Posts: 166
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: what makes a SREH starling resistant/proof

Postby Brad Biddle » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:21 pm

Lewis it’s interesting that you just posted this because I just got in from church and I’m sitting on my back deck watching a whole lot of Martins flit around. Adults feeding some remaining nestlings, and whole family groups that have fledged flying around in formation. Sitting out here on a nice cool evening, enjoying my Martin before they leave for Brazil.

I’m reminded how you posted a reply to me a little over a year ago, suggesting that I add wing entrapment guards to keep Starlings out of my Conley II entrances. I’m forever grateful that you hit the submit button because that surely worked. Thank you. My Starling plague is over, at least for a while.

After adding those guards to 100 gourds, it was almost totally effective in eliminating Starlings from entering. People use the term “smaller starling” but I think more times than not, the culprit is oversized entrances. I did have one female that was still easily able to enter the gourds with the guards added. A subsonic 22 bullet to the noggin broke her from ever doing that again. Of all the hundreds and hundred Starlings that I’ve killed, that one is the only one that I could say for certain, was definitely undersized. I don’t know but would estimate that she could have neared in a bluebird box with a 1 1/2” round opening.

At any rate, I wonder if porches are to blame for many of the breaches. High or low porches aside, a porch gives them leverage. Next year I am going to offer 24 gourds with a WDC’ish entrance cut directly into the gourd and I won’t put porches on them. I know Martins will use them, I used them like that 15 years ago. I’m wanting to see if Starlings can breach them. I don’t think they can but will report in my successes or failures with them.

I don’t think Starling’s are evolving, I think they’ve just figured these entrances out. Like you said, they are twisting to get in.

Good topic that needs lots of discussion and trials. I suspect we’ll have to reinvent the wheel on this every decade or so. You may remember that the old obround holes were fairly starling resistant for the first few years.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 102 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.

Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6727
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

Re: what makes a SREH starling resistant/proof

Postby Emil Pampell-Tx » Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:25 am

Brad, my neighbor cuts his entrances directly into a natural gourd, and he makes it slightly above 1-3/16in tall. The porch that he attaches is only about 3/4in to 1in long. A martin uses this narrow porch but the starling cannot turn sideways, nor can the starling push his way into the gourd on that small porch. The starlings look in, and fly away without attempting very hard, and he never has had a breach. His porches that he attaches are about 1/8 to 1/4 in below the entrance. The martins have no problem getting in. However, we have very few starlings, so its hard to test without a lot of starlings. Another thing that works is an entrance that is at least 3/4in thick, that makes the clinger work when you use the modified clinger, and the starling cannot get in sideways on the thick entrances. The large porch evolved because people wanted to watch the martins sitting on the porch, often both sitting on the porch at the same time.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps

Brad Biddle
Posts: 166
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: what makes a SREH starling resistant/proof

Postby Brad Biddle » Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:17 am

Emil, you brought up a good point. Entrance thickness. I have not done any testing with thicker entrances but the thickness of the entrance hole could play a role in whether Starlings can enter. I agree that porch size is definitely more for the landlord than the Martins. I sure with we didn't have many Starlings here but they're likely our most common bird.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 102 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.


Brad Biddle
Posts: 166
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: what makes a SREH starling resistant/proof

Postby Brad Biddle » Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:14 am

Betaflame, what size compartments are those?
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 102 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.

betaflame
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:10 pm
Location: Austin,TX

Re: what makes a SREH starling resistant/proof

Postby betaflame » Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:45 pm

6x6 at the time that was filmed. Now the rear 2 (upper and lower) have an entryway between them, so 6x12 with a divider, and the rest are 6x6.

It's an S&K 12 room one.

Brad Biddle
Posts: 166
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: what makes a SREH starling resistant/proof

Postby Brad Biddle » Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:51 pm

Not trying to sound like a smart aleck or know it all, but that's what I suspected when I watched the videos. They won't try very hard to enter a small compartment. If you'll notice in the videos the bird or birds never tried hard to get inside. Only one video showed one really even attempt to enter. The other two it basically stopped as soon as it's feathers touched the entrance. Starlings really only become much of an issue when using enlarged compartments and they are especially attracted to larger gourds. I don't know if your videos were one Starling or possibly three different ones, but crescent entrances aren't Starling proof. They are good entrances but aren't any better than ones I've had easily breached.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 102 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.

betaflame
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:10 pm
Location: Austin,TX

Re: what makes a SREH starling resistant/proof

Postby betaflame » Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:11 am

They got more aggressive as time went on. They were still 6x6 during this: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-WD4vd ... j86IJ/view

Brad Biddle
Posts: 166
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: what makes a SREH starling resistant/proof

Postby Brad Biddle » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:22 am

Yes he definitely got more intent on entering. There was one specific time where he could have entered, he just didn't know it yet. He had both "shoulders" in, up to his largest point. All he had left to do at that point was twist his keel bone left or right and he would have been in. If he lives long enough he'll eventually learn that habit. I've been a Martin landlord for 16 years. Emil has been one longer than that. I've never had a compartment with a round hole. Emil use to but doesn't now. IIRC Emil swapped to SREH around 2004 or 2005. I don't know Lewis's history. Only reason I'm posting that is because just between me and Emil, not taking into account Lewis's experience because I don't know it, you've got 30 plus combined years of SREH experience just between Emil and myself. I dang sure don't know everything and Emil would tell you the same thing about himself, but one thing he and I will both tell you is that a Starling can learn to enter a crescent entrance. I'm glad you haven't experienced it yet, but given enough Starling pressure and enough time, you will see it. Emil is a tinkerer and I am too. We've both tried a lot of different entrances and techniques. I think we both have at one time caged Starlings to see if they could get OUT of different SREH entrances if their life depended on it. I know I've done that and I'm almost sure that I remember him doing do too. I actually think I got the idea of doing that, from him. Point being, we've tried them all and tested them all. The only entrance I haven't extensively tested in the original Excluder. The reason for that is because they won't fit on a 3" tunnel like I make myself. I'd have to go to a 4" tunnel and I never wanted to do that.

I haven't spoken to Emil about what I just posted and I won't speak for him or Lewis but I'd imagine that both of them would agree with what I just wrote.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 102 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.

Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6727
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

Re: what makes a SREH starling resistant/proof

Postby Emil Pampell-Tx » Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:39 am

I agree with Brad that a starling can quickly learn to enter a crescent. Not all learn but some will.

;
Last edited by Emil Pampell-Tx on Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:56 am, edited 2 times in total.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps

Matt F.
Posts: 3887
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: what makes a SREH starling resistant/proof

Postby Matt F. » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:10 pm

Lots of folks on here with a lot of experience.
I've been hosting Martins for about 35 years.
I scaled way back on entering in here on the forum, because other forum members who didn't happen to agree with what I stated based on my experience, would insult me, and say disrespectful things - even going as far as telling me some of my conclusions based on my experience over the years where not credible, or stupid.
I've never doubted someone, or questioned their experience, just because I didn't agree with what they observed or conclusions they had drawn based on their observations.
I didn't deserve that either.
It's funny - one of the landlords on here that has been the most insulting towards me, is one that left the forum completely one time because he was be berated by some other forum members.
There was ONE forum member that came to his defense, and reminded everyone that he was a valuable asset to the forum, and how much knowledge he contributed.
Sorry - I really needed to get that off my chest.
It's been tormenting me for years.

Lewis
Posts: 209
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 3:21 pm
Location: Georgia/Newnan

Re: what makes a SREH starling resistant/proof

Postby Lewis » Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:25 pm

Matt F., good to see your post on the Forum. I don't think I've ever posted anything offensive , but if I have I apologize. I miss all of the old timers and people that started when I did in 09. John Miller was great help when I was overrun with starlings my first year and encouraged me to keep going. I ordered 4 H&S traps and a S&S controller. Andy said you must have a lot of starlings. I trapped and shot quite a few. I was lucky to come up with the idea of using the PMCA wing guard on the crescent sreh's on my first Safe Haven house i bought from CUE. I got the Save Haven because i thought it to be the most owl proof. An owl was what caused me to join this forum after I found one of the doors on my Trio pulled open. Tim and Emil gave me the idea of making my THG's unmovable by using a screw to hold them to the mounting bar. I found the " No Rocker" made by CUE to be a more permanent solution. The gourd will not move and the Safe Haven has and entrance where the martin has to go into a devided chamber all the way to the back and make a right turn to enter nest box. The Safe Haven is built like a tank out of heavy gauge aluminum. In the beginning I saw evidence of owl predation, blood and what looked to be owl feathers. I have not seen any evidence of owls in the last few years. I think most of my martins have learned over the years to stay out of harms reach. Hawks still give me a problem. I use decoys. This year dove decoys. I'm going to grow sunflowers in my garden next year for the doves.

Lewis

PS I haven't seen a starling on my MP and gourd rack in several years. They just gave up .
Spring Garden Keeper

4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1272
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 scoped Benjamin .177 pellet 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.

Matt F. - Glad you are back

Postby 4th Gen Martin Fan » Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:36 pm

Matt F.,
I am glad you are back on the PMCA Forum. You helped encourage me when I thought that the Trio houses were relics of the past. I know that they are not the perfect house but I enjoy restoring and modifying them. Some sentimental value to me.
Lewis knows that I admire the Safe Haven houses and have tried to get one for several years.
Mark.
Firm believer in Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, S&S Control, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.

Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6727
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

Re: what makes a SREH starling resistant/proof

Postby Emil Pampell-Tx » Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:53 pm

Matt F., I remember you favoring the houses, and I favor gourds. Like Lewis, if I offended you in any way then I am sorry and should not have done it. We must learn to share ideas, opinions, and beliefs. This is a great forum if we TRY to help others. I am proud of my latest findings, that sideboards force the starling to go straight in, this is so very important and it works, and its easy. The starlings cannot enter an opening (no matter what shape) if the entrance is 1-3/6in tall and 2 inches wide with sideboards attached that are at least 3/4in thick (the wider the better) This forces the starling to enter straight in, but its chest is too tall so it does not enter. Please forgive me for repeating this, I just want everyone to know that it works. Like Lewis suggested, it helps a lot to have the entrance nearly flush with the porch. A side benefit is that sideboards stops wing entrapment completely. This was tested for 3 years with excellent results. These tests also included entrances on the sides, the owls could not see the martins, and the owls did not bother the martins at all. No reports of martin feathers on the ground, and no owls seen on the gourd rack. The rack had 24 gourds on this location, no other poles.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps

Brad Biddle
Posts: 166
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: what makes a SREH starling resistant/proof

Postby Brad Biddle » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:15 am

Emil I’m very glad the sideboards work. That is a very easy modification to make even for those with less tinkering abilities.

I do have a question to ask because I don’t understand the reasoning behind it.... If the sideboards are placed so there’s a 2” gap between them then I don’t understand what difference the thickness of the sidewalls make. I can see that a thicker sidewall would likely be easier to attach with screws.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 102 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.

Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6727
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

Re: what makes a SREH starling resistant/proof

Postby Emil Pampell-Tx » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:29 am

There are two ways to stop the starlings, using sideboards or using a thicker entrance, but its hard for me to make a thick entrance.

Sideboards can be any thickness, and like you say the thicker ones are easier to attach (Sorry that I confused you)

Entrance thickness is an alternate way to stop the starlings that does not need sideboards, and it also stops wing entrapment. Another way of saying it is that a thicker entrance does not allow the starling to get his back into the cavity and then wiggle in', forcing the starling to go straight in. That is what makes the S&K modified clinger work, it effectively makes the entrance thicker.

Both methods work, but for me, its easier to use sideboards.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps

Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6727
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

Re: what makes a SREH starling resistant/proof

Postby Emil Pampell-Tx » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:20 pm

I thought about having a sideboard on only one side, I think that it would stop starlings, but I gave up on the idea because wing entrapment could still occur on the side where there is no sideboard. I would very much prefer sideboards on both sides to stop wing entrapment
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps

Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6727
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

Re: what makes a SREH starling resistant/proof

Postby Emil Pampell-Tx » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:04 pm

delete
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps


Return to “Purple Martin Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], MSN [Bot] and 10 guests