2nd Starling caught in my Gilwood box. . . .

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  • #1298
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    Just caught another starling in my new Gilwood box – have checked the entrance hole and it is 1 1/2″ but they apparently can squeeze in. I am thinking about putting on a hole reducer on it to make it 1 1/2″ circle – I realize this Gilwood box feature is supposed to be good, but I DO NOT need to fight starlings AND HOSP. We did make extra ventilation slots on the top of each side which let in as much light as a normal box (see picture below). Anyone else had this problem?
    GilwoodBoxExctra vents
    Sorry if this double posts – didn’t see original come up.

    #1312
    dogsandbirds
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    I would be stomping around and having a tantrum about this. Yeah, I think I would put a hole reducer on that box. If they still get into that, it might be only the one bird and you can then trap the thing.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #1313
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    Thanks, Gin, I believe I will do just that. I have never caught a starling in any of my older regular circular hole boxes. Let me tell you when you get a starling in a sack, they are big and wild!! This batch must be smaller juveniles from last season or something. P.S. I have caught numerous HOSP in this box & other boxes, too, this season. The blues did investigate it but I believe have an almost full nest in a box closer to our home, regular style.

    #1322
    dogsandbirds
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    Let me tell you when you get a starling in a sack, they are big and wild!!

    I can just imagine. Video please. :Eeek1:

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #1323
    tamsea
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    Is that your Gilwood in the photo? It looks different from mine unless it’s a different angle I’m seeing. Fred, are you seeing this. Is this the right hole dimensions for a Gilwood. I thought the Gilwood was slightly different.

    I’ve only had this happen one time in all my years with several Gilwoods. Where did you buy your Gilwood?

    Tammy

    #1331
    Love my blues!
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    That would terrify me to see a starling in one of my houses’. Hope you are able to trap it, but hopefully it won’t fit once you get a hole reducer on it. Good luck!

    Nicole :scared:

    #1338
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    Tammy, this is our modified version of the Gilwood – added some additional ventilation slots on each side (shown in the picture above) because my boxes are all in full sun. The front entrance is not shown here, but it is regulation Gilwood on the hole. Also put hinge in the back to make it a top opener, in addition to the front door. Love it this way, because I am just 5′ tall and had to get on step stool with screwdriver to open my older top openers. The top opening allows for taking pictures easier when wanted. The hasps on each side keep the top securely down & tight. I still have two of my older, original 1 1/2″ hole boxes, and this is where my present blues have a nest, but no eggs yet. Seems like HOSP, starlings & TRES like the Gilwood – however, I did have one nest of blues in my 1st Gilwood last year. P.S. I wish my pair would get in gear – they are always about 3-4 weeks later in laying eggs from my previous pair, which is okay because we have had a very cool snap for the past week or more. Saw her put in more nesting stuff, today, so maybe tomorrow she’ll have an egg.

    #1339
    tamsea
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    Fred’s site says it’s supposed to be 1 1/4 to 1 3/8 from the bottom of the curve to the wire. Is that what yours is? I’m really really surprised that you’ve had two starlings breach this already. Unless it was the same one.

    Tammy

    #1345
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    Oh, my goodness – Tammy & Fred – I read this incorrectly and yes, it calls for 1 1/4 to 1 3/8″ for the wire opening!! We have made 3 of these and I checked the one closest to house and it is 1 1/2″ so I’m assuming the rest are, too. I can’t believe we both read this wrong. We will correct this problem by adding another wire just below the present one, which will be no problem. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, BOTH! It is possible the 1st one we made was correct – I haven’t checked yet, but the blues did fledge 5 birds from it last year.

    #1348
    dogsandbirds
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    Ha! I bet that solves this problem.

    Gin
    Atlanta, GA

    #1350
    River
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    Carol,

    Is the wire you used bendable? If so you might be able to adjust it down to 1 3/8″ or so.

    Steve G. told me an interesting story about Starlings and the Gilwood. He trapped some starlings, put them inside a few Gilwoods, and waited. Within minutes, they ALL escaped. But he rarely had Starlings even attempt a nest in his Gilwoods. I asked him why, if they could squeeze themselves under that wire, that they didn’t nest there.

    “It’s way too much work for them, having to squeeze in and out so many times during a nesting cycle. In studying Bluebird behavior, I realized that birds pay attention to this. Combined with a floor that’s really too small for their needs, they usually give up on a Gilwood and go elsewhere.”

    The subtleties of a nestbox design are sometimes not so subtle after all.

    Fred
    Waleska, GA
    NestboxBuilder

    #1351
    Carol – Mid-Mo.
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    Fred, thanks – & yes this morning after church we went out to check the two Gilwood boxes I have out & the one display box. The very 1st box we made & had up last season was correct in the wire’s location – it had a BB nest early and one TRES nest later on. The other two were the 1 1/2″ opening(which is why I caught the starling I’m sure) and we were able to bend the wire down enough to get it the correct distance. My hubby was a welder by profession & uses some left-over brass braising wire, which is plenty heavy but we were indeed able to bend it just enough. Boy, you’re never too old to learn – check & recheck everything!!

    #1352
    River
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    Great! Hope your luck improves against those pesky Starlings!

    Fred
    Waleska, GA
    NestboxBuilder

    #1354
    tamsea
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    Glad that measurement popped in my mind. Fred brought it to my attention a year or two ago.

    Tammy

    #1355
    tamsea
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    Well….the thought popped into my mind. I’m terrible with numbers so I had to look that up.

    Tammy

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