Starling plague

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Brad Biddle
Posts: 521
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

When I read about very good and successful landlords who use round holes, it boggles my mind. Not that they use round holes, but that they’re ABLE to use round holes. I know they have some Starlings to contend with and do so by trapping and shooting, but that just would not be possible here. Starlings are not flocking here. They have been split off into mating pairs for more than a month. I have been sitting on my back porch for about an hour watching my Martins. I have killed 2 Starling’s while sitting here. Every time a pair lands within 50 yards I shoot. Today I’m 2 for 2 and the afternoon isn’t over. My parents house is off to the side and behind mine. Just to give you guys some perspective of the sheer volume of Starling's that some of us have to deal with, I just took this picture from my back porch. The quality is horrible so you’ll have to trust me that all the birds in the picture are Starlings. They are. This is after already killing 30-40 this year. Even when I have 100 pairs of Martins I think that Starlings are the most common bird on our farm. They are definitely the most common bird in this area. Remember this isn’t a “flock” of Starlings it’s just mated pairs all feeding in the same area.

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Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
deancamp
Posts: 406
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Brad, have you ever tried a repeating nest box trap. Looks like that would be the perfect spot to set one up and let them find the round hole.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 521
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

deancamp wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:07 pm
Brad, have you ever tried a repeating nest box trap. Looks like that would be the perfect spot to set one up and let them find the round hole.
Yes, two different styles. One with the see-saw type mechanism and one with the 4" PVC elbow and pipe that drops into a holding cage. I installed the PVC elbow thing into a huge natural gourd and placed it next to one of my gourd racks. I caught very few. I built a large V trap and caught very few as well.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
deancamp
Posts: 406
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Hmmm, I built the teeter totter style with the 4" pipe out the back that will deliver them into a holding cage this weekend. I'm going to try and catch some of the ones that are trying to get into the sreh's.
Donnie Hurdt MN
Posts: 1717
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 11:14 pm
Location: North Prairie, MN

A number of years ago I put up a V Trap at the chicken barns across the street from our place. I had it bated with bread and other food but no starling s entered the trap even though there was a large flock of them there and it was winter time when food is harder to get.
I also had two teeter totter style traps set up in my yard one by some sheds and the other about 30 feet from my martin housing and did manage to trap some starlings in one of them but after a while the starlings learned to avoid them.
Starlings are smart birds I think, they soon learned that the sound of gunshots and seeing some of their companions fall at the sound of a shot they tend to fly around our yard as I have watched them do many times.
I do have better luck with getting some of the newly fledged starlings until the servitors learn to stay away.
I know other people have had great luck with both of these traps I am just reporting what happened in our yard.
PMCA member and Martin fanatic....
2011 A pair of subbies fledged three young but none returned in 2012 :-(
2015 One Pair of subbies came and stayed a few nits but got chased away by Bluebirds and Tree swallows. :-(
2017 0ne pair of subbies nested and fledged 4 young
2018 Tree Swallows AGAIN chased away any martins that wanted to nest :evil:
2019 Same old story................ :-(
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2860
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

I too have to rely on SREH because we have thousands and thousands of starlings. I can keep up with the HOSP but there is no way I would be able to control the starlings. On a side note for you guys with the V-Trap. I spoke with Andy Troyer about them when I bought the plans from him. I was planning to scale it down to like half size or something just so it wasn't so large. He said they build several prototypes and the size he has was the smallest size that he was able to get consistent results with. He said I would likely not get very good results if the foot print of the trap was smaller then what the plans call for, at least that is what he experienced.
2020 47 of 52 cavities with nest (5/29)(HOSP Count 7)
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
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.
Keith
Posts: 415
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:45 pm
Location: Missouri/Ava

Here is my experience with Starlings. Real difficult to host Martin's if Starlings can enter the housing. My problems went away when using the Clinger entrance with built in wing guards. The porch is also flush with the entrance hole. Proven the last 3 years. I offer 100 compartments and yes an occasional Starling will come and see if he or she can get in each one before leaving. Every year I experience issues with hawks and owls, but haven't been concerned with the starlings. Keith
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