Posts Tagged ‘woodpeckers’

100% Starling PROOF Entrance Hole?

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Going from Starling Resistant to Starling Proof

The Jury Is Out

Is it really possible? I saw the ad for this entrance hole in an issue of “Feathers and Friends” and I was immediately interested. An entrance hole that touts itself as 100% starling proof is a pretty amazing discovery…if true.

As you may know, the advent of the original Starling RESISTANT Entrance Hole (SREH) by the late Charles McEwen was revolutionary for purple martin landlords. The fact that purple martins could be protected from the destructive European Starlings was a huge development. Some purple martin house manufacturers went so far as to make these SREH standard equipment on their houses and countless martins are now, for the most part, safe from these pests.

Almost immediately after the SREH was placed into use, it seems that the search for the elusive, perfect and 100% Starling Proof entrance was on. Many landlords have been actively developing different entrance shapes trying to keep out the occasional smaller sized starlings. Some folks have even hypothesized that in using SREH, that we are in essence been breeding down the size of starlings. If that happens the purple martins will have no protection from these invasive birds that are choking out our native cavity nesting birds.

The immediate benefits of SREH still outweigh any other risks involved. (Risks such as wing entrapment can be serious and deadly- read about wing entrapment HERE. Consider that European starlings are even displacing red bellied woodpeckers in order to take over the nesting cavity. Countless woodpeckers are now being forced to excavate several cavities and nest later in the season in order to deflect the pressure of the starlings. Late clutches are usually not as productive. So not only are the secondary cavity nesters in peril but the primary excavators are also at risk. Habitat loss due to urban sprawl and deforestation, in time the starlings will impact  woodpecker populations. It would seem that would decrease the amount of natural nest cavities available to secondary cavity nesters such as flycatchers, screech owls and even wood ducks, just to name a few. Human supplied bird boxes or nest boxes will become even more vital in saving our native birds. Perhaps then more emphasis be placed on active control and even local eradication of European Starlings.

Back to the question of this “100% starling proof” entrance. We will have to wait for those of you that use it to let the rest of you know. I do not have a heavy starling area but I may very well get a few of these just out of curiosity. In appearance it is very similar to the Clubhouse entrance (or Conley #2) only more narrow. The Clubhouse entrance is the SREH on the current Troyer Horizontal gourds and was named after the Purple Martin “Clubhouse” forumites that developed it.

For purchasing information contact “Nature Unlimited” at (260)593-2624 ext 1. This is an Amish run country store so a voice mail should be left and they will call you back. Entrance plates are $1.95 each and are 4 -1/2 inches x 3 -1/4 inches. PLEASE let me know if they work for you.

The American Bird Conservation Association / Feathers and Friends can be contacted via phone at (260) 768-8095 x:5 Subscription rates are  $18 for 1 year. Tell them Susan from PurpleMartins-R-Us sent you!