Wing Entrapment Survey from PMCA

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Posts: 318
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 1:16 pm
Location: Erie, PA

To help us have a better understanding of wing entrapment and how it occurs we're asking for your help. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey concerning wing entrapment here; We're interested in hearing from all landlords, whether they have or have not experienced wing entrapment. As always, if you have any questions please give us a call at 814-833-7656.
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Purple Martin Conservation Association - Please consider becoming a member of the PMCA.
Posts: 356
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:26 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
Martin Colony History: ................
2019: 11 pairs
2018: 11 pairs - 43 fledged
2017: 4 pairs - 17 fledged

I completed the questionnaire.

It occurs to me that it might be informative to add a couple of additional questions, both for those who have and have not had an instance of wing-entrapment.

* What housing type do you use? (eg. Natural gourd, S&K Bo11 with tunnel, PMCA Excluder Gourd with porch, Trendsetter 8, etc.)

* What entrance type do you use (eg. round, crescent, Excluder !!, Clinger, etc.)

* What built-in or add-on wing-entrapment features do you use (if any)?

Those who have never had an instance of wing-entrapment may be doing something differently than those who have but you don't really collect any specific data from them. But possibly I misunderstood exactly what questions you want to answer with the survey.

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on suckin' till you do succeed." - Curly Howard
Ron Prichard
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2004 8:48 pm
Location: Oklahoma/Piedmont

I have a Trendsetter 18 which I have used for the past 12 years or more. There is one compartment that I have constantly had trouble with wing entrapment. It is a compartment in which the PM will enter and turn right to enter the nest. I cannot tell you how many females I have lost trying to enter the compartment. Of course to leave the compartment, she must leave the nest and turn left to leave. I closed this particular compartment up for several years but I made the mistake of opening it up again for the 2019 season. Bad mistake. Another wing entrapment! I closed it again and will never use this compartment again. I might add that the Trendsetter that I use, utilizes a wood tray that sits on the floor of the compartment. I will keep this compartment forever closed. It is sort of strange since this type of compartment has the same type of entrance on 4 corners. For some reason this one compartment has always been a problem.
Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6743
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)
Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

I never have had wing entrapment. A simple way to stop wing entrapment is to make the entrance thicker (3/4in to 1in (the wider the better). I do that by adding and using sideboards. It is my opinion that the real narrow entrances are the worst kind of entrance
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
Posts: 104
Joined: Mon May 18, 2015 9:54 am
Location: Eastern nc

I need some feedback by someone who has some knowledge about the anatomy of adult martins. I am considering placing two slots on a SREH. I want them to be a pair of crescent slots (WESS, wing entrapment safety slots) designed to recapture some the loss space of the safer round hole. Hopefully, these slots will allow a martin to extract its trapped wing and at the same time not make a breech easier for a starling. I need to know the size and the length these slots need to be in order to be effective.
I envision these slots providing more ventilation on the one hand, but wetter nest are a possibility. The S and K Owl guards can provide some reduction of ingress of rain water.

I would appreciate feedback concerning the idea’s potential for success or potential for creating hazards. Thanks.
Dave Reynolds
Posts: 2136
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:35 pm
Location: Little Hocking, Oh.
Martin Colony History: 2017 Visitors
Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”..
2018 - 15 Pair, 58 Eggs, 36 Fledged
2019 - 26 Pair, 128 Eggs, 97 Fledged
2020 - 30 Pair, 156 Eggs, 137 Fledged
2021 - 30 Pair, 162 Eggs, 144 Fledged
2022 - 27 Pair, 146 Eggs, 125 Fledged
Home Site "Little Hocking, Ohio".
2019 - 1 Pair, 5 Eggs, 5 Fledged
2020 - 1 Pair, 4 Eggs, 4 Fledged
2021 - 8 Pair, 39 Eggs, 36 Fledged
2022 - 13 pair 64 Eggs, 46 Fledged

Emil Pampell-Tx wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:56 am
I never have had wing entrapment. A simple way to stop wing entrapment is to make the entrance thicker (3/4in to 1in (the wider the better). I do that by adding and using sideboards. It is my opinion that the real narrow entrances are the worst kind of entrance
... “Emil Pampell-Tx” ... Keep preaching about your Sideboards.... One day someone will listen to you and your great idea, I’m surprised that someone who manufactures Martins Houses have not picked up on your idea... and it saves the Martins from getting caught by their wings in the entrance...

....Thanks.... Emil for all you do for our Purple Martins..

PMCA Member
Little Hocking, Ohio
Rodger Drye
Posts: 671
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:07 am
Location: NC/Mt. Pleasant
Martin Colony History: Have been hosting and providing a sanactuary for Purple Martins for 30 years.

I know them Troyer Boy’s (Andrew & Adam) have Wing Entrapment built in to their Gourd’s. And they have a single Entrance that incorporates (comes with) a Wing Entrapment feature.

PMCA Member
Have been Hosting and Protecting Martin's for 30 years.
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:21 am
Location: Kansas

I’ve had wing entrapment only when they were fighting. I’m going to put in wing entrapment guards this winter and see if they make a difference next spring. It only happens in the early spring.
Hope this helps!
2015- 4 fledged
2016- 15 fledged
2017- 50 fledged
2018- 82 fledged
2019- 116 fledged
2020- 175 fledged
2021- 170 fledged
1 12 room Trendsetter, 1 18 gourd rack, 1 28 room Trendsetter house.
Posts: 1942
Joined: Tue May 17, 2005 6:42 pm
Location: Florida/Pompano Beach
Martin Colony History: I moved to South Florida, from Delaware, in August of 2015.

I will have 2 MSS-8 houses, with Excluder entrances, here on my condo grounds. This season I will also have two Deluxe Gourd Racks with 24 Excluder Gourds with Modified Excluder entrances. In our condo development, along the lake in a different section, I have 8 Excluder Gourds hanging from 84 inch Shepherd's Hooks with predator guards.

At Quiet Waters Park, nearby in Deerfield Beach, I care for a Deluxe Gourd Rack with 12 TVG's. I also care for a Deluxe Gourd rack with 12 Excluder gourds with Modified Excluder entrances.

At another local park, Tradewinds Park at Coconut Creek, care for a Trendsetter 12, 5 gourds rack with 60 Excluder gourds with Modified Excluder Entrances and 1 Deluxe Gourd Rack with 12 Troyer Vertical Gourds with wing guards over the Conley II to keep out smaller starlings.

Over the years I have had two Trendsetter houses. One was a Trendsetter 8 with Excluder entrances and the second a Trendsetter 12 with crescent entrances. I have only had one case of wing entrapment and that was on my crescent entrance model. I have put the thick wing entrapment guards, that I bought from the PMCA, outside over a number of the crescent entrances (glued with a waterproof, fast drying, Gorilla Glue) and I have not had any additional problems and hope that good luck continues.

I did lose one adult male when it became entrapped in a Trio house's interior divider, two inch hole, but that was the first time that has happened in 15 years of offering many Trio style houses at various sites. I have lost 3 birds, over all those years, from wing entrapment in the main entrance to the enlarged condos. As you know from my previous reports I Waterproof Gorilla Glue on rubberized weatherstripping over top of each entrance. I found online an unusually thick, rubberized, Made in the USA, 1" x 3/4" weatherstripping and I use the longer Excluder entrances instead of the crescent entrances. I have never had a starling get through that entrance and my martins zip right in and out.

As a side note I want to add that I have not been very active on this Forum the last few years as I got into the Facebook version of the PMCA. I am going to be more active on this site though as well.

Right now I have 3 locations here in SE Florida:

Cypress Bend condos in Pompano Beach - 2 Deluxe Gourd racks with 24 Excluder Gourds, 2 MSS-8 modified Trio style houses with Excluder entrances, 8 gourds (Troyer Horizontal Gourds & Excluder Gourds) lakeside on 84" shepherd's hooks

Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek - I donated a Trendsetter 12 and a Deluxe Gourd rack with 12 Troyer Vertical Gourds and care for those as well as caring for 5 additional Deluxe Gourd racks with Excluder Gourds purchased by The Park, 4H and Scouts. After Covid-19 is over I am turning those 5 additional gourd racks back over to the owners for care. At nearly age 73 a serious tremor and cancer in remission I feel a need to extend the care to younger people. After I am gone I want the project to continue and not die out as was my experience when I left
Delaware to relocate to South Florida.

Quiet Waters Park - I donated a Deluxe Gourd Rack with 12 Troyer Vertical Gourds and care for that as well as for a second Deluxe Gourd Rack of 12 Excluder Gourds purchased by The Park. .

Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:26 pm
Location: Miami, FL

We have been landlords for over 25 years. Started and still have the aluminum Heath houses and the plastic S&K homes. Never had an entrapment. Last year I installed a Trendsetter. We had 2 deaths due to wing entrapment. I contacted Trendsetter and they concluded I did not have the wooden tray's wing entrapment divider installed properly. I corrected the issue. I had 2 more entrapments after the correction. I will be watching extra cautiously this year. One more entrapment and off to the recycling center the house goes!
Stacy B.
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:04 am
Location: Leroy, Louisiana
Martin Colony History: 2018- visitors only
2019- 8 pair, fledged 32
2020- 18 pair, fledged 91
Also host 1 pair of bluebirds and barn swallows
Every year. Avg. 3-5 fledglings each annually.

I had 1 instance of wing entrapment in 3 years of hosting martins . it was last summer in a bo9 gourd with tunnel and clinger entrance. It occured the last week before fledging, when the 5 babies were all crammed at the entrance trying to get fed. Not sure how, but the baby martin got wedged in on the inside of the tunnel entrance. All the other babies were able to exit the gourd and fledged successfully. I do weekly nest checks. Sometimes more. It can happen.
Stacy B.
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