Sometimes It’s More Than Martins

This past season, as some of you may know, the local newspaper did a very small write up about me and my colony.  (Check out the video HERE!) The journalist wrote furiously and asked her questions and as these things go , I was quite pleased with how it turned out. Other than a few small errors and the fact that my hair looked AWFUL. But such is life and such is my curse. Whenever a camera points my way my hair decides to point whatever way it wants.

Anyway, after the article came out I got numerous calls and emails from some very nice people. Some of which had been trying for quite some time to get Purple Martins in their backyard. Usually with no success as yet. If I could pick out a common thread in peoples difficulties, I would say the main problem seems to be trees.

One lovely lady stands out in my mind. She lives on 5 acres of heavily wooded land. Recently widowed the middle aged woman wants to see Purple Martins fill the house with life. As it is now the plastic house stands like a lonely reminder to the memory of her loving husband who put the house up shortly before his unexpected passing recently.

As I stood looking at the Purple Martin house I noted a few things. It is your standard beginners house, small compartments with round holes. The distance to her house was fine but the surrounding woods were the problem. Though the tree line was approx 30 feet on 3 sides, the Pine trees themselves were over 40 feet tall and packed together tight. They seemed to tower over the Purple Martin house. Even though the martin house was up on its pole, the trees loomed. They reminded me of the trees in the “Wizard Of Oz”, ready to come to life and begin to throw pine cones at us at any moment. All in all, a great place for a hawk to ambush. Any Purple Martins would basically have to fly in from overhead and dive straight down. No flyways here. I gave her some advice-mainly to cut back some trees IF possible (at least top them), enlarge compartments, hang a gourd or two, SREH, Decoys and Dawnsong and hopefully next season she will get a Purple Martin to at least land on her housing.

Though her husband and soul mate was taken from her without time for a goodbye, a visit from a purple bird would go a long way to healing her heart.

Blog & Photos Copyrighted 2008: S.Halpin/ PurpleMartins-R-Us.com

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