Davie Florida Roost- MARTIN DOWN!!!

Davie FLORIDA Premigratory Roost

Davie FLORIDA Premigratory Roost

Today has to be one of the highlights in my short yet thrilling experiences as a Purple Martin Landlord. Tonight at 7pm my husband and 2 young boys took me to the RaceTrac gas station on Davie Road in Davie, Fl. It was the most spectacular thing I have ever seen. And to think that this roost is SMALL!!! Photos can not do it justice. I tried taking photos and I felt like I was trying to photograph the Grand Canyon with a Polaroid. I can only wonder the splendor of a large roost like those in Texas, Louisiana or Pennsylvania. My husband took a guess and says somewhere around 5,000 birds or so. In a photo I took I counted 200 martins in that small area alone. And the sky was covered with them. I highly encourage any local birders to check out this most amazing show.

On a sad note, as I walked about before the martins came in force I noticed the ground under the trees that the martins are roosting in, was littered with dead martins in various stages of consumption. Piles of feathers, martins with heads chewed off, wings and other bits and pieces covered the grass. I was aghast and at first I assumed that Owls were arriving at night to feast on the martins. That may well be the case but then my husband pointed out the real culprit. A large raccoon scampered across the parking lot and climbed the first tree. It became quite apparent that the raccoons are having a nightly banquet of bird. Of course they don’t have the decency to finish one birds before killing another. I walked from bird corpse to bird corpse wondering what I could do…trust me, I had some crazy thoughts.

As I walked about taking photos I noticed one of the “corpses” was looking back at me. Laying on its back with his head turned so he could see me, a fledgling Purple Martin lay moving his short feet in a bicycle riding fashion. I approached slowly and thought it would right itself in time to fly off, but it did not. I picked him up and gave him a look over. A perfectly alert little HY purple martin. His eyes are sharp and his temper was quick but when I tested his wings he did not seem to even want to flap them. Weak or injured he is now resting comfortably in a dark box with a crop full of mealworms and scrambled eggs. I will take him to Folke Peterson Wildlife Center in the AM to be checked out. If all looks good I hope to return him to the roost to join the other martins.

It is late and my heart is happy so off to sleep. I will post more pictures of the roost in an upcoming blog entry. So check back soon!

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One Response to “Davie Florida Roost- MARTIN DOWN!!!”

  1. rick Says:

    What a great post. Cool pics too. I’ll be taking this feed!