Jenny Rasmussen, firstname.lastname@example.org, Round Rock, TX
I started maintaining this established colony down in Austin about a month ago. When I first arrived, all of the round-holed supergourds were full of starling nests. I go down to watch them every Wednesday, and here's the pictures I took this week after converting to crescents and excluders on 6 of them last week: http://www.birdcrossstitch.com/PurpleMartins/HornsbyBend/20020313.html
Please don't worry about the martins learning the new entrances. It's probably frustrating if you're sitting there watching every second as they learn, but by going away for one week after installing the new entrances, they had become experts by this week when I came back.
My theory is that if the established colonies would make the change to SREH and excluders (even in cases where they don't have as many starlings as the newer colonies do), this will help all of the un-established sites who are trying to get martins. The babies born in the SREH homes that come back the next year to breed in other newer SREH colonies wouldn't have to go through the learning curve that they would have had to go through if they had been born in round-holed entrances. Let's all work together to create starling-free homes for our beautiful martins!!
Bill Darnell email@example.com, Savannah, TN
When I opened up this year, I had ALL round holes. When I put up another gourd rack, I went to 10 crescented SREH with porches on it. When I raised it, within minutes, believe it or not, most of the curious birds went in and out of every SREH entrance. Take it for what it is worth, they did not have to do it. IF you have a lot of starlings, you have no choice.
MaryDawnsong@hotmail.com - SE Michigan
I switched to all crescent entries (SuperGourds with home made interior/exterior porches) early in the 2001 season as nest building was just starting. At first the birds panicked. Within a day, 85% of my colony was entering and exiting fairly easily. I estimate that 15% of my older birds abandoned me for my neighbor's empty round hole gourd housing 300' away.
Cecil.A.Moore@ieee.org - Madisonville, TX
It took my PMs five days to learn to manage the SREH crescent doors. One large ASY female had a lot of trouble and I thought she was stuck a couple of times. But she's been busily building a nest over the last couple of days.