Adding Excluder Entrance Holes to Gourds

 Duke Snyder
Purple Martin Preservation Alliance
 Butler, PA



Supplies needed: 1. adapter plate  2. small screws or nuts & bolts (brass or stainless steel recommended)  3. 100% white silicone caulking   4. anti-slip tape - optional but recommended (3M brand can be found at Home Improvement stores)

Tools needed: 1. saber saw 2. tin snips 3. drill  4. screwdriver/pliers 5. file (and sandpaper)


1. Use saber saw to enlarge entrance hole in gourd to accommodate the Excluder entrance hole. This enlarged hole should be about 4 inches wide and 1.5 inches tall. (i.e., about the size of the Excluder entrance hole) Put plate over existing entrance hole and trace excluder hole to give yourself a rough idea of how wide & tall this enlargement should be.

2. *Cut, trim, drill, and bend the adapter plate and porch according to drawing. (see below) The first cut should be 3.5 inches from the top. (The top section will become the porch; corners should be trimmed so that there are no sharp corners) A perforated line indicates a CUT, whereas a solid line indicates a BEND. The Xs indicated where holes should be drilled to attach adapter plate. Smooth all cut edges with file/sandpaper.

*Hint: You may "cut" the plate more cleanly by scoring it along the cut line with a utility knife & straight-edge, then bending/working it until the piece breaks off cleanly. (This only works with straight cuts)

3. Use saber saw to cut slot for porch in gourd. The porch should end up being flush with the bottom edge of the adapter plate. In other words, the porch should be about 7/16" below the bottom of the entrance hole. In order to cut the slot, you must drill a hole in the gourd that is big enough to insert the saber saw blade

4. Attach adapter plate using screws or nuts & bolts.

5. Insert porch so that is inside and is outside. Apply caulking where porch meets gourd, both above and below, both inside and out, and smooth with finger. Smear caulking into any cracks around entrance hole where martins could accidentally get a toe caught. Caulk around edge of adapter plate on outside of gourd to seal against rain. Allow caulking to dry for 24 hours.

6. File down and/or sandpaper any sharp points (screw ends) or sharp edges

Optional, but recommended: Apply 3M non-skid tape to porches, both inside and out.