What's the best hole to use

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Rob Sydow
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:42 pm
Location: Sioux City iowa

Hi all, this is my second year here in Sioux city Iowa as a PM landlord. In the past week I had a pair of adult martings staying in my house until two days ago a pair of starlings moved in. Haven't seen the pair of martins since.

What is the best hole to use?
Thank you
Rob
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2920
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Since I have had martins I have used either crescents or Conley II entrances. I have had great success with both. Only once have I ever had a starling breach. On my T14 I have the plastic crescent plates screwed onto the front door of the house. The Conley II are what come on the Troyer gourds I use. What type of housing do you have? Some are easier to modify than others.
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.
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Rob, I have the Conley ll entrances on my gourds and they have done well for me. I did see 1 starling breach the entrance this spring but it's mate could not get in. I will say others have had some issues with this entrance. There is an active thread right now titled How do I discourage starlings. You might give it a read. Good Luck.
Dave Duit
Posts: 1685
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: Iowa / Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2019, 54 pair with 218 fledged youngsters. 83 total compartments available, 58 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified trio metal house units, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit www.iamartin.org and join.

Hi Rob and fellow Iowan. The Conley 2 is a great entrance to stop unwanted starlings and the martins adapt to the new entrance in a short period of time. On a side note, I sent you an email regarding the Iowa Organization.
Dave Duit
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Rob Sydow
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:42 pm
Location: Sioux City iowa

Thank you for the responses. Im sure what a colony 2 hole looks like. I have 2 trio pioneer houses with crescent and excluder hole. I was using round hole to attract Martin's after getting a pair of adult birds the starlings moved in and chased the martins away.
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

I'm trying to understand. You had round holes to attract the Martins, but you also have a crescent and excluder holes that you can switch out the round ones for? If that is the case I would swap them out. More than likely that will stop the starlings. The Martins will figure them out.
SSMartin
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

I have started a colony with crescent entrances. If I can do it anyone can. If you have starlings don’t use the round holes. You may have lost that pair of martins already.

I have had success with Conley 2, crescent, and clinger. I would say conley 2 requires less of a “squeeze” for the martins to enter. They more or less slide in and out and make it look easy.
Rob Sydow
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:42 pm
Location: Sioux City iowa

After last year watching PMs come and go to the surrounding neighbors Martin houses. I changed a few hole to round. My bad! I have 5 neighbors in a mile radius that have Martin houses with round holes and almost all full. So I tried round holes. Is there a way to modify a Muslum house with conely2 holes?
deancamp
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Not sure what a Muslum house is but you can buy plastic Conley ll entance plates from the PMCA. They would either pop rivet,screw or bolt over a round entrance hole. I have not done that so I'm not sure if the round hole needs to be enlarged or not. Maybe someone else will weigh in on that.
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2920
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

I would speculate that as many or more martins fledge from housing with SREH than do from round holes, or it's probably close. Many colonies are started with all SREH, I am one that thinks if everything else at your site is acceptable, they wont turn down your location solely because of SREH. Even at both different established colonies Ive have had it is not uncommon for returning martins to "peak" into cavities when they first arrived or the season. Sticking their head in and part of their body just to take a look. Some people see this at a new location and get SREH anxiety fearing the martins can't get in.

Given the fact you have starling I would offer only SREH from here on out and assume that if they don't stay there is likely some other reason and they wouldn't have stayed if it was a round hole.
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.
SSMartin
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

As stated above you can purchase Conley II adapter plates. Also S&k manufacturing is a good place to find crescent and clinger plates. All of these will help prevent starlings.

Generally you have to enlarge the round hole since these entrances are sometimes wider then the standard round holes. Simply enlarge the round hole and install the plate over it. You can even silicone them in place in most cases.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

I’ve never offered a round hole and have way over 100 pair of Martins in round hole gourd country.

The Conley 2 entrance has failed miserably at my colony. I had to do the Lewis mod on 162 gourds.
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.

Rob is talking about a Trio Musselman or Trio Pioneer Martin House.

Rob,
Your doors with Crescent or Excluder SREH are excellent choices. I have changed multiple Trio houses from original 6" x 6" compartments with round hole doors to double compartments with Crescent SREH. Those houses are full now.
Why not go back to the Crescent and/or Excluder SREH? As others have pointed out, it is some effort to change Trio doors to Conley II since there are no manufactured Trio doors with Conley II entrance.
You can start a new colony with any SREH. It may seem like the purple martins do some peek a boo at first but they eventually scoot in and out without a problem.
New landlord with SREH anxiety are very common. I can count myself as one at the beginning of trying SREHs. The purple martins have proven to me that they are good with SREH.

Be aware that SREH are for expanded compartments (double compartments in a Trio Musselman or Trio Pioneer house). It is not advised to put a SREH on a single Trio compartment.
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.
Lewis
Posts: 240
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 3:21 pm
Location: Georgia/Newnan

I would use the Excluder door replacement for your Trio Musselman. I had a starling breach a Trio crescent door on my old Musselman that I use as a sparrow trap with 2 Sparo doors. I had the other entrances blocked with styrofoam pipe insulation plugs. the starling was able to pull the plug and breach the crescent entrance and hatch 3 young before I found the nest it was in a position I couldn't see and needed a latter to get to. I think the man in Parsons Kansas has used the trio doors with the origional Excluder with great success. Because of the way the doors open on the Trio you can not raise the porch. As I remember the crescent is about 1/4 in. above the floor making it easy for a starling given time to gain entrance.
I have made Trio doors with Conley II entrances and SK porches, but I did not put porches on the inside and martins had a hard time of getting back out and it caused wing entrapment that I caught immediately and scrapped the idea. I went with Safe Haven Houses with modified Crescent sreh's and Troyer gourds with modified Conley II entrances.

Lewis
Spring Garden Keeper
Matt F.
Posts: 3894
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

Indeed Lewis - that was Andrew in Kansas who had the heavy starling pressure on the colonies he manages in downtown Parsons, KS.
I haven't seen him here in a while - I hope he is doing good.
The Trio crescents just would not stop them, while many folks (me included) who have average starling pressure, the crescents have worked great.
The height of the bottom of the entrances from the floor for the Trios (both the crescents and the Excluders) is actually 1/2".
At that height, you can see how a determined starling would make quick work of the crescent.
The Excluder on the other hand, being set at 1/2" above the deck is no problem at all. I'm pretty Andrew said there were zero breaches of his Excluders.
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.

Matt F.,
I also have been wondering where DornCounty (in reality Andrew of Parsons, KS) is and how well he is doing. DornCounty was last active on March 09, 2018.
Every time I hear from someone with years of Purple Martin wisdom and knowledge like Andrew, John Miller, Emil Pampell, Lewis Scott, Scully, Tim Mangan, and you (Trio Jedi Master); I am so excited and relieved in these difficult times of COVID-19.
I hope the absent member are just on Facebook now.

We must not just survive COVID-19 Pandemic, we must prosper and thrive afterward. The naive, innocent purple martins will appreciate it.
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.
Matt F.
Posts: 3894
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

Thanks Mark. Don't forget - you're a highly valued contributor as well!
I agree. I hope all are staying safe and in good health.
This whole COVID-19 situation is almost surreal.

Rob S. - keep us posted. Don't be too hard on yourself. The use of round holes to initially attract a nesting pair, and then switching to some type of SREH once they've committed, is a good tactic that has helped numerous folks - myself included. Like you found out - it can also be a roll of the dice, and may not be a feasible option in areas with higher-than-average starling concentrations.
Rob Sydow
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:42 pm
Location: Sioux City iowa

Update. After taking all my round holes off my house, starlings are gone, Martin's left too.
What holes easiest for Martin's to get into? I watched an adult male trying to get in crescent and excluder hole with no luck. wondering if the Conley holes are easier for them to get into? I did figure out how to modify andexcluder hole to put a Conley hole in its place.
Thank you Rob
SSMartin
Posts: 120
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

In my opinion they entered Conley II just as easily as a round hole .
I have also made a modification to a troyer horizontal with a cling plate and clinger entrance. The martins can enter them and some chose them over the much easier Conley II with porch entrance. Point being if they want to nest they’ll find a way in round or crescent or whatever.
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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.

Rob,
Original Lewis Modified Conley II Entrances are as easy for any purple martin to enter and exit as Round Entrances.
No original Lewis Modified Conley II Entrance has been breached by starling so far.
Many landlords have played around with their own variation to Conley II entrances with mixed results.

You can try a Conley II entrance on a Trio/Nature House door and see if the Conley II entrance is adequate to stop starling breaches in your area. But be aware that it is harder to complete a Lewis Mod to a Trio door. Not impossible but not easy.

SSMartin,
Can you give a closer picture of your Clinger entrance on a Troyer Horizontal Gourd?
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.
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