Purple Martin Colony Update
Purple Martins are beginning to show up in force, and so far I've counted about 7 pair that have arrived. I've averaged around 23 pair over the last several years so there are more to come. English sparrows are (as usual) trying to take over atleast 3 of my 32 gourds and I continue to remove their trash filled nests to deter them. This along with an increased number of martins as the season progresses will in time cause them to just give up. Good riddance. These nest site competitors are vicious in that they will kill martin nestlings and destroy martin eggs if not kept under strict control. European starlings, another aggressive non-native nest site competitor has become less and less of a problem ever since I went to mainly gourd housing. There are some nice martin houses out there, but I strongly suggest anyone considering starting a martin colony or wanting to change or replace housing to use gourds. The SuperGourd, sold by the Purple Martin Conservation, is made of thick, tough, high-density polyethylene plastic that will, in my opinion, last forever. As the season progresses I will keep everyone informed on the goings on at my colony.