How do I discourage Starlings

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Alaningeorgetown
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:05 am
Location: Georgetown TX

So I tried a compromise in that I made sure that most of the steps go all the way up to the bottom of the Conley II entrances. I cut a grove in the nylon to clear the ‘d’ shape at the bottom. I hope this does the trick. They are all currently blocked until the goop plumbers adhesive sets tomorrow. The arches are 3/4” deep.

The starlings were hanging around during the modification process and had breached 4 of the 8 condos!

I hope this does the trick. I am losing hope.

Alan
Alaningeorgetown
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:05 am
Location: Georgetown TX

I can’t seem to post images again!
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4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1480
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 1956 Benjamin 317 .177 air 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.

I found one of the first if not the first PMCA Forum Topic that introduced the Lewis Modification to Conley II entrances on May 4, 2013.
http://www.purplemartin.org/forum/viewt ... lewis+sreh
I think it is interesting that Lewis Scott, John Miller, and Emil Pampell debated the idea of WEPs on Conley II entrances without porch elevation 7 years ago. The question of how low the WEP should be mounted to the top of the Conley II entrance if there was no porch elevator was entertained.
It took Brad Biddle to prove how low the WEP or PVC arch could be mounted when there was no porch elevation. The answer to the "Limbo" question is all the way down to the top of the Conley II entrance to basically make a modified crescent entrance with a PVC arch on top.

Alan has lowered a PVC arch down to the top of the Conley II entrance ALONG with porch elevation. I want to hear how well that works.

I hope that everyone will keep abreast on how well these modifications stop Starling breaches AND how well the Purple Martins can negotiate these entrances. That includes the smallest starlings and the largest purple martins.

The original Lewis Modification to Conley II entrances has been tested for 7 years and has proven its value. The smallest of starlings cannot breach AND the largest of purple martins can enter and exit with ease the original Lewis Mod. The original Lewis Mod to Conley II has equal success to round holes for new colonies and landlords.

We have come a long way from the Obround entrance!!
Mark.
Firm believer in HOSP/EUST Control, Enlarged Compartments, SREHs, Pole Predator Guards, Owl/Hawk Guards, Mite/Parasite Control, Housing Insulation, and Vents for Compartment Cooling.
PMCA Member.
Alaningeorgetown
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:05 am
Location: Georgetown TX

I can confirm that the Starlings don’t seem to be able to enter the Conley II with the Lewis mod that includes the WEP arch flush with the top center of the Conley PLUS the raised step (made of nylon). We will see if the purple Martins can get in. I really hope so. I’m planning to modify all the other entrances in a similar way, but may leave some with a little more headroom and run that experiment.

I will let you know the results.

Alan
Alaningeorgetown
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:05 am
Location: Georgetown TX

I have made the modifications to all the entrances. Three of the boxes with the original modifications contained a lot of nest materials. The starlings can no longer get into the lowered WEP, and I have seen them dumping nest materials in disgust after failing to get in. All good signs.

I have attached photos of the modifications to the other entrances showing the range of levels I have implemented. I hope that purple martins will have no problem with these. I guess we will see.
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Lewis
Posts: 240
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 3:21 pm
Location: Georgia/Newnan

rob, Your modificatios look good to me. I don't think martis will have a problem entering either and both should keep starlings out.

Lewis
Spring Garden Keeper
Alaningeorgetown
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:05 am
Location: Georgetown TX

So far, so good. Th starlings have not yet managed to breach any of the entrances as far as I can tell. They are still hanging around, but I am hoping that they will give up soon.
Alaningeorgetown
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:05 am
Location: Georgetown TX

Update: No starlings have managed to get into the modified entrances so far. I have still seen a few hanging around, but they soon leave. Unfortunately, I have not seen so many purple martins looking either. There were a few last week when the starlings were still finding their way in. And I did see a starling chase a Martin off last week.

I am still hopeful for this year, but time is flying here.

Alan
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Alan, stay positive and keep playing dawn song to attract lookers. You have taken a major step in the right direction. You know Martins will accept your site and you have shut down the starlings. Those are 2 major hurdles. Good luck.
Alaningeorgetown
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:05 am
Location: Georgetown TX

Good news is that the starlings have given up. Less good news is that there are no signs of Martins. At least we are ready for next year’s season. I’ll keep it up there and keep an eye out. I’ve not given up.

Thanks for all the help.

Alan
Alaningeorgetown
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:05 am
Location: Georgetown TX

Still no sign of Martins. I saw another Starling try to get in today! Well, we are ready for next year.
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