Posts Tagged ‘premigratory roosts’

Its Purple Martin Roost Time At The Bridge

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

Though the season here is done and I suspect our South Florida roosts are also done, up in North Carolina things are heating up. The William B. Umstead Bridge in Manns Harbor plays host to a huge purple martin premigratory roost. The Manns Harbor roost is swarming with martins at dusk. For about another month or two these birds will be roosting under the bridge in such large numbers that warning lights were installed to slow traffic as hundreds of birds were being struck and killed by cars at dawn and dusk.

As years past the Coastal Carolina Purple Martin Society (CCPMS) will be having boat tours and for $30 a person you will be witness to a spectacle of nature. You can read about the tour on a previous blog post from last year or go straight to their website to contact for reservations at Purple Martin Roost Boat Tour Information.

Know of a roost near you? Make sure you visit it before they are gone.

(c) 2011 S.Halpin PurpleMartins-R-Us

Purple Martin Roost Rings on Radar

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

Going to your local premigratory roosts are a great way to herald the end of summer. The spectacular swarms of purple martins, descending in on trees, weighing down their branches like a heavy burden as countless more rain down to jockey for a spot  for the night. It is an awe inspiring sight not easily forgotten.

What happens to all those birds in the morning though? Not many people hang around or get up early enough to watch the birds ascend to the sky come sunrise.¬† The National Weather Service and their Doppler Radars have documented this phenomenon for years since bird movements were discovered on radar back in the 1940’s. On the radar image here, you can see the red arrows pointing to these radar rings (also called doughnuts) formed by the mass of birds flying out and away from the roosting sites. According to the Purple Martin Conservation Association and their Project Martin Roost, more than 300 possible roosts occur in Eastern North America. The largest known roost, at Lake Murray in South Carolina has over 700,000 birds.

Kevin R. Russell and Sidney A. Gauthreaux, jr. did a wonderful study titled, Use of Weather Radar to Characterize Movements of Roosting Purple Martins, (back in 1998) that is an interesting read. You can also read what the National Weather Service has to say about it with their article titled Roosting Birds Detected on NWS Doppler Radar.

If you know of a roost consider visiting one before the martins are gone. You won’t regret it. If you can’t get to one you can always watch our video we took in 2009 of a local roost in Davie Florida here.

June 20, 2008 Feedback Wanted!

Friday, June 20th, 2008

I have been putting some thought into what this BLOG will cover during the “off” season. Some of my ideas are to cover a new Purple Martin topic every few days. Such as Starlings, sparrows, history of the martins and more. Sort of like a Purple Martin magazine or book in installments. Its an idea. If you have any topic ideas please let me know.

I know a lot of purple martin landlords are having problems this year with parasites and drought, so perhaps even BLOG entries on those issues.

Our weather has been very unstable. Beautiful in the AM hours then developing into violent thunderstorms with high winds in the late afternoon. Due to this I have been unable to visit the premigratory roost as yet. I am waiting for a favorable weather report to plan an outing to Davie as the roost is active for a few more weeks only.

On a Purplemartins-r-us update; I have been considering several ideas. One idea is changing our name to PurpleMartinArt vs PurpleMartins-R-us. It is a domain name I already own and would not disrupte or change the site in any way. Another idea is offering a limited selection on Swallow art and collectibles. Since Purple Martins ARE a type of swallow…Let me know what you think. I love hearing from all of you.

My 3 remaining nestlings are still in the nest and the mother is calling to them trying to lure them out. Feedings seem to have decreased. But then again, since there are only 3 in that nest and most of the other nests had 5 nestlings, I may be used to seeing them feed more often due to there being more mouths to feed. There is an abundance of dragonflies around. The visitors are still around daily during AM hours. Very quiet in the PM though. I only see the female and I have NOT seen her enter the gourd to sleep. She may be sleeping with the other martins at a nearby assembly site.