Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Purple Martins Are Back!!


This evening close to dusk I heard a familiar chortle coming from above. I looked up and immediatley spotted about a dozen purple martins. These are the first I've seen this season, which puts them pretty much on time. I have been reporting my "first" or scout sightings each season to the PMCA (Purple Martin Conservation Society) since 1998. I took a look at those 8 years and found out that on average they begin arriving at my colony around the 20th of February. Pretty close I'd say. At the beginning of the season I keep the holes of my gourds plugged until martins are in the area to keep the English house sparrows and European starlings from entering them, so I immediately dropped each rack and removed the plugs. While I was doing this the ones I spotted began flying overhead. You know what's amazing???? If they've had succsessful proir nesting seasons and have survived the long flight back from South America the same martins return to the same colony site year after year. This has been proven through banding studies. So my 12th season as a purple martin landlord has begun. As it progresses I will post colony observations, photographs, and any other interesting information that presents itself. Wish me luck on hopefully another successful season!

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1 Comments:

Anonymous bev said...

Sounds exciting having the Purple Martins returning each year! I feel much the same about the Barn Swallows that nest in the rafters of our old stable each summer. We don't use the building anymore, but do keep the doors and windows open in summer so that the swallows can zoom in one end and out the other. There are usually a few successful nests each year. It's always a treat when I hear them arrive each spring. After our long winters, it's exciting when we first spot them wheeling back and forth in the air above our fields and gardens. The same goes for seeing and hearing the first Woodcock of the year back in the meadows behind our barn.

5:51 AM  

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