2009 – Here We Go!!!

As Purple Martin season draws near I find myself torn between preparing for my birds return on one hand and preparations for “everything else” on the other. My birds returned on January 29 last season and I have the sneaking suspicion that they will be earlier this year. It always seems odd that Purple Martins arrive so much earlier on the West coast of florida. Why would one little Lake (Okeechobee) hold up my birds for an additional month? I should be grateful for the extra time. Especially this year. My 4 year old son started going to pre-K only 3 months ago. And in that time we have all endured the flu twice. My 2 boys also have suffered through a sinus infection, an ear infection and a never ending runny nose. So running outside to gather pine needles is low on the to-do list. But it had better make its way to the top soon. Being sick has delayed the preparation of many things.

I am in the process of trying to gather information for a database of South Florida Purple Martin Colonies and have been placing flyers on mail boxes of homes that have martin housing up. On January 21st I will be going to the 2009 Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival in Titusville for 4 days. I will be giving 2 presentations on Purple Martins along with tending to my exhibitor booth. I am planning on being at the Folke Peterson Wildlife Center on Jan10 for the “Call Of The Wild” event, again to give a presentation and run an exhibitors booth. Then add all the web site development stuff I have undertaken, I still need to buy the cement for the ground stake, and get my new CUENT gourd rack up. I had planned on increasing my capacity this year but I may have to be satisfied with a slight increase. Last year I had 12 gourds and 7 compartments in my house. I had about 85% occupancy.

This season I plan on slightly increasing gourds offered to 17 and 6 compartments in a new Sunset Inn house. I MAY be able to add a live webcam this year and somehow integrate this feature in my website PurpleMartins-R-Us.com .

 

One thing I DID get to do was put another coat of paint on the “little repeating nest trap that could”. The paint may be the only thing holding this trap together at this point. The wood is warped, but the lines on this house were never straight to start out with. My husband is still in shock that it actually works and it was proven again when last week I put the trap up. I had thought I heard a Starlings wolf whistle amongst a large flock of Grackles. Long story short the “little trap that could” did not catch the starling but the next morning I awoke to find another Eastern Screech Owl in the holding cage. Off you go little guy, go get some sleep.

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

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