Even At The Roosts, Martin Season is OVER…

Hello Autumn!

It really is amazing how fast the year is going. All over reports of migration have been well underway and the quiet lull before the winter “storms” are upon us.  A few weeks ago I saw a large group of about 15 or so NightHawks pass through. The gourd racks have been still and quiet for months now. I am waiting for the arrival of the neighborhood winter visitors with the usual boredom that ensues at this time of year. As fast as all my nesting birds have left it takes a while before the winter visitors arrive and the time in between draws out, agonizingly slow.

What a great year it was. Looking at the calender, I find it hard to believe we are now in Autumn. All the roosts are done and the painful purple martin season that many had can now be called just a bad memory. We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief as our losses could have always been worse and our successes are always a gift from God.

A very interesting find by Veronica G. a fellow PMCA forumite. At the Tulsa, Oklahoma roost she spotted a leucistic purple martin. Check out the fabulous photos taken by Omar Landeros. Talk about finding a needle in a hay stack!

These purple martins are absolutely stunning and though they are often times destined an early fate, sometimes they seem to adapt and be accepted.

Here is a link to a tragic story, back in 2007, of 2 albino purple martins that fledged at Mr. Steve Kroenke colony in Logansport, Louisiana.

Some landlords have had leucistic purple martins return year after year and I rejoice for them. I hope this beauty returns safe and sound to his or her home in the spring.

What is the difference between Albino and Leucistic? In short, an Albino lacks all pigment so that even the eyes appear pink, and beak and feet are “horn” colored. Leucistic birds have varying amounts of white feathers but still have the areas of “normal” pigmentation.

Will these leucistic birds have leucistic babies? Usually not. Being a recessive trait the offspring may inherit the recessive gene but not exhibit it. It will only show in the offspring if one of the parents is leucistic and the other parent carries the recessive gene for it.  Even then there is only a chance they will inherit the trait. Sometimes they only inherit the gene but appear normally colored. Cool, huh?

Many thanks to Veronica and Omar for the great pictures.

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