How do I discourage Starlings

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Lewis
Posts: 240
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 3:21 pm
Location: Georgia/Newnan

I failed to mention that I have used this modification for almost 10 years and the martins have no problem entering or exiting the modified Conley II sreh. and I have had no starlings breach this modification. For those of you and the Troyer's who have had success with the Conley II I will agree it is a good sreh. It would be my choice if I was starting a new colony as it is as easy for a martin to enter as a round hole and is easily modified. I have tried both. I switched to all Conley II except for crescent sreh on my Safe Haven house which was the first entrance I modified with a raised floor and adding the WEP over the crescent entrance which stopped a starling from getting back in' even though she had eggs.
I offer my experience for those of you who have problems with starlings and I am not finding fault with any sreh.
Spring Garden Keeper
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

I see in Marks pictures something I haven’t noticed before. Lewis if yours are identical to his then I installed my WEP’s differently than you guys did.

I didn’t raise my porches, but I think at least you, Lewis, already knew that. The difference that I just now noticed, is that I installed my WEP’s directly flush with the top of the entrance. I had to trim the “legs” on a few of them to make them fit flush with the top of the entrance. I wonder if that’s why mine have been so successful, even without raising the porches? Did you try them that way first or did you raise the porches when you do originally installed them?
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
Lewis
Posts: 240
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 3:21 pm
Location: Georgia/Newnan

Brad, I raised the porch at the same time I added the WEP over the Crescent sreh on my Safe Haven House. I had read numerous times on this forum that raising the porch was effective in stopping starlings. I had purchased the WEP's to go on the inside of the Safe Haven doors but because the WEP would prevent the door from opening or closing I put it on the outside to reinforce the crescent sreh which the starlings had been able to force their way in.
I think that by installing your WEP's flush with the floor has added to it's effectiveness in stopping starlings.
When the mod on the Safe Haven crescent sreh worked , I decided to to try it on 4 of my Conley II THG's, thinking it may be to restrictive, but it made no difference to the martins even though they had 16 unmodified Conley II THG's. So I modified all of them the next year.

Lewis
Spring Garden Keeper
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1483
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.

Brad,
I noticed your WEPs were flush with the top of the Conley II and how that decreased the "shoulders" (upper, outer corners) of the Conley II entrance. I meant to ask you if that restricts any of the purple martins entering and exiting.
The Lewis Mod to Conley II entrances does not restrict any purple martins. The biggest purple martins never have a problem. And the smallest, slender starlings cannot breach the Lewis Mod to Conley II entrances.
I like the Lewis mod because I don't have to do anything to the Wing Entrapment Protectors that came from PMCA (supplied by Hilltop). No trimming down the ends of the WEPs to fit onto the elevated porches. Plus if the WEP is screwed onto the Troyer entrance face, then the WEP can be removed to use the Troyer-Haskell trap.

I don't like the ribbed porches of the Troyer porches because junk fills up in the crevasses. So when I saw Lewis' original picture of his Troyer Horizontal Gourds I embraced the porch elevators immediately in addition to the WEP.

Three of the pictures that look alike are one of Lewis' THG. The Troyer Gourd with the black marks outlining the boundaries of the trough is mine.

Studying this video by Terrapin Cove, shows the value of porches flush or just below the base of any SREH and the value of a thicker entrance.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MVt51dpIO4
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.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Mark I have not noticed any Martins struggling to enter my gourds since adding the WEP’s. I made the modification last year and had a fill “house” of 102 gourds all with nesting pairs. I haven’t noticed any difference in the speed of entry prior or post installation. In reality it just makes the Conley II top profile into a crescent entrance. The bottom profile of the Conley II makes it a more restrictive crescent. I don’t see how it would be more restrictive than a crescent for a Martin
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1483
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.

Brad,
That is good news. I looked at your pictures again and can see the crescent shape. You were also careful not to interfere with the critical 1 3/16" height from the top of the entrance to the bottom of the Conley II dip.
I hope you never have a starling breach again.

A while back, Lewis speculated that WEPs stiffen the aluminum metal of the his Safe Haven and the plastic of the manufactured Conley II entrances. I concur with Lewis that the thickness of an outside WEP to the SREH entrances keeps the starlings from craning their necks and leveraging their way into the SREH entrance.
How thick does the WEP need to be to keep the starlings out? Since you make your own WEPs, have you tried thinner material for your WEPs to see if that keeps starlings out?
I have always hoped that the outside WEPs would reduce martin wing entrapment and reduce starling breaches.
Lewis and you are bold and adventuresome. I tend to find something that works and stick with that. But I also don't want to be a stick in the mud person.

By the way, have you noticed that Mr. Lewis is not a confrontational person. My impression is that he is a man of science, reason and open discussion. His background would indicate a leader and someone who has dedicated his life to helping others. He is definitely someone I respect.
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.
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1483
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.

Alaningeorgetown,
I hope these pictures show what the trough in the porch elevator of a Lewis Modification to Conley II entrance looks like.
Maybe the pictures can give you an idea how to set up your porch steps. I have confidence in your abilities to apply the information as you see fit.
Attachments
Lewis Mod Porch Elevator.jpg
(304.28 KiB) Not downloaded yet
Lewis Mod Porch Elevator Trough.jpg
(241.83 KiB) Not downloaded yet
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.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Yes I have noticed he seems like a great guy
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
Alaningeorgetown
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:05 am
Location: Georgetown TX

I think I may have screwed up with one of my postings as I don't see it here.

The house I made has 8 condos (modified from 16 in the original design). The raised steps are made of untreated cedar, so very rough. I can make them smoother or add a plastic cover.

I think the starlings have given up but I am not sure and I will keep an eye on it. I will also drop the box this weekend and check inside. I have also noticed purple martins flying around near the box, and I think I saw one land on the box.

I will keep you updated.

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

I have now seen two starlings going in and out through the Conley II entrances with the porch step all the way up to the bottom of the plastic entrance. It's a struggle for them but they make it. And are clearly bringing nesting materials.

I will take down the box tonight and block all entrances.

What do you recommend as my next move? I don't have the arches I have seen in some mods, Can these fit over the plastic Conley II entrances? Will they even help?

Alan
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Alaningeorgetown wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:42 pm
I have now seen two starlings going in and out through the Conley II entrances with the porch step all the way up to the bottom of the plastic entrance. It's a struggle for them but they make it. And are clearly bringing nesting materials.

I will take down the box tonight and block all entrances.

What do you recommend as my next move? I don't have the arches I have seen in some mods, Can these fit over the plastic Conley II entrances? Will they even help?

Alan
Yes they will help tremendously. You can order them from the PMCA. They are called WEP’s. Tell them that you want them to do the “Lewis modification” so they won’t send you any of the ones that they made prior to changing back to something more like the originals. John Barrow sent me a couple of the new ones to evaluate. They will work fine. I would advise to sand the interior radius of the arc smoother than it will be shipped. Use 320-400 grit sandpaper and smooth them up.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
Archer
Posts: 757
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.

You can easily make your own. Take a 3 inch abs pipe, cut of a 3/4 inch slice of the end, then cut that circle in half, you then have two arches.
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.
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1483
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.

Alan,
I have 3" PVC Conduit UV resistant arches cut and ready to go exactly as Archer has described. The interior of these PVC arches are smooth as glass so no work is required except glue them on. We will discuss how to mount them onto the face of the Conley II entrance before they arrive in the mail. Do you need Porch Elevators? I have everything you might need to complete the Lewis Mod. You said 8 entrances correct?
Let's get this done!! You don't have time for any more discussion. Blocking off all entrances to your house and preventing the massive number of purple martins migrating through your area from having a chance at your house is unacceptable.
Last edited by 4th Gen Martin Fan on Fri May 01, 2020 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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

That's great. I am happy to pay for these. If I order through the Purple Martin shop it will take 10 days.

Alan
Last edited by Alaningeorgetown on Fri May 01, 2020 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Alaningeorgetown
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:05 am
Location: Georgetown TX

How about I pop down to 'The Depot' and buy some 3" PVC pipe and modify as recommended? E-mail me.

Alan
4th Gen Martin Fan
Posts: 1483
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.

Delete.
Last edited by 4th Gen Martin Fan on Fri May 01, 2020 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 edited it.
Alaningeorgetown
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:05 am
Location: Georgetown TX

I have modified the first entrance. Mark pls check e-mail for picture. I will try to post here too. I attach images below but can never see them myself.

Please confirm this is oK and I will modify all. I used a 1/2” pipe slice and I note you recommend 3/4”. I can change that.

Alan
Attachments
C92BA801-DEEB-4575-8C7A-26434E24104E.jpeg
C92BA801-DEEB-4575-8C7A-26434E24104E.jpeg (71.76 KiB) Viewed 907 times
4932499E-B7B9-438A-BA89-DB49CAF61A29.jpeg
4932499E-B7B9-438A-BA89-DB49CAF61A29.jpeg (80.62 KiB) Viewed 907 times
Archer
Posts: 757
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.

Looks great, just make sure that silicone is dry before the birds get a chance to get it on them. If the half inch doesn't keep them out, you know what to do.
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: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

I would trim the "legs" and put the top of the arc closer to the top of the entrance hole The top of the arc is flush with the top of the entrance on mine and the Martins have had no issues at all entering them. I did not raise my porch though. I have between 115-120 gourds occupied right now and every one of them has the Lewis mod. If Martins had problems entering them, I don't think I'd have that many Martins. The way yours looks, you're barely making the entrance smaller, which I would think is the objective. I'd at least try some of them like I described
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
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