Need ideas on modifying a new enclosed purple martin feeding platform

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Dave Duit
Posts: 1656
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.

I just got my new Troyer's catalog and noticed a new product displaying a " Covered Patio Bluebird Feeder " with rods surrounding the sides to allow bluebirds in, but keep starlings and robins out. Here are my ideas, thoughts and concerns. I currently have a large 3' x 3' raised platform purple martin feeder with 8 ultimate tunnels attached to plexiglass sides for martins to enter. A few martins have quickly adapted to this enclosed feeding arrangement. After seeing this new set up of the bluebird feeder with two tier rods around the sides; I believe I can modify this design and make it a wider floor with rod sides instead of plexiglass side walls. I know the magic height is 1 and 3/16th inches to the entries apex on a crescent to stop starlings from entering. I feel the martins will be more enticed with rods giving a more open setup and appearance. I think the martins will feel safer thinking they have have an easier and quicker exit with rod sides. Do you think if I set the height of the rods at 1 and 3/16th inch, will it stop starlings or will the long width horizontally allow them to enter ? Any ideas or thoughts ? Basically, is it necessary to have a crescent shape to stop the starlings ? Will the rod arrangement allow starlings side wiggle room to slip in ?
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Screen Shot 2019-12-04 at 1.21.46 PM.png (279.41 KiB) Viewed 2896 times
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Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Dave Duit
Posts: 1656
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.

oops. I didn't intend on sending four of the same pics. But, this is what I saw and it gave me the ideas to supersize it to have a floor 3' x 3'. Instead of using a hook hanger, I have a 1 1/4" steel pole from the ground up to the underside of the floor attached with a floor flange.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1861
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:35 pm
Location: Little Hocking, Oh.
Martin Colony History: 2018 Success at my Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”.
2019 Success at my home Site "Little Hocking, Ohio".

... Dave ... Do you think you could add a few porches to the platform, to help the Martins land before they duck under the spars and move inside the tray? Just a thought...

Dave
Home Site “Little Hocking, Ohio”
2010 / 2018 -- Lots of Visitors
2019 — 1 Pair, 5 Eggs, 5 Babies, 5 fledged. :wink:
2020 — 1 Pair, 4 Eggs, 4 Babies, ... :wink:

Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”
2018 -- 15 Pair, 58 Eggs, 38 Hatched and 36 Fledged :wink:
2019 — 26 Pair, 128 Eggs, 99 Babies and 97 Fledged. :wink:
2020 — 30 Pair, 156 Eggs, 137 Babies. So far... :wink:

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Dave Duit
Posts: 1656
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 Dave,
Thanks for the idea on adding porches. I could make one large porch that surrounds the entire platform. Good idea.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
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.

Can you position the feeder close to your house. My feeder is 15' from my deck and only 4 feet high. I never see starlings on it, but the martins love it.
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.
phldave
Posts: 513
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:44 pm
Location: Iowa/Pleasant Hill
Martin Colony History: Started trying in 2012 and still trying

Dave,
like you mentioned, so long as the starlings don't figure out how to go in sideways it should keep them out. You also know with their long legs they have trouble squatting, so the lower level entrance would give the startling's more trouble. They would have an easier time getting in the 2nd level because of their legs. So maybe a piece of plexiglass across the second level entrance. I think its one of those things you might have to observe them for a while and see what happens, and then alter later if need be.

Dave
2012 late start
2013 nothing yet, lots a lookers
2014 Bust again
2015 Bust again
2016 Bust again
2017 Bust again
2018 April 14 a group joined me, but moved on after a week
2019 Had SY male seriously check me out but didn't stay
Dave Duit
Posts: 1656
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.

Thanks Archer for location idea closer to house. PHldave, I like the second level idea as I will maybe use this while experimenting with options.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
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