Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Busy Spring

Spring is going by so fast this year. Maybe it is the lack of sleep due to having a 2 month old that makes time fly by or maybe things are just moving fast because of the extended winter that we had to endure. The bluebirds have already laid 5 eggs, 3 hatched and all 3 fledged but we missed it due to a quick trip to visit family.

This year we decided to try our hand at becoming a purple martin landlord and I know that I have absolutely driven my wife crazy with how I act about them. They are an amazing bird that I can spend hours watching, listening to and fretting over. We were given a house by my martin mentor, which I modified according to the PMCA, enlarging rooms, changing entrances to keep starling out and then we began the waiting game. Waiting is the hardest part.

I know nothing about their behavior so I have scoured the PMCA (purple martin conservation association) forum, reading everything I could find. I doubted my location due to trees and then one day a beautiful male ASY (after second year) bird showed up and took interest in several of the holes but he never stayed the night and after a few days I didn't see him again. The thing about martins is that one day your house is covered up with them and then they vanish and continue their migration. A little over a week ago several SY (second year) birds showed up and began staying the night. They quickly attracted females that shacked up with them and began nest building. Today I checked the box. One compartment had a nice nest built. 2 other compartments had the beginnings of nests. I sat on the back porch and watched as 2 pairs of martins returned to roost in compartments 4 and 6, surprised that no bird entered the almost complete nest. They are a mystery to me and hopefully by the end of this season I will understand them better and be able to provide them with a safe place to raise more martins. I am looking forward to the better weather tomorrow to see what it brings.