Posts Tagged ‘davie’

Purple Martin Season Is Over for 2010

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

SY maleIt’s official, the last of the nests have fledged and all the babies have taken to the air. A hawk was making daily visits and though I am sure (s)he got at least 2 fledglings, I am sure more fell victim. I was unable to get a good look so I am hoping it was the resident Red Shouldered Hawk, a slower and larger hawk that poses a formidable threat but less so than the smaller faster Coopers Hawk that are common in South Florida also.

The Red Shouldered hawks nest close by and protect this as their territory from other hawks. If that can be counted as protection…I am not too sure.

Night time is quiet and I am not sure if many martins are returning to the nests to roost at night. They may have moved on to a local assembly area or pre-migratory roost. The fact that I am talking about the roosts already almost sounds crazy! Can time have flown by so fast? I guess I will start planning another trip to the roost in Davie this year.  It has almost been exactly a year since I went to see it and video taped it. You can see it at my blog post titled Purple Martin Pre-Migratory Roost Spectacular. It is a great YouTube clip taken at the roost with swarms of purple martins.

The webcam will not be up again for the remainder of this year as the computer I had it running on is dead. I plan on replacing it as soon as I can and it will be up again next January. I promise.

©2010 / S.Halpin

Davie Florida Roost- MARTIN DOWN!!!

Saturday, June 13th, 2009
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!

June 28, 2008 Davie Roost

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Last night I FINALLY made it to the premigratory roost in Davie Florida. I had the privilege of meeting Bryant Roberts, a knowledgeable and very nice gentleman who has made it his duty to monitor this roost site. He has done a fine service to birders and Purple Martin fans by bringing attention to this site. He has made it a thing for the town of Davie to be proud of. Unfortunately, I was about a week or so too late. I believe that our severe afternoon weather may have hastened the departure of the Martins. Mr. Roberts informed me that this year there was an estimate of over 10,000 birds and last night he estimated only about 500-600. Of course I did get to see those 600 or so martins swoop and circle like a funnel cloud, then disappear into the trees that they roost in. That was a beautiful sight. Like one large living breathing thing. I can only dream of what a site it would be to behold the roosts in Louisiana or Texas.

I did get a few minutes of tape that I may be able to edit into a few minutes of viewable footage. It was so dark when they finally came in and my video camera tried valiantly to capture it. My $900 Nikon D50 with telephoto lens was no match for the birds speed mixed with the darkness. Not a one of those pictures was useable. Oh well…

On a business note, I just received inventory of some fine Purple Martin Polymer Jewelry pieces. The Jewelry is made out of a ‘polymer’ or plastic clay that is baked to a hard ceramic-like form. I just had to buy myself one of the pendants. I’ll tell my husband that it is a consolation prize for ‘him’ making me miss my martins. tee hee!