Opinions on "crescent openings" for Gourds

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Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2006 3:01 pm
Location: Prosper, TX

I currently have gourds with excluder openings and modified excluders. I am buying new gourds and wondered what type of luck people have had crescent type openings in regards to excluding starlings and whether martins like them.

Also any comments on the Heath deluxe purple mart gourds would be beneficial
Dave Duit
Posts: 1700
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.

For gourds I stick with Conley 2 entrances. I have never had a starling breach this opening.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6208
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

I had starlings getting into crescents and conleys on gourds, switched to excluder IIs with good results.
Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1881
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".

..... When I started my Satellite Site, I could not be there all the time, so I put Conley 11 entrances on all the trio house doors (24) and the eight Toryer Horizontal gourds came with Conley 11 entrance ..... Two years of success... So far so good, I think the Martins like them..

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, 4 fledged. :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 and 137 Fledged. :wink:

PMCA Member
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2006 3:01 pm
Location: Prosper, TX

Thanks for the feedback
Posts: 108
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:43 pm
Location: OH/Athens
Martin Colony History: I have had my martin colony on the dam of one of my ponds for nine years. The colony has grown each year, but I am now concentrating on helping friends and acquaintances who have shown interests in martins. My colony consists of three T-14's with 8 Troyer gourds attatched to each T-14, a Troyer gourd rack with 12 gourds, and another gourd rack with 18 Troyer gourds for a total of 96 nest cavities. I am having serious predation issues with hawks and owls and am experimenting with various hawk guards and "screens". Established successful supplemental feeding last season during late march and had a blast flipping mostly meal worms and some crickets. Faculty from Ohio University are using my colony as a research site to study parasites that target cavity nesting birds. In exchange for access to my bird trail nest boxes and martin housing, they are banding all birds involved in their study.

I have tried just about all types of gourd openings, and I agree with the reccomendations you are getting for both Excluders and Conleys.

Mike "Bird" Wren
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

Please try using sideboards. They work on any kind of entrances. The sideboards completely stop starlings and wing entrapment. This recommendation was tested for 3years with 36 gourds and it stopped the starlings and wing entrapment.. I use rectangular openings, they stop the starlings when sideboards are used. The sideboards force the starlings to go straight into the opening, which completly stops them.
I tried this same thing on a test about 8 years ago, it worked then, but I didn't think it was so simple. All that you need to make a sideboard, is something that extends 1 in away from the entrance on ANY sreh to force the starling to straight in..
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
John Miller
Posts: 4768
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Porch placement below the crescent also is a factor. At one-half inch, starlings may be able to use their legs to get leverage. Placed about 1/8 to no more than 1/4 inch below, martins can enter fairly easily but starlings find it more difficult. Flush is the most restrictive, but can be a little tough for martins until they learn to enter.
Posts: 122
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:02 pm
Location: Nashville, Arkansas

I have always felt that a properly-sized crescent works as well as the more difficult to construct excluder, including the Conley, although nothing looks cooler than the excluder openings. Just looking at them makes a visitor think, "wow, this person really know his sxxx about martins! :lol:
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