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!
Labels: english sparrow, european starling, purple martin