Starling elimination special forces unit!

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
PMDavid
Posts: 408
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 8:50 pm
Location: Boyce,Louisiana
Martin Colony History: Second year trying to attract martins. This year I am getting rid of the wooden house and showing something they are used to seeing.
Offering 2 trio grandpaws w/2natural gourds under each and C.Abare gourd rack w/16 natural gourds. And one rehabbed 16 compartment Coates original with two natural gourds.Lots of lookers,a few overnighters and daily activity cruising and looking. All gourds have a rain canopy and wire perch.2019 7 pair moving into 2020 almost double pairs from 2019. Still have most of the month of March to go for new arrivals and April.Here late in season seemed to have as many as 18 Pr of nesting birds. Huge upscale in birds from 2019. Will also have a 20 gourd satellite rack prepared for the 2021 season.

Sitting out this morning the wife spotted going into a woodpecker gourd and ran and got me inside. Speacial force unit sprung into action. NO ESCAPE...inevitable DEATH.!!!!!!!!! Pictures are worth a thousand words.
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white-out
Posts: 69
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:21 am
Location: ohio

Somethings are not that important to share...maybe?
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Good work David, one less rat bird to evict a desirable species.
PMDavid
Posts: 408
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 8:50 pm
Location: Boyce,Louisiana
Martin Colony History: Second year trying to attract martins. This year I am getting rid of the wooden house and showing something they are used to seeing.
Offering 2 trio grandpaws w/2natural gourds under each and C.Abare gourd rack w/16 natural gourds. And one rehabbed 16 compartment Coates original with two natural gourds.Lots of lookers,a few overnighters and daily activity cruising and looking. All gourds have a rain canopy and wire perch.2019 7 pair moving into 2020 almost double pairs from 2019. Still have most of the month of March to go for new arrivals and April.Here late in season seemed to have as many as 18 Pr of nesting birds. Huge upscale in birds from 2019. Will also have a 20 gourd satellite rack prepared for the 2021 season.

Thanks dean......unique and different technique. They won’t sit still for a .22 shot and I don’t wanna scare my birds with a shotgun blast,so stealth and cunning works well!
SSMartin
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

Cool looking gourds
PMDavid
Posts: 408
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 8:50 pm
Location: Boyce,Louisiana
Martin Colony History: Second year trying to attract martins. This year I am getting rid of the wooden house and showing something they are used to seeing.
Offering 2 trio grandpaws w/2natural gourds under each and C.Abare gourd rack w/16 natural gourds. And one rehabbed 16 compartment Coates original with two natural gourds.Lots of lookers,a few overnighters and daily activity cruising and looking. All gourds have a rain canopy and wire perch.2019 7 pair moving into 2020 almost double pairs from 2019. Still have most of the month of March to go for new arrivals and April.Here late in season seemed to have as many as 18 Pr of nesting birds. Huge upscale in birds from 2019. Will also have a 20 gourd satellite rack prepared for the 2021 season.

Thanks SS, that’s four larger ones I had so I made four different ones on one pole that I took a house off of. Tha large horizontal is the second one of those I have. Both of them were instantly chosen when I put em up. I have another gourd gourd rack planned to replace the” tee” for next season and I think I have decided to make all horizontals like that one. They seem to really like those. I have a return pair in the other one from last year. All my birds pick the largest gourds first.
Fuzzmeister
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:02 pm
Location: Saskatchewan Canada

Pmdavid
Good job on the tactical force on that starling!! Those rat birds should be all wiped off the the earth!!
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2897
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Pmdavid, Don't worry about the shot gun blast. The first time of two you shoot the will fly off for a second but after that they get used to it. I've shot sparrows off a perch and the martins didn't moved except to follow it to the ground. Now the do t even move most of the time.
2020 Currently 42 nest, 110 babies, 64 eggs left to hatch(6-22-20) HOSP count-8
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.
PMDavid
Posts: 408
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 8:50 pm
Location: Boyce,Louisiana
Martin Colony History: Second year trying to attract martins. This year I am getting rid of the wooden house and showing something they are used to seeing.
Offering 2 trio grandpaws w/2natural gourds under each and C.Abare gourd rack w/16 natural gourds. And one rehabbed 16 compartment Coates original with two natural gourds.Lots of lookers,a few overnighters and daily activity cruising and looking. All gourds have a rain canopy and wire perch.2019 7 pair moving into 2020 almost double pairs from 2019. Still have most of the month of March to go for new arrivals and April.Here late in season seemed to have as many as 18 Pr of nesting birds. Huge upscale in birds from 2019. Will also have a 20 gourd satellite rack prepared for the 2021 season.

Hey there Lowe how’s it going for ya this year? Here on my end if you remember last year was my first year for birds with about six pr. This year I have moved up to what I think now is around 12-14 or plus a few singles. I estimate a bird count of mid thirties. Needless to say I pretty happy bout all that. I believe ya about the shotgun but I’m still Leary about doin it,I’ve had such good luck gettin a colony in just two years I’m just scared to do it. Now if anything gets outa hand,I will execute plan B and get the shotgun out. I have killed a couple with it so far but it has been in the evening when all the birds were out feeding. The couple I had to catch like that has been in the mornings when all the birds are around. One has just stayed in the gourd next to that one both times and never flew when I went up the ladder and did all that! Good luck to ya for this year.
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2897
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

So far so good up here. I got my first returnees a couple weekends ago. At first I had all males but last week some females started showing up. Our weather is a little sketchy this week but they should be OK. Highs each day only in the 40's but they will be high 40's so the should be able to feed. I have some crickets on hand if needed. Right now I have about 12-15 birds spending the night maybe 5 of the are females.
2020 Currently 42 nest, 110 babies, 64 eggs left to hatch(6-22-20) HOSP count-8
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.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 522
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

David, you aren't gonna run your Martins off by shooting around them. The first several times, they'll fly off the racks and circle several times before landing again. Maybe circle 20 times. By about shot number 20, some of them won't even fly off the racks. I've shot Starlings before with my 22, sitting beside a Martin and have the Martin never flinch and just watch the Starling fall to the ground.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
rtulenko
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 6:01 pm
Location: Versailles Ky

Worst year I have had for Starlings in my 14 years as landlord. I wasn't prepared for them since I never had a real problem. They have run off all PM's from one trio house, killed 2 on my other trio house. I am only left with 3 pair now and am scared to lose them also. I don't have a pellet or bb gun and believe it is to late to invest in a trap this year. Any other good ways to try and get rid of the remaining starlings? I keep cleaning their nests out and went to excluder openings on the one house but it still looks like the starlings are getting. I have crescent on the house the PM's are still occupying. Can I switch to excluders on that house without running the PM's off. I would try it as an experiment on a few openings if I had a full compliment, but with only 3 pairs left I don't want to run them off.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 522
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

Change them all. You'll be more likely to lose them from Starlings than swapping entrances.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
PMDavid
Posts: 408
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 8:50 pm
Location: Boyce,Louisiana
Martin Colony History: Second year trying to attract martins. This year I am getting rid of the wooden house and showing something they are used to seeing.
Offering 2 trio grandpaws w/2natural gourds under each and C.Abare gourd rack w/16 natural gourds. And one rehabbed 16 compartment Coates original with two natural gourds.Lots of lookers,a few overnighters and daily activity cruising and looking. All gourds have a rain canopy and wire perch.2019 7 pair moving into 2020 almost double pairs from 2019. Still have most of the month of March to go for new arrivals and April.Here late in season seemed to have as many as 18 Pr of nesting birds. Huge upscale in birds from 2019. Will also have a 20 gourd satellite rack prepared for the 2021 season.

Hi lento,nice to get aquatinted. About your starlings....#1 you should consider a .22. Don’t know your home place situation of out in the country or neighborhood where you can shoot. I can tell you this,if starlings were running out my martins,well”drastic times call for drastic measures” !! #2 no it’s never too late for a trap in the house. If you have a house with only starlings I would put several traps in the house. If not that then here’s an off the wall one similar to my approach .......get a long pole that reaches the openings and will reach the ground at the same time,put it up to the holes and see the angle it would take to cut it so a flat board on the end could be screwed to it that would be flush with the holes. I would make one that would span three holes wide. Let several birds go in,have pole close by and hurry over and cover the holes,go up a ladder and put a sack over the house ,spook out the starlings into the sack and then remove sack and go snap their neck!! Let me know what ya think and I’ll keep thinking. What type of houses do you have trios?
PMDavid
Posts: 408
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 8:50 pm
Location: Boyce,Louisiana
Martin Colony History: Second year trying to attract martins. This year I am getting rid of the wooden house and showing something they are used to seeing.
Offering 2 trio grandpaws w/2natural gourds under each and C.Abare gourd rack w/16 natural gourds. And one rehabbed 16 compartment Coates original with two natural gourds.Lots of lookers,a few overnighters and daily activity cruising and looking. All gourds have a rain canopy and wire perch.2019 7 pair moving into 2020 almost double pairs from 2019. Still have most of the month of March to go for new arrivals and April.Here late in season seemed to have as many as 18 Pr of nesting birds. Huge upscale in birds from 2019. Will also have a 20 gourd satellite rack prepared for the 2021 season.

PMDavid wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:43 pm
Hi lenko,nice to get aquatinted. About your starlings....#1 you should consider a .22. Don’t know your home place situation of out in the country or neighborhood where you can shoot. I can tell you this,if starlings were running out my martins,well”drastic times call for drastic measures” !! #2 no it’s never too late for a trap in the house. If you have a house with only starlings I would put several traps in the house. If not that then here’s an off the wall one similar to my approach .......get a long pole that reaches the openings and will reach the ground at the same time,put it up to the holes and see the angle it would take to cut it so a flat board on the end could be screwed to it that would be flush with the holes. I would make one that would span three holes wide. Let several birds go in,have pole close by and hurry over and cover the holes,go up a ladder and put a sack over the house ,spook out the starlings into the sack and then remove sack and go snap their neck!! Let me know what ya think and I’ll keep thinking. What type of houses do you have trios?
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Did you say they are still getting through the excluder entrance? If so, why put them on the crescent that they haven't breached. If the starlings have claimed a nest, I would think you could use a nest trap that fits your housing. It's not too late if the starlings are still there.
rtulenko
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 6:01 pm
Location: Versailles Ky

Brad Biddle wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:37 pm
Change them all. You'll be more likely to lose them from Starlings than swapping entrances.

Thanks Brad. I’ll change them.
rtulenko
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 6:01 pm
Location: Versailles Ky

PMDavid wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:06 am
PMDavid wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 7:43 pm
Hi lenko,nice to get aquatinted. About your starlings....#1 you should consider a .22. Don’t know your home place situation of out in the country or neighborhood where you can shoot. I can tell you this,if starlings were running out my martins,well”drastic times call for drastic measures” !! #2 no it’s never too late for a trap in the house. If you have a house with only starlings I would put several traps in the house. If not that then here’s an off the wall one similar to my approach .......get a long pole that reaches the openings and will reach the ground at the same time,put it up to the holes and see the angle it would take to cut it so a flat board on the end could be screwed to it that would be flush with the holes. I would make one that would span three holes wide. Let several birds go in,have pole close by and hurry over and cover the holes,go up a ladder and put a sack over the house ,spook out the starlings into the sack and then remove sack and go snap their neck!! Let me know what ya think and I’ll keep thinking. What type of houses do you have trios?
Not sure the pole trick will work. I think the .22 is a better option.
rtulenko
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2020 6:01 pm
Location: Versailles Ky

deancamp wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:13 am
Did you say they are still getting through the excluder entrance? If so, why put them on the crescent that they haven't breached. If the starlings have claimed a nest, I would think you could use a nest trap that fits your housing. It's not too late if the starlings are still there.
The starlings don’t seem to like them as much. The house is situated so I can only see one side easily. No starlings in the cavities I can see. I see wings flapping from top of the house on the back side so I assume they are getting in and hanging around. I need to pull the house down and check for a nest to make sure. I just put the excluders on 2 days ago.
I’ll try a sparrow door trap and see what happens.

Thanks
Spiderman
Posts: 776
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

Once again I will recommend the Van Ert trap. Between trapping and shooting I have determined trapping to be the most effective way to get rid of Starlings. The Van Ert trap looks like a slightly oversized Blue Bird house with a larger hole.

Just add a ground stake and another pole. Place the trap the same height as your Martin housing and within 10'of your Martin housing. It's a live trap so you can release any birds you aren't targeting. It will eliminate all Starlings and Sparrows. Early in the season I would catch 3 in a morning. If your going to be away from home a few days just leave it closed until you are ready to resume. I usually put it up January 1st and eliminate the majority of Starlings before the Martins even arrive.

When the trap is closed, lower it and cover the trap with a white kitchen size garbage bag that you can slightly see through. Seal the bag around the pipe with one hand while slowly opening the trap door with the other hand. When you open the trap grasp the bird from the outside of the bag to secure it.

This year I have only caught 13 Starlings, last year I caught 27. But you are eliminating a problem for all the cavity nesting birds in your area, mainly Flickers and woodpeckers. In other words when the Martins are gone you will have other native birds to enjoy.
2008 - 33 PAIR - FLEDGED 96 YOUNG
2009 - 51 PAIR - FLEDGED 166 YOUNG
2010 - 45 PAIR - FLEDGED 146 YOUNG
2011 - 33 PAIR - 128 HATCHED, 97 FLEDGED
2012 - 37 PAIR - 119 HATCHED, 101 FLEDGED
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