Excluder porch location

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mwren
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:43 pm
Location: OH/Athens
Martin Colony History: I have had my martin colony on the dam of one of my ponds for nine years. The colony has grown each year, but I am now concentrating on helping friends and acquaintances who have shown interests in martins. My colony consists of three T-14's with 8 Troyer gourds attatched to each T-14, a Troyer gourd rack with 12 gourds, and another gourd rack with 18 Troyer gourds for a total of 96 nest cavities. I am having serious predation issues with hawks and owls and am experimenting with various hawk guards and "screens". Established successful supplemental feeding last season during late march and had a blast flipping mostly meal worms and some crickets. Faculty from Ohio University are using my colony as a research site to study parasites that target cavity nesting birds. In exchange for access to my bird trail nest boxes and martin housing, they are banding all birds involved in their study.

Excluder porch location

Postby mwren » Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:18 pm

I have a question for someone who has experience with Excluder gourds. My home colony, and other satelites colonies that I have worked with have all been T-14's along with Troyer horizontal and verticle gourds. I have had very good success with this approach and continue to reccomend this lineup. I have been helping a friend who started his colony three years ago with a T-14 and Troyer gourds hanging around and under the T-14 . In his second season he had 75% occupancy , and decided to add a gourd rack to enlarge his colony. He mounted Excluder gourds to a rack last year, but only had one pair decide to claim a gourd, while he only had a few openings on his original pole. We both observed martins exploring the rack with the Excluders, but only the one pair "checked in". The answer to this could be as simple as that all the birds that were looking for housing had found it someplace else, but the behavior of some of these birds raised some questions ; Could the heigth of the porch in relation to the excluder opening have an effect on a martin's ability to enter the gourd? More specificaly , if the porch is too low could the gourd wall below the opening serve as a "block" to the martin's ability to squeze in? We are trying to decide if we should experiment with different distances between the floor of the porch and the bottom edges of the opening. Are there any landlords out there who have experimented with this porch height issue?

"Bird"
Mike "Bird" Wren

Brad Biddle
Posts: 404
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: Excluder porch location

Postby Brad Biddle » Sat Feb 22, 2020 7:42 pm

The original "batwing" Excluder entrance, or the Modified Excluder entrance?

I've never owned an Excluder gourd but have used Modified Excluder entrances for over a close to 15 years. My porches are no more than 1/8" below the bottom of the gourd.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.

Rodger Drye
Posts: 667
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:07 am
Location: NC/Mt. Pleasant
Martin Colony History: Have been hosting and providing a sanactuary for Purple Martins for 30 years.

Re: Excluder porch location

Postby Rodger Drye » Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:31 pm

Mwren,

Interesting question, this will be my first year to have used Excluder’s with the modified II entrance. I’m excited to see how and if the Bird’s take to them. My porches are located no more than 1/8” from the bottom of the opening. I had some Super Gourd’s with porches 1/2” from the bottom of the entrance, and not a single gourd was occupied.
Obviously I moved these gourd’s porches up closer (within 1/8” from the bottom of the entrance).

My Colony stands 90 pair and I use all kinds of Gourd’s. Including Troyer Horizontal, Verticals, Big Bo Gourd’s, Bo-11’s and several home made Gourd’s I made out of 10” SDR pipe with 3” Ultimate Tunnels. All these Gourd’s are readily occupied every year. This will be the first year I’ve installed a T-14 and used the Excluder and Super Gourd’s. I’m curious as to see what will happen as far as which Gourd’s will attract Purple Martin’s.

Rodger
PMCA Member
Have been Hosting and Protecting Martin's for 30 years.

BIOteacher012
Posts: 165
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:19 pm
Location: Wisconsin/Montello

Re: Excluder porch location

Postby BIOteacher012 » Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:44 pm

Mwren,
I have 12 Excluder gourds used in my colony in addition to SuperGourds, Troyer gourds, and BigBo gourds. Half of my Excluders are crescents and the other half are Modified Excluders. All of my porches are mounted no lower than 1/8" below the bottom of the entrance of these gourds to allow easy entry. If they are mounted lower than that, I generally have Excluders that remain unoccupied. Out of the two entrance types that I am using for Excluders, the martins seem to prefer the Modified Excluder over the Crescent Excluders. Not sure why, other than the modified entrance seems to be a bit less constricting for them to enter versus the crescent. They do eventually fill the crescents once all of the other types are filled. So, to answer your question, keep the porches mounted fairly high to allow for easier entry. Hope this helps.

Brian
BrianT
2017 38 nesting pairs, 181 fledged
2016 22 nesting pairs, 113 fledged
2015 20 nesting pairs, 91 fledged
2014 10 nesting pairs, 49 fledged
2013 4 nesting pairs, 15 fledged
2012 Lots of lookers but no nesters

Kegger
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:58 am
Location: Awesome Florida
Martin Colony History: a male with some mating calls attracted a female PM in the top of a plastic barn like birdhouse(unkept) on a triangular pole (16 room) last March . Occupied by wrens which kicked them out. I got too many bugs, live on a salt water canal to Charlotte Harbor. started to build a couple 18 room houses for PM about a month ago. Now have 9 cavities up and adding 2 gourds.

Re: Excluder porch location

Postby Kegger » Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:17 am

Mwren;

I set my porches at .08 a little less than 3/32 lower than the cresent opening I cut. my first year no martins yet but wrens
and sparrow go fine

Doug Martin - PA
Posts: 1901
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.

Re: Excluder porch location

Postby Doug Martin - PA » Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:31 am

The porch needs bumped up to about 1/8th of and inch below the entrance. Drill new holes above the dimples.

More important is that on many of these excluder II (blow molded gourds) the entrance height is a bit shy of the desired 1 3/16 inches. So you need to cut a "no go" gauge out of an old credit card or business card and cut it into a taper V. Measure where it is 1 3/16 inches and draw a line with a marker. Make sure you can insert it to the measured line to each entrance vertically.

Check each gourd and use a dremmel or a utility knife and sandpaper to open them up a bit if needed. It is critical they are correct.

Doug
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.

mwren
Posts: 96
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:43 pm
Location: OH/Athens
Martin Colony History: I have had my martin colony on the dam of one of my ponds for nine years. The colony has grown each year, but I am now concentrating on helping friends and acquaintances who have shown interests in martins. My colony consists of three T-14's with 8 Troyer gourds attatched to each T-14, a Troyer gourd rack with 12 gourds, and another gourd rack with 18 Troyer gourds for a total of 96 nest cavities. I am having serious predation issues with hawks and owls and am experimenting with various hawk guards and "screens". Established successful supplemental feeding last season during late march and had a blast flipping mostly meal worms and some crickets. Faculty from Ohio University are using my colony as a research site to study parasites that target cavity nesting birds. In exchange for access to my bird trail nest boxes and martin housing, they are banding all birds involved in their study.

Re: Excluder porch location

Postby mwren » Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:41 pm

Brad,
The entrances that I am working with are the modified excluders. Thank you for the recomendation of making sure the porch is no lower than 1/8" from the entrance levels. With everyone's help I think we are on the right track with the modifications we are making on the 18 Excluder gourds. This will be an interesting experiment to monitor!

Roger,
Thanks for your input. Like you, I am curious to observe if the changes we are making will be well received by the birds of 2020. Our birds in southern Ohio are most likely 3 to 5 weeks out if they follow historical arrival dates. It does appear that birds are a bit early across the mid-south and west so I am getting ready!

Bioteacher12 Brian,
Thanks for your answers to my questions! We are raising the porches per all the input I have been getting. The selection process these birds go through each spring might be my most favorite time to be observing these amazing birds, especially when they have multiple housing types to choose from!

Doug,
Thank you for your feedback on the importance of porch height on the Excluders. I have plenty of time to complete re-setting of the porches. It will be very interesting to see if these changes result in more birds choosing these gourds in 2020. It has been interesting to follow the growth of your colony over the years. Your encouragement to other Landlords to do the right things has been "spot on". Your encouragement to employ supplemental feeding when the bad weather drives the insects down has been critical to the success of my colony. We can see some nasty weather in spring here in southeast Ohio. Thanks for the help, and good luck this season.

"Bird"
Mike "Bird" Wren

Doug Martin - PA
Posts: 1901
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.

Re: Excluder porch location

Postby Doug Martin - PA » Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:10 pm

Not just the porch height that I am referring to Mike but the actual size of the excluder II entrance opening. They tend to be a bit too small in some of the manufactured batches. Check them too.

Doug
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.

Doug Martin - PA
Posts: 1901
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.

Re: Excluder porch location

Postby Doug Martin - PA » Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:29 am

To make a gauge:

Basically you just get an old credit card or a nice thick business card and a black felt tip pen. The card is approximately 2"x 3" inches turn it sideways so it it appears tall, and measure 1/2 inch across from the lower left corner on the 2" side. Draw a line from this mark to the top right hand corner. Now cut out the wedge it so that it is 1/2 inch wide at the start and 2" wide at the top. Turn it back again so it is wide on left and short on the right. Get your tape measure or ruler and find the point where the wedge measures exactly 1 3/16" inches. Draw a heavy line across it on both sides of the card so it is easy to see. Now you got a V "gauge" measuring 1 3/16" at the line. You can insert into the entrances to check them. You can cut some of the thinner 1/2" end off if you like at this point. If you can't insert it all the way to the line on your gauge the entrance is too small.

Old film containers used to work good too but they are harder to come by. Also usually in your socket set there is a socket that will measure
1 3/16 around as well.

Doug
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.


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