Monday, January 30, 2012

Purple Martin Season 2012

Purple martin season is upon us and like last year I waited until the last minute to get my gourds cleaned, repaired, and ready for the new season. Getting ready involves quite a bit of work so waiting like I did put me in a bit of a rush, and I don't like to rush. I have promised myself that at the close of this season I would make sure that everything is done in a timely matter for the 2013 season.

While inspecting the racks that hold my gourds I found a rotten spot on one of the arms that needed fixing. What I need to do is remove that damaged arm and replace it, but I decided to strengthened it with some metal strapping until I can replace it at the end of this season. The repair job actually turned out pretty good.

I checked the PMCA website and saw that they’re arriving along the Florida, Louisiana, and Texas coasts. As a matter of fact some were sighted today in Orange, TX, which is not very far from where I live. Each year the PMCA asks purple martin landlords to submit their sightings of purple martin “scouts” during their migration back to the United States and Canada.

Even though they're showing up right down the road in Orange, I'm pretty sure they won't be over at my colony for another three weeks. If you look below at the list of their arrival dates here over the last 14 years, you'll see that on average they start showing up around the third week of February.

2011 Feb. 21
2010 Feb. 28
2009 Feb. 21
2008 Feb. 4
2007 Feb. 21
2005 Feb. 12
2006 Feb. 22
2004 Feb. 20
2003 Feb. 19
2002 Feb. 22
2001 Feb. 15
2000 (not recorded)
1999 Feb. 24
1998 Feb. 24

It seems that last season just ended not so long ago and here we are with about 3 weeks to go before they're here again. I just hope that we have a better season this year than we did last year. The drought really took it's toll not only my colony, but also on most others in Texas. Lots of nestlings were lost, more than any other season since I began.

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