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Monday, December 15, 2008

Bird Photography Weekly #16

For this weeks BPW I'm flashing back to the  summer. Long gone now from North America and vacationing in South America for the winter is the purple martin.

This was my second summer hosting purple martins. I had six pairs that nested. Out of the six, five pairs were successful.

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I've learned a lot in the two years that I've had purple martins. They are unique birds with a very distinctive sound. I feel fortunate that they choose to spend their summer with me. I encourage anyone that has the right conditions for purple martins to consider putting up a martin house. In the eastern part of North America they nest almost exclusively in man made nest boxes.

The Purple Martin Conservation Association (PMCA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of Purple Martins. Their site contains lots of information about purple martins - from attracting and housing standards, to feeding and caring for orphaned chicks. The PMCA also has a great forum for asking questions or just posting your own experiences. Believe me, I've turned to the forum several times for help with various problems. I've always received quality answers from experienced personnel.

One other good purple martin reference is the Stokes Purple Martin Book:The Complete Guide to Attracting and Housing Purple Martins - I've found it very informative and turn to it often during the nesting season.

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6 comments:

Christopher said...

Great set-up that you have - and how lucky you are that you have them! You said this was the seond year you had them - did you have the marting up house previous to them showing up, or did you get any the first year?

It's nice to flashback to warmer weather as winter descends on us.
Cheers!

dAwN said...

Nice to have those purple martins..How many months do the stay in your area?

Alan said...

Hey Chris, yes I did have purple martins my first year – two nesting pairs. I felt really fortunate because I’ve heard where people put up their houses and waited several years before they had martins.

Dawn – My purple martins show up around the end of March and are here until about the end of August. Thanks for asking!

Bob and Cynthia Kaufman said...

Nice set-up. Thanks for sharing as these are birds I have yet to see.

Natural Moments said...

I've never had the chance to see a purple martin colony up close and personal... Must be a really excellent experience watching their social interactions.

Sparverius said...

How very cool. Great bird for BPW.