PMCA Wing Entrapment Protectors heads up....

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Brad Biddle
Posts: 395
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

PMCA Wing Entrapment Protectors heads up....

Postby Brad Biddle » Mon Feb 24, 2020 1:52 pm

Lewis had posted some time ago about using the WEP sold by the PMCA on the exterior of Conley II entrances to help increase their starling resistance. My Troyer gourds with Conley II's had become very ineffective at stopping Starlings. My lack of attention, coupled with the Starlings learning to navigate those entrances caused a decline in my colony. With the addition of the WEP's last spring, my colony was able to rebound nicely.

I am adding more gourds this year, and ordered more WEP's from the PMCA. When they arrived it was very obvious, that they had changed the design of them. They will no longer work for increasing Starling resistance of the Conley entrance, or at least they won't without some modification. I called the PMCA this morning to return my WEP's and spoke with a young man there about them. He said there had been many people ask the PMCA to redesign the WEP's to be more effective as WEP's. I do think the new design is better for it's intended use. I asked them to consider offering the original design as an aid to making the entrances more starling resistant. I hope that they do. I ended up making my own guards to use on the exterior but it would sure be much easier to buy them to use. The original WEP's are made from UHMW and that's what I made mine from. It's not as saw and router friendly as some products so buying is much easier.....
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.

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

Re: PMCA Wing Entrapment Protectors heads up....

Postby John Miller » Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:29 pm

Brad I have used the WEPs this way, but gets expensive. I have as an alternative cut a ring 3/4 inch wide off thin wall, 3 inch diameter PVC drain pipe. Then use tin snips to cut out an arch that I added to fronts, using white Quad Caulk as a glue and to fill in gaps.

I don't see that the photo of the PMCA guards on the website has changed, but maybe the photo is not yet updated.

Archer
Posts: 737
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:09 pm
Location: Manitoba/Altona
Martin Colony History: six pair in 2014, have grown to 52 pairs in 2017.

Re: PMCA Wing Entrapment Protectors heads up....

Postby Archer » Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:33 pm

I did the same as John Miller except I used thick walled pipe. Worked great. No entrapment last year whereas I had 4 the year prior.
2011- first year trying, a few visitors.
2012-One ASY pair, raised two young, lots of subby visitors. So thankfull.
2013-daily subby visits.
2014-Six SY pairs
2015-18 pair, 83 fledglings
2016-36 pair, 147 fledglings
2017-52 pairs, 192 fledglings.
2018-60 pair, 246 fledglings.
2019-59 pair, 238 fledglings.

Brad Biddle
Posts: 395
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: PMCA Wing Entrapment Protectors heads up....

Postby Brad Biddle » Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:01 pm

Brad I have used the WEPs this way, but gets expensive. I have as an alternative cut a ring 3/4 inch wide off thin wall, 3 inch diameter PVC drain pipe. Then use tin snips to cut out an arch that I added to fronts, using white Quad Caulk as a glue and to fill in gaps.

I don't see that the photo of the PMCA guards on the website has changed, but maybe the photo is not yet updated.
No, the photo is still the same. The new WEP's are close to 1" thick and the legs are much longer. Your workaround sounds like it would work great.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.

Lewis
Posts: 223
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 3:21 pm
Location: Georgia/Newnan

Re: PMCA Wing Entrapment Protectors heads up....

Postby Lewis » Thu Feb 27, 2020 7:34 pm

I am disappointed that such an effective device as the original WEP has been discontinued for a more effective wing entrapment protector for the the Trendsetter and Sunset Inn Houses. Don't get me wrong if the new design will stop wing entrapment in this equipment, then it is worth the new design, but for those new landlords that are not DIY's and want a quick fix for starlings . Then both designs should be made with the designation that the first or original be designated in the catalog as it is now for starling control miscellaneous .
I used the original WEP to modify both Conley II and Crescent SREH"s and have not had a starling breach in years. Read an article I wrote for the UPDATE which is included in tips for 2019 listed above as a sticky. Also do a search for the " Lewis Modification"

I am dedicated in my support of the PMCA and hope they will take my recommendation seriously.

Lewis
Spring Garden Keeper

Brad Biddle
Posts: 395
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: PMCA Wing Entrapment Protectors heads up....

Postby Brad Biddle » Thu Feb 27, 2020 8:43 pm

I hope they do too Lewis. Somebody needs to offer them.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.

John Barrow
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Location: Corpus Christi / Sandia , Texas

Re: PMCA Wing Entrapment Protectors heads up....

Postby John Barrow » Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:57 am

Thanks for the heads up Brad. I join the others supporting the continuation of offering the original UHMW WEPs. While I have not experienced problems with wing entrapment in my conley2 openings, I have been deluged by one or more woodpeckers pecking out sizable holes at the top of the openings. For a number of years I bought new tunnels to replace the damaged ones, a total of 17 (of 32 total gourds) in the worst year. This was time consuming and expensive. Two years ago I discovered that I could bolt WEPs to the front of the entrance plate, covering the damaged area, which salvaged the tunnels. I have seen evidence (light scratching) on the WEPs that indicate to me that the woodpeckers tried to peck through them but were totally thwarted in the effort. Of the 32 gourds installed this year, at least 24 of them have the WEPs bolted in place reclaiming damaged tunnels.
Last season I had one unmodified conley2 breached by a starling in a gourd that I had removed what appeared to be a HS nest. I removed the bulk of the nest leaving my prenest material having shot a female sparrow near the gourd. The following week I found 4 starling eggs in the gourd on the pre-nest pine straw. (I never observed starlings at the site; but am only there on weekends). I removed the eggs and within minutes bolted on a WEP. The following week an SY pair had claimed the nest and successfully four young late in the season.
I, too, will contact PMCA and request that they continue to offer the UHMW WEP as an alternative for starling control and repair of enlarged entrance holes.
~~TEAMED WITH A MARTIN GODDESS~~

Member/Mentor-PMCA. I do regular nestchecks and participate in PROJECT MARTINWATCH!! Coordinated 3 geolocator studies-2009,2010 & 2013. State and Fed licensed bander

John Miller
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Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: PMCA Wing Entrapment Protectors heads up....

Postby John Miller » Sat Feb 29, 2020 6:17 am

Ya'll probably could take a hack saw and trim the height of the new guards to fit. Mark a line how much you want to remove from each leg then lay the guard flat and secure it some way to saw. It's soft plastic so cuts fairly easily.

Over the last decade I have purchased many PMCA guards to double the width of ones I already had on houses. But to get nest trays to fit better, I'd use a hack saw and taper the ends of the new one before gluing it onto the original. Does make a lot of plastic shavings. Suggest a shop vac.

Brad Biddle
Posts: 395
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: PMCA Wing Entrapment Protectors heads up....

Postby Brad Biddle » Sat Feb 29, 2020 8:57 am

John B, thanks for your intention to contact them. Every voice will help.

John M, yes they can be modified to work, but many people lack the time or skills to do that. With SREH's being opening height critical, it was nice to have a part that was a direct "bolt" on.

I could modify the new WEP's, no doubt. I'd have to change my fastening method to attach them to the tunnels. I use 3/16" diameter aluminum pop rivets and the new WEP's are too thick to use that. Pop rivets work great. That's only an inconvenience but it was another thing I didn't like about them.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.

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

Re: PMCA Wing Entrapment Protectors heads up....

Postby John Miller » Sat Feb 29, 2020 9:40 am

well I'm contrary on this issue because I've pushed for a decade for a more effective PMCA wing entrapment protector. Not sure new design is perfect, but should help.

Surely the issue with Troyer Tunnels is one for Troyer to address, not the PMCA.

John Miller

Brad Biddle
Posts: 395
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: PMCA Wing Entrapment Protectors heads up....

Postby Brad Biddle » Sat Feb 29, 2020 9:59 am

I agree with you on the new WEP's. I think they'll be much better for their original purpose than the original ones were. I don't want them to stop making them, I want them to offer both. I also agree that Troyer should address the issues with their entrances but the former best solution was the original WEP.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.

Lewis
Posts: 223
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 3:21 pm
Location: Georgia/Newnan

Re: PMCA Wing Entrapment Protectors heads up....

Postby Lewis » Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:05 pm

The original wep is also effective at stopping starlings from entering the crescent sreh. My first application of the wep was on a crescent sreh on one of my Safe Haven houses. A starling had got in and laid 2 eggs before I attached the wep over the entrance and the starling was not able to re enter even with the eggs inside. I have had the weps on 12 crescent srehs on my 2 Safe Haven houses for more than 5 years now with no starlings being able to enter. Same with 20 Troyer horizontal gourds modified with original PMCA WEP. No starlings. It was because of that first application on my Safe Haven house that I learned the wep was effective in stopping starlings from entering. It was a year later that I tried the wep on 4 Conley II srehs and another year before I put it on all 20 Conley II srehs. so it is not just the Conley II that the wep will protect. I have read on this site where a starling breached an Excluder II
Spring Garden Keeper

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

Re: PMCA Wing Entrapment Protectors heads up....

Postby Brad Biddle » Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:28 pm

Lewis I can tell you for certain, that you posting your experience with them certainly helped save the quality of my colony. I don’t know that Starlings would have ever completely overtaken my colony to the point that Martins would not have nested here but they were well on their way. I don’t remember the exact numbers but I had many Starling nests in my gourds last spring. I’d guess close to 30. I was able to kill most of those Starlings with my .22 after installing the WEP’s and I still had one female Starling that could enter a Conley II even with the WEP in place. She looked tiny compared to a normal Starling. I finally got her.

I had used homemade WDC entrances for probably 12-13 years and to my knowledge had never had a Starling breech one until last year. I had 2 Starling nests in gourds with my homemade tunnels and WDC’s. Perhaps those entrances had worn larger over time, or perhaps the Starlings learned to negotiate them. I don’t know.

I have killed several Starlings off my gourd racks already this spring. I have not seen any enter a gourd but I’m not allowing them to stay around long enough to find out.

Thanks again for reporting your success in stopping Starlings with this product.

Here’s the caveat, I would imagine that in a few more years, another solution will be required to stop Starlings. They are an incredibly smart bird and if there’s any physical way for them to learn to enter a currently Starling “proof” entrance, they will.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.

brent
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Re: PMCA Wing Entrapment Protectors heads up....

Postby brent » Sat Feb 29, 2020 4:56 pm

Hi everyone,

I have trendsetters with the SHREH entrances and WEP attached inside the compartment but still have had wing entrapments occur. In fact, just yesterday I had one. I was home and able to release it. It appeared that 2 females where fighting inside. Any rate, the question is if I buy the WEP from PMCA and attach them to the front would that prevent entrapment?

Thanks for replies.

Brent

Lewis
Posts: 223
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 3:21 pm
Location: Georgia/Newnan

Re: PMCA Wing Entrapment Protectors heads up....

Postby Lewis » Sat Feb 29, 2020 6:39 pm

delete

Lewis
Spring Garden Keeper

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

Re: PMCA Wing Entrapment Protectors heads up....

Postby John Miller » Sun Mar 01, 2020 4:20 pm

Brent

Probably would reduce risk a great deal. I'd personally also recommend getting some kind of PVC trim to fill in the bottom a little as well, so that a wing doesn't overhang there. This is because Trendsetter crescents are 1/2 inch off the floor. I'd not go flush, but approx. 1/8 inch below the crescent entrance.


John Miller

brent
Posts: 116
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Re: PMCA Wing Entrapment Protectors heads up....

Postby brent » Sun Mar 01, 2020 7:36 pm

John,
I don't fully understand. You mean to fill under the existing wing entrapment protector? And add the WEP that is sold by PMCA to the front of the entrance?

Brent

John Barrow
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 4:12 pm
Location: Corpus Christi / Sandia , Texas

Re: PMCA Wing Entrapment Protectors heads up....

Postby John Barrow » Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:43 pm

I talked to PMCA today, advocating Brad's and Lewis' anti- modification position,as well as my own need to restore woodpecker damage (keep what you have) . I have gotten a reply from PMCA that the vendor, Mel at Hillcrest, has discontinued the making of the new taller,soft plastic WEPs. He has a small inventory, and as soon as that is gone he will be making his WEPs out of the UHMW material. From what I was told they will be shorter than the current soft modification, but thicker than the older model WEP. I have not seen the new soft plastic (thicker and longer) modification that Brad returned to PMCA, but I certainly believe the new production might work better for everyone. IMO their use for starling exclusion (Lewis, etal. method) trumps any value they might have to minimize wing entrapment, which, in my experience is nearly always caused by inter-cavity fighting with uncertain results, or by return home trips of fledgling martins who I have seen entrapped in the entrance of 2 inch round holes.
Last edited by John Barrow on Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
~~TEAMED WITH A MARTIN GODDESS~~

Member/Mentor-PMCA. I do regular nestchecks and participate in PROJECT MARTINWATCH!! Coordinated 3 geolocator studies-2009,2010 & 2013. State and Fed licensed bander

Brad Biddle
Posts: 395
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Re: PMCA Wing Entrapment Protectors heads up....

Postby Brad Biddle » Thu Mar 12, 2020 8:55 pm

Thanks for the update John. I was actually hoping that they would make both. I think, due to the thickness, that the new one would work better to prevent wing entrapment than the old ones would. I am glad that the old one will be available again to use to shore up marginal SREH's or to do repairs as you did. I don't know that the new ones were made from Sintra, but it was something similar to it, if it wasn't that. I didn't measure them but going by memory, they were close to 1" thick.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.

John Barrow
Posts: 930
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 4:12 pm
Location: Corpus Christi / Sandia , Texas

Re: PMCA Wing Entrapment Protectors heads up....

Postby John Barrow » Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:59 pm

Brad, I don't know their thickness either. I know you have an issue with thickness using rivets to install them. Those I covered the woodpecker damage with, I used 1 in. SS bolts and nuts, both plain and lock nuts. Bought them in packs of 100 from bolts.com for about $20 per pack. For me they are as easy and quick to use as rivets. I'm sure you could do either faster. Glad to see you here again. You are a great and intuitive landlord. Been seeing posts from "Mike Mack" lately. Believe that could be Mike McCormick. I banded at his stie for 2 years--last nest check(maybe his first) tallied 705 pairs.
~~TEAMED WITH A MARTIN GODDESS~~

Member/Mentor-PMCA. I do regular nestchecks and participate in PROJECT MARTINWATCH!! Coordinated 3 geolocator studies-2009,2010 & 2013. State and Fed licensed bander


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