Purple Martins in British Columbia

As my purple martins are gone, most of you know that I often amuse myself and keep the blog going by following up on interesting news articles, roost updates and by the time winter roles around I dabble in reviewing purple martin products and even general birding information.

Well I happened upon a very interesting article about some of our West Coast martins. For those of you unfamiliar with geography or The Great White North, British Columbia (BC) is on the Pacific side of our States. North of Washington State and South of Alaska,  BC was home to over 4 million during the 2006 census. Unfortunately it is home to a small population of Western Purple Martins, also known as Progne subis arboricola, where they are a threatened species.

This article in the BCLocalNews.com features selfless volunteers such as Kiyoshi Takahashi, from Port Moody, who work tirelessly to put up nest boxes, monitor nest sites and band young martins. From a low of only about 10 purple martins in the entire BC region, the volunteers with the “BC Purple Martin Stewardship and Recovery Program” have brought the numbers up to over 1100 birds.

You can help, where ever you live by not allowing European Starlings and English House Sparrows from nesting on your property. These birds are nest site competitors brought into our ecosystem back in the 1800’s and unfortunately have caused a huge decline in our resident secondary cavity nesting birds all over the North American continent. To read more on the very real threat to our native birds, read this article on ChucksPurpleMartinPage.com.

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