Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Purple martins

Several years ago, our neighbor Jeff encouraged us to put up a purple martin house.  How we have enjoyed this!


Al put our bird house up the end of March after seeing on the 
migration map that they were about to arrive in our area.

Then we waited.


In about a week they came.  Along with some sparrows.  
You can tell it is a cold day.  See how puffed up they are?


We ended up with 8 pair of purple martins and 4 sparrow nests.  Al cleaned out the sparrow nests multiple times, but in the end we felt we did pretty good with more purple martins than sparrows.

 You can see a couple of babies poking their heads out.  Adorable!

Here is our neighbor's purple martin house.  I really like it!
There are various styles you can purchase.  Purple martins rely on people to put up houses for the most part.  Historically they nested in cavities of trees, but competition for those nesting areas with starlings and other birds have forced them to look for other homes.

They return year after year.

Al read in the paper that the purple martins were beginning to gather in Old Town.  For the past 10 years, flocks of up to 50,000 gather in Wichita, preparing for their annual migration to Brazil.  

I could tell ours were getting ready to leave and the day after they were gone, we made the trip to Old Town.


The paper said that this year they were roosting between 1st and 2nd street 





We got there around 8:15 or so and began walking around looking for them.  We could see them gathering and flying around.  First we found them at 3rd and Wabash, all lined up on the wires.






 And then they began to fly off.

 We followed them to where they were beginning to swarm and swoop down into the trees.
 They settled in a row of trees by the police station in Old Town.
 They were so noisy!!

video

Last year they flew on to Tulsa, OK and they say about 250,000 purple martins gathered there!  Wouldn't that be a sight to behold!

A few days later, Al took down our purple martin house.









Al cleaned out the house for next year




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