Purple Martins

asymale1It’s time to put your purple martin house up. Scouts have been spotted in San Antonio. If you know what I’m referring to this should bring a smile to your face. If you don’t…you’re missing out on great wildlife experience.

The Purple Martin is considered to be America’s most wanted bird.  The interaction between man and martin dates all the way back to the Native Americans and continues to this day.  With its bubbly personality and gurgling song, the purple martin is cherished by all that host them and each spring brings on an excitement that only a purple martin landlord (someone that keeps martins) can experience as they anxiously anticipate the return of their beloved purple martins.

Purple Martins are the largest swallow in North America and are known as Aerial Insectivores (which means that they only eat flying insects that they catchwhile in flight.  Each bird will consume up to 2000 flying insects every day (mosquitoes, wasp, house flies, ballooning spiders, crickets, etc.).  This natural method of flying insect control was observed and utilized by Native American Indians who, for thousands of years, hung hollowed-out gourds around and in their villages to provide nesting cavities that would attract this very beneficial bird species.  In turn, this created the only semi-domesticated migratory bird in the United States.

We put up our first martin  house in 2009 and were rewarded with six pairs of birds that hatched several young each. Every morning you can hear their song as they swoop around eating flying critters. It’s fun to watch.

There are several places online where you can order a martin houses. We got ours in town at Sutherland’s. It is an S&K brand house and is less expensive than most. http://www.skmfg.com/

Put one up. You’ll love it!

Some links: