Posts Tagged ‘colony’

No More Room, Martin Houses are Full!

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011
morning vocalization

morning vocalization

Naples has just reported the first SY (subadult) Purple Martin of the season on 2/19 so I predict that nesting will be beginning at anytime, here in Florida.Keep playing that purple martin dawnsong and be ready for more birds, all wannabe landlords. Don’t give up!

The last few nights I have seen birds get turned away as night falls. I can almost swear (if I was the swearing type) that more than 2 birds are going into the same gourds. It seems several pairs are co-habitating at any given time. I have witnessed at least 4 birds enter a gourd last night and tonight, and unless these odd birds out are kicked out of the gourds after I go in, they must have stayed the night. I can assume it is not all to friendly in the gourd as I can see the gourd shaking a bit for a few minutes. I am torn as I consider putting up more housing, but then I remind myself that as many gourds or martin houses I put up, the birds would fill them. And do I really want a super colony? Well, actually that would be cool but between kids and tball and piano lessons and all the other “stuff” I would not be able to do them justice. Basically I wouldn’t be able to watch out for my birds the way I want. So until my kids are a bit older and can help with some of the purple martin things, the colony can stay as it is…well, maybe a few more gourds!

I will have to rededicate myself to trying to recruit others into this hobby that I love so much. I have considered having an “open yard” and invite locals to see my colony but the logistics has me confused. Do I do it now early in the season or wait till babies are being fed, do it in the morning or wait till dusk and watch them gather in their big flock before zooming in for the night? Would I rent a Porto-let or open my house to strangers? hmmmm

May 16, 2008

Friday, May 16th, 2008

beau head shotThe trials and tribulations of being an overly obsessed Purple Martin Landlord. Hmmm, I am sure that this whole ordeal has shaved a few years off my life. BUT all is well that ends well. Let me start from the beginning of the day.

AM: I called the Folke Peterson Wildlife Center. I asked to speak to “anyone” as all the times I have called regarding the fledgling, I spoke with the receptionist only.

They transferred me to the Executive Director, Heather Landstrom. We had a nice long talk. She told me that she had received a few emails in regards to the Purple Martin. She had just had a meeting with the Veterinarian and wanted to be kept apprised of his situation. She was told that he had come to the center dehydrated and underweight. That he was doing well and they wanted to flight test him sometime early next week. I agreed that him being flight tested was a great idea and I was wholeheartedly behind that idea. As soon as he passed his flight test, he would be released ASAP, preferably at his natal site. I was THRILLED. I told her all about how fearless Purple Martins can be of humans. That for hundreds of years, these birds have nested almost exclusively in man-made housing. That these birds thrive within close proximity to human activity. How Indians would put gourds up for Purple Martins and benefit from a mutual symbiotic relationship. She was very cordial and showed great interest in Purple Martins and little Beau.  I was reassured that I could call on her personally and would be kept in the loop of any and all developments in Beau’s care and release.

PM: I received a call from Dr.Dacia Oprisanu. She told me that a flight cage became available and that they had just flight tested the young martin. AND that he FLEW!! I was so happy and excited. She even told me that I could pick him up today to release him at his natal colony site. (HOME!)  I didn’t think today was a good idea as most of the martins were already off feeding for the afternoon. The parents that are actively feeding are here, of course, but I felt that an early AM release would be perfect. Activity here is always busiest from sunrise till about 11, then it tapers off to a ghost town till about 4 pm or so.

So, that’s what today brought. Answered prayers and hope for the future of a little bird named Beau.