It's been a terrific spring for my purple martins. The colony has doubled each year since I started three years ago and this year is no different. There are 13 pairs nesting this year - compared to 6 pairs last year.
My current setup will hold a total of 16 nest, 12 in the house and 4 in the artificial gourds. With 13 nest taken this spring, that leaves just 3 available nesting spots. I think it's time to add a new duplex next spring!
Okay, lets take a quick peak inside;
For those unfamiliar, purple martins nest together in groups called colonies. In fact, they are completely dependant on man-made nest houses in the eastern half of the United States. Purple martin houses must be specifically designed for their needs and must be mounted in an open space where they hunt for flying insects.
Just for fun I made my own nesting record chart using Microsoft PowerPoint. This chart shows which nesting areas have eggs, which ones have chicks, and the ones that are empty. The X and the number beside it represents the number of chicks in the nest. I update the chart each time I do a nest check - usually once a week until the chicks begin to fledge. Click to enlarge.
As you can see I have a total of 30 eggs remaining and a total of 34 hatched chicks. That's a lot of babies!
To see how you can help purple martins check out this link: http://audubonathome.org/birdstohelp/pdf/Purple_Martin.pdf
To learn more about attracting and managing purple martins check out the below link to the Purple Martin Conservation Association: http://purplemartin.org/main/mgt.html