Another Case of Wing Entrapment

It seems like this is a yearly event. (knock on wood) I hope only once a year is my lot in my landlord life. It could be more, I suppose. It definitely could be worse. So far no lasting effects, other than some worry on my part and some moments of terror on the part of the martins that I had to extricate from the sreh gourds. 2 ASY males, one stuck in the sreh and one within the nest. Gratefully and gently freed. They are so amazing to look at up close.

For those that don’t know, Wing Entrapment is when a purple martin becomes stuck in a SREH. It usually happens when 2 or more martins are fighting over a compartment (nest spot) of any gourd or house with SREH (Starling Resistant Entrance Hole) As one bird tries to leave the nest and is trying to fend off attacks from within the nest from a rival or occupant, the bird gets stuck in the entrance. Basically gets stuck when he turns as he is trying to exit. If not discovered fairly quickly the birds in the nest can die as can the stuck bird. I wonder if vented rooms vs non vented rooms have a better survival time and if the deaths are strictly due to the heat build up in a nest with a plugged entrance? Or is it a dehydration issue? Those that have reported deaths from entrapment usually say that they discovered it either the same day or within a day or two of the event.

You can read about wing entrapment in previous blog posts as well as on our parent website, www.PurpleMartins-R-Us.com. Is wing entrapment a reason to not use SREH? Absolutely not. Wing entrapment remains much less common than the threat of Starlings in an unprotected colony. Of course, you have to weigh the pros and cons in your colony along with your sites individual risk factors for both problems.

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