starling trouble

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we eliminated one starling from our housing last night. we have the 1 pair of PM still there we put in SERH on the rest of our units , but we have seen other PM pair looking at the house but they land and just fly off should we take the SERHs off or leave them on. we worked hard to get the PM's i don't want to make any mistakes
Matt F.
Posts: 3922
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

One thing to be careful of, is placing the SREHs on all of the units except for the one the martins are nesting in. This really paints a target on that compartment for a starling raid.

Personally, here's what I would do.

I'd wait until your pair have committed to your house and a particular compartment (I'd wait until egg laying starts), and then switch all the compartments over to SREHs. At that point, already having eggs, they'll learn the new entrances quickly.
Other martins will see them using the SREH, and be more apt to learn them also.

I did this last year, and it worked great.

Some other members may have some good ideas also.

BigAl54, Matt is right. That is what I meant by not blocking the other entrances, and to wait on the SREH for now. The starlings will almost certainly evict your martins if that is the only entrance they can get into! Put in the round entrances, fight the starlings all you can, and switch after the martins are committed. That is what I would try too. Maybe you can also pick up that other pair. The other alternative is all SREHs now. Some would reccommend that approach, and they could be right. Starting a new colony is tough. You will almost certainly want to have all SREHs some day. Those are your best two choices as I see it.
CUL Lou~Mich

Another good thing about waiting to put in the SREH. Once the first pair is comitted to the apartment, (you could even wait until there is one egg) and you switch them all over, this one pair will quickly teach any others around. I've heard it several times, and also with supplemental feeding. Once one gets the idea, they all follow. Sort of "Monkey see, monkey do." Good luck on attracting a bunch. CUL Lou

thanks for your help i will do that .
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:47 am
Location: Sugar Land, Texas

I created a 2 inch deep crescent shape SREH tunnel. This has performed admirably
for me. I have them installed and plugged until I see the first Martin on my site.

Once the Martins arrived at my site then I remove all of the plugs.

I?ve seen some starlings get in and shot on their way out. I think that these
Starlings were smaller than normal size.

I will then remove this entrance once the babies have some feathers on them.
this exposes a bigger crescent shaped entrance that makes it easier for the
parents to come and go as the please. Then once the young get their full plumage
I will then remove this panel and expose a 3.5 inch X 2.0 inch slot shape opening.
This opening will accommodate three (ready to fly) babies side by side.

This also allows the babies to get to the safety of the house in a hurry once the alarm
is sounded while they are on the porch.
Last edited by BumBee on Mon Mar 19, 2007 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bob Flam

Looks kinda neat Toma. Good predator protection with that set up.

Big Al, it's hard to say exactly what to do. But you don't want to put sreh on everything except the ones the martins are using! The starlings will definitely go for it then.

It depends on how devoted your pm pair is to the site. My guess is pretty much with all the effort your putting into it. These birds aren't dummy's, and they can see your working hard to help em)

It's a tough call. Alot wait till they lay the eggs, or build nest, then make the switch. Some just switch and started colonies with sreh.

I suppose it comes down to how much of a starling problem do you have??? Do the starlings have a room? Are they making a nest and your tearing it out? If so they will move to another room because that ones not being successful. If there is no starlings making a nest, you can probably wait. How long have your martins been there? Are they making a nest or just started staying? It's your call because your there to see whats going on better.

Srehs have scared alot of people into thinking the martins can't or wont figure them out. I don't buy it and it's simply not true. When they use mud and make a mad essence they are making their own sreh's anyway.

When I switched over to srehs I went through the same thing you are now. Alotta worrying for nothing...the martins blew thru em.

I even messed up and made a sreh entrance that was only 1 1/16 instead of 1 3/16. Some were getting in it. If they want to be there, it won't matter.


Bob, these are his first birds in four years.
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:47 am
Location: Sugar Land, Texas

I don't have any daytime or night time predator problem at all. The only big headache
I have are the sparrows. i use to hear an owl hooting near by for a couple of years during
PM season, it just went away and never heard from it again.

With this contraption only the smaller size starlings can get in. It is amazing to watch them
wiggle and jiggle trying every which way to get in. The sparrows, starling and the new
comer PM hesitates a lot before deciding to enter the room.

With the sparrows hesitating to enter the room, this gives the Martins time to get back to
their nest box and chase them away. When I'm there to watch, this gives enough time to
load my pellet rifle and take them down.
CUL Lou~Mich

Not to get a fight started. Just stating an opinion. I presume your Avatar is from a TV series?? The Simpsons?? Then we wonder why kids shoot kids. They see stuff like this on TV all the time?? Personally, I have NEVER pointed any gun, rifle, etc at someone. Way too often "Unloaded" guns kill. Kids don't know any better. I hope you are teaching your kids better. JMHO. CUL Lou
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:47 am
Location: Sugar Land, Texas


No, I don't want a fight..........................

You must be one of those indidviduals that are too serious about what you
see on TV. "TV did not raise my son" my wife and I did. He grew up
around real guns and "TV guns". He's a responsible 24 year old veteran
and is a college student.

As far as those kids you mentioned killing other kids----------


Lighten up dude, this image that made you upset some how is just an image.
This just shows how I dislike sparrows.

"I like folks to express the true opinions, because you're gonna hear it from me"
John Miller
Posts: 4776
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Big Al

If you are using crescent Trio doors, you have an alternative to suddenly switching from round to crescents.

It's feasible to get a few extra doors and open a few to 1 1/4 using needle nose pliers to bend down the bottom of the crescent. You can switch first from round to these "SREH trainers" and martins will have no trouble, then after two days, or less, switch to standard 1 3/16, which martins will now more readily enter. Mark your altered doors before storing them so you remember that they are to be used only temporarily.

I've used the approach successfully, but it must be understood that the concept is not to permanently use these altered doors, nor to use them more than a day or so. It's a temporary tool to relieve martin and lordlord stress at a site that's not well established, where martins may not have seen other martins readily enter crescent holes.

John Miller
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