Notice the difference in color of the starling and purple martin. Starling, Martin. The European Starling males and females are darkly colored ALL over. They will . European Starling Nest, Eggs and Young European Starling on a Purple Martin Association Trap box. (When the bird enters the box, it steps. There are two species of non-native birds, the European Starling and the House Sparrow, which will nest in Purple Martin housing. Both species were brought.
As you can see they actually pecked away all the paint trying to enlarge the hole so that they could enter. This was a gourd that originally had a round 2 inch hole and I changed it to a crescent shaped hole with a simple add-on. If starlings are a problem around your site, this is one of the first things you should look at.
Not only do SREH's keep out starlings, but they now help keep out other predators as well.
Providing the compartment is deep enough and the martins have a chance to back out of the way, many of the predators that could originally enter or reach into the 2 inch hole, will now be foiled. Jays can no longer get into the compartments.
Nor can squirrels, without chewing it biggercrows, owls, 'coons or gulls. All are too big to get into the smaller SREH. If any of these other critters are a potential threat to your colony, then I strongly recommend your changing to SREH's. Other methods There are many different types and styles of traps that are available to trap sparrows and starlings. Here are only a few of them. Depending on the type of housing you have, one of them should work.
Some work for starlings, others for sparrows. Before you order one, verify that it will fit your housing and catch the bird you are trying to catch.
Starlings and Sparrows
If they are bothering a wooden house where the front is removable for access, there's a simple little trap called the Insert Trap, that you attach inside the access hole and upon entering the house, the sparrow is trapped until you retrieve it.
If you have an aluminum house, they have a device called a Spare-O-Door. Again, the sparrow enters the house, is trapped and held in a plastic bag until you retrieve it. And, if they are bothering your bluebird boxes, they have a Nest Box Trap that has the INT-1 installed in it to catch the ones that won't leave your bluebirds alone.
All you have to do is temporarily replace your bluebird box with it until you catch the sparrow, then replace your bluebird house. They can all be purchased at just about any major birding chain or you can contact the PMCA and see what they have for the type of housing you have.
There's a trap called a Deluxe Repeating Bait Trap. This trap works on their drive for food and if you follow the instructions that come with the trap, you can catch sparrow after sparrow. The birds are kept alive and unharmed until you deal with them.
Yes, I bought two of them and yes, they work!
Native cavity nesters are put under tremendous pressure in these areas. The flicker and red bellied woodpeckers and flycatcher find it almost impossible to nest in areas heavily infested with starlings. It has been shown that placing more flicker boxes in starling infested areas does not increase the chance of a successful nesting, since more boxes simply lead to the recruitment of more starlings. But, perhaps, the species most at risk is the purple martin.
Purple martins vs starlings and house sparrows The many martin landlords who monitor their colony and control starlings and house sparrows are essential to sustaining this species. But, one can still see from the road, many fancy martin houses in back yards with starlings or house sparrows perched on top.
Martin enemy number 1: The Starling
The future of the purple martin likely depends, not on the number of martin houses, but, rather on the ratio of good to bad martin landlords. Since purple martins in the East are totally dependent on housing offered by humans, they have few alternatives to substandard housing. Bluebirds, on the other hand, usually have many options when confronted with unmonitored backyard nest boxes.
There is usually a natural cavity or a properly monitored nest box in the vicinity.
The European Starling in America
But, martins require large multiple cavity nest boxes or multiple gourds and these are expensive and thus few and far between. Each potential martin colony site is important.
If such a site attracts martins and the human landlord then allows starlings or house sparrows to "share" the housing, the martin colony is eventually doomed.