Saturday, March 04, 2006

Purple Martin Dawnsong

As a member of the PMCA (Purple Martin Conservation Association) I at times serve as a mentor offering my experiences with purple martins to others who have colonies, but mostly to those who are trying to establish one, and what I always suggest is the use of a dawnsong recording.

The dawnsong is a series of vocalizations performed by adult (ASY- After Second Year) male martins in the predawn hours above established colonies, with the purpose of attracting other martins who have not yet found breeding sites. I have witnessed this many times above my own colony. Using the dawnsong recording is a way of "advertising" your new site. In the early 90's the PMCA recorded these vocalizations and began selling the recordings in order to help new landlords in establishing their martin colony. Since its inception it has helped many who would have probably otherwise given up.

It's how I established my colony. Believe it or not the day I recieved it in the mail I went into my backyard popped it into the player, turned it on, and within minutes I had martins circling overhead! It's that good. To hear the dawnsong click here.

In the past it was offered on tape and you would have to re-record it onto a continuous loop tape in order to play it over and over again. Now the PMCA offers it on cd and you can set a cd player on continuous play or repeat so it will play constantly.

Since the dawnsong is performed early in the morning, it is advisable that you set up your recording beneath your housing to play during the hours of 4:30 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. This can be accomplished by plugging your cd player into a timer that can be set to come on and shut off during the prescribed hours. There is even a way to use your computer to play the dawnsong. Find out how here.

So if you're a new landlord or one that has tried unsuccessfully year after year to start a colony, try using the dawnsong. It just might be the thing you need. To order go here.

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