Monday, January 5, 2009

Purple Martin Gourds

I've been meaning for years to put up martin gourds before the birds arrive here in late January, but I never seem to get around to it in time. This year is different. My friend Jamie Hill, founder of the Purple Martin Conservation Association, shipped me some of his specially designed supergourds, and today they're swinging in the breeze down by Gator Pond. I recently learned from the PMCA literature that I didn't need to be in such a rush, as the first arriving birds are not "scouts," as I'd always heard, but migrating adults that are not likely looking for new nesting sites. What I want to attract are the homesteading subadults from last year's crop, which may arrive weeks after the first older martins pass through. So, I'll keep the gourds closed for a while to keep out nest competitors, probably opening them up in mid February or so. More on our success (or failure) later...

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