Starling resistant hole

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LauraR
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:53 pm
Location: Cape Coral, Florida

Last year Starlings nested in my Purple Martin birdhouse. This year I installed plates over the openings of my bird house. I have plenty of Purple Martins this year. They are trying to go inside the house but haven’t yet. How long does it take for the Purple Martins to figure out the new openings?
Whippy
Posts: 869
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: See Signature

It takes a few minutes to ten minutes or so. If they want in really bad, they'll make it work. Be patient and let them figure it out and that'll keep them safe from the starlings. I hurts watching them try it and you'll want to go change back to round holes but you must resist. They'll figure it out. I watch them do it every year.

Coolwhips
2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged
LauraR
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:53 pm
Location: Cape Coral, Florida

Thanks. I have a photo of the starling resistant plates over the openings on the doors. However, when I I try to attach the photo I get a message saying file too large. I was hoping to send the photo to get some online advice that would let me know that I installed them correctly.
Whippy
Posts: 869
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: See Signature

When you have the photo open on your computer click on the "tools" tab and hit the "resize" button. I usually type in a 7 in the top blank and it resizes everything. As log as the photo is near or below 200kb it'll post. You also have to have text in the message body or the photo will not post.

Coolwhips
2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged
deancamp
Posts: 682
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:17 pm
Location: Raymore, MO

Laura, tough to watch and stand by not trying to help. They will figure it out. I started my colony with the Conley ll entrances and went through the same thing you are now. Be patient.
Jeff Dean
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3158
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Even with round holes, when martins first arrive they don't always go right into a hole, they will peek in to see what's inside. A big percentage of martins fledged each year fledged from SREH so more likely than not the already know how to navigate it. If they like your site they will stay, SREH or not. Good luck going forward.
2021 Currently 62 nest 138 babies plus 110 eggs (6-317-21) HOSP count-9
2020 42 nest, Fledged 164 HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional lone SY's
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair 14 fledged.
SSMartin
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

They’ll squeeze in when they are ready. I made these pics from my colony to show anyone even without a porch a martin can enter a crescent hole. The gourd is Conley II. Hope this helps
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C.C.Martins
Posts: 1247
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- Visitors.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021- 28 pair. 118 fledged
Home colony: mix natural, super and excluder gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satellite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mini castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021: 10 pair, 30 fledged
PMCA member

They will figure it out, meantime work on your picture uploading skills, take a walk or work in the garage, anything but watch your martins. Give them a little time. Glad you went with SREH, some folks changed entrances after their martins arrived and they adjusted.

PS
SSMartin amazing pictures!
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
LauraR
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:53 pm
Location: Cape Coral, Florida

I resized the photo and clicked on "add files". This time I didn't get the message stating it was too large. This time it gave me an option to "Place inline or Delete file". I labeled the image then selected "Place inline". This created a string of symbols, words and numbers in the message field. When I preview the message I don't see the photo. I also tried the insert image icon with no luck. Any help on how to insert photos will be welcomed. Thanks.
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Photo of Birdhouse
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Image

Image
SSMartin
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

Here is the photo of LauraR’s house. Based on this photo they will have no issues entering. Sometimes if the opening isn't flush with the porch starlings can breach. Expanding this house to half the compartments and larger rooms will really help entice martins to use the house. When you consider these rooms are 6x6" square and a martin is around 8" long a pair and their babies can really get cramped.
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LauraR
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:53 pm
Location: Cape Coral, Florida

Thanks SSMartin. I've been watching the Starlings. They haven't entered the house yet so I think the new entrances are working. When I added the Clinger plates to the doors, I tried to cover the existing hole the best I could. Attached are photos of the front and back of the doors so you can see what the holes looked like before and after. As you can see from the photos, I couldn't position the plate over the opening to make it flush with the porch. Is this going to stop the Purple Martins from entering because the bottom of the hole is not low enough? Or is placing the opening lower only used to keep out the Starlings?
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Back side of door
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front side of door.jpg
Front side of door
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SSMartin
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

The entrance being higher then the porch can sometimes allow starlings to push in. When it is flush they have to bend over so low they just can't get any traction. Just keep an eye on the starling activity. If needed you can place blocks of wood on the porch to raise them level with the opening. The martins should be able to climb and jump up and into with no issues. They always act so delicate with the SREH when they are new. When they claim the cavity they'll squeeze right in.

The only thing I notice and I am sure you do too is a little bit of the clinger opening is restricted by the old holes width. I honestly can't say if that tiny bit will even matter. I have these same plates on some troyer horizontal gourds and I like the clinger entrance and they have no issues. Your site looks nice on the water I think you can have a lot of success. You may want to hang a few gourds under the house to increase your chances.
LauraR
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:53 pm
Location: Cape Coral, Florida

SSMartin, thank you so much for explaining things. I am learning so much. I like the idea of hanging gourds under the house. Here is a photo of the house that shows it has plenty of space for that great idea. Thanks again for all your help.
Purple Martin house
Purple Martin house
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SSMartin
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

You’re welcome. What a beautiful picture. I have seen a site similar in merrit island on a deep water canal and they had plenty of martins. Please keep us updated on your sites progress and if you don’t succeed this year don’t give up. Plenty of us have waited years before getting that first bird.
LauraR
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:53 pm
Location: Cape Coral, Florida

Yes, I was concerned about the fit over the old holes but I didn’t have the tools to make the openings larger. My bird house was left by the prior owner, I believe it is a Trio. I researched the replacement doors and it would have cost $56.00 plus shipping and would take 3-4 weeks for delivery. The time was getting close for the Martins to arrive. So I found the plates for $0.99 each at S&K Manufacturing online with 1 week delivery. All I had to do was drill some holes, get a few screws and put the plates on. It worked great for a fix under $25 with the timing I needed.

My SY male is out there this morning singing along working hard to attract a mate. I saw a couple of Starlings but they didn’t get inside and the Martin shooed them away.

How long do the Purple Martins stay? Is it too late for them to make a nest now?
Whippy
Posts: 869
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: See Signature

Laura,

I have some of those doors with crescent entrances for the trio. I am not using them. Will be happy to send you a few to try this season if you like. Send me your address via e-mail and I'll get them out to you.

I am happy to help.

Coolwhips
2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged
SSMartin
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

LauraR wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:26 am
How long do the Purple Martins stay? Is it too late for them to make a nest now?
They stay at your site until a week or two after the young fledge then they begin to join migrating flocks and start heading South.

I have had martins with babies in July. So I would say you have a few more months. Worst case maybe he survives and returns next year as an ASY male the full colored males always find a mate.
LauraR
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:53 pm
Location: Cape Coral, Florida

The couple spent the night. It was so much fun to watch. The male had a hard time going through the opening but me finally made it. They stayed in separate rooms. This morning I saw the male starting to bring twigs for the nest. I noticed the male has a really hard time going inside the new openings but the female has no problems.

Is it normal for the male and female to stay in separate rooms?
C.C.Martins
Posts: 1247
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- Visitors.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021- 28 pair. 118 fledged
Home colony: mix natural, super and excluder gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satellite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mini castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021: 10 pair, 30 fledged
PMCA member

Hi Laura,
Congrats on your pair! Yeah with lots of space to choose from they sure can. Wont last long, he will go where she is. In fact they may be sneaking out into the one cavity just before dark. Beautiful picture and glad you spent time and effort on the martins.
Tom
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
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