First starlings

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SSMartin
Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

I put up some horizontal gourds with cling plates and suddenly a pair of starlings appeared. I have several round basic gourds and have never had a starling. My question is if the starlings have their own gourd will they still cause damage or do they only hurt martins when taking over a cavity?

I was planning to wait until they start nest building to ensure I get both. If I blast one now with my shotgun I’m afraid the other will get away and maybe come back when I’m not around with a new mate.
Spiderman
Posts: 778
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

The new gourds you have are probably bigger and more suitable for Starlings.

I think Starlings are always a problem. If they decide later another Gourd is better they will throw out the eggs or babies of Martins and nest in the new place.

Mostly I use traps to catch them. Once you shoot at them they will still be there but they will become very stealth like. They are very intelligent birds and very tough. We have large red headed woodpeckers, the Starlings will drag them from there nest in trees and build a nest on top of their eggs.

I just eliminate them one by one and eventually I will catch them all for this season.
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
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

I’d take one out now or line them up and get both with one shot. A shotgun makes that doable. I’m battling them myself. I’m gonna have to break out a ground blind.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
mwren
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.

SSMartin,
I agree with the suggestion that you should trap the starlings if you do not have an accurate air rifle handy. There are many types of traps out there made for specific brands of gourds. I would not try to peacefully co-exist with these aggressive, invasive species, especially if you have a young, or new colony.
Good luck,

"Bird"
Mike "Bird" Wren
SSMartin
Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

Thanks for the info looks like i'll just take them out as they come. Going to order an air rifle that way I don't disturb the martins too much with the noise and can shoot them off the rack.
Brad Biddle
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:22 pm
Location: Marshall County AL

No way that I'd use a pellet gun if I could use a shotgun instead. I've killed countless Starlings and sparrows with a shotgun. The Martins fly off the rack at the sound of the gun shot, make a small circle, then go back to standard operating procedures. Doesn't seem to bother them at all. It's almost like they know what we're doing.
Martin landlord since 2003. Currently offering 132 plastic gourds with tunnels and all SREH.
Conrad Baker
Posts: 324
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:43 pm
Location: Paulina, Louisiana

SSMartin wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:05 pm
Thanks for the info looks like i'll just take them out as they come. Going to order an air rifle that way I don't disturb the martins too much with the noise and can shoot them off the rack.
Read the thread a couple down from this one about "Pellet rifles, what ones do you recommend". Plenty of good info in it. Check out the Daisy 901 pellet rifle. Comes with a scope for less than $100. Gets great reviews by many who have one.
Lewis
Posts: 240
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 3:21 pm
Location: Georgia/Newnan

if it is a Troyer Horzontal gourd with round hole and cling plate, they make a trap for that gourd ,Haskel/S trap that works good in trapping starlings. I used it a lot when I started. The round hole THZ gourd would attract starlings and keep them from trying my Crescent and Conley II sreh entrances. I eventually converted all of the round hole THZ's by adding the troyer tunnel with Conley II and then adding The " Lewis Modificarion" See tips for 2019 above for description. and this eliminated my starling problem.

Lewis
Spring Garden Keeper
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