Thursday, June 05, 2014

Purple Martins

The purple martin is a swallow, the largest swallow common in these parts, and many folks put up martin houses to attract them.  Martins are a're sleek little speedsters, and their aerial accomplishments are amazing.  How a bird can go from a sleek power dive into almost an immediate hover is beyond me, but I've seen these birds do just that, countless times.

Yesterday, while I was on the family land, I was offered an unused martin house.  We're moving a trailer and the martin house had to be moved, so I put in in my truck.  When I got home yesterday afternoon, I stood it up in the corner of the yard.

Common wisdom is that a martin house should be installed in February because the migration occurs in March and the martins will find the house and move in.  I didn't know if installing a martin house in early June would benefit the birds, but I installed it anyway because a bird house standing up takes a lot less yard space than one laying on its side.  Imagine my surprise when I looked in the corner of the yard two hours later and watched purple martins swarming across the sky.

Evidently, the little speedsters intended to move right in!  Martins eat a lot of mosquitoes, so they're welcome in my backyard.  They're a lot of fun to watch, and I'm glad that the old house has been put back in service.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My grandmother had quite a few chickens which hawks seemed fond of. We put up a marlin house which was occupied. Marlins do not like hawks and they would swarm one circling her hen yard. It was fun to watch.