Thursday, April 13, 2017

Purple Martin Season Underway

I set up the martin houses this year with three gourds with cameras and wiring for a fourth. I dug a trench from the house to the martin pole and buried conduit through which to run the CCTV wiring to the cameras.

I opened up a few gourds at the beginning of March and a few lookers but only the House Sparrows made any effort to move in. This year we have even gotten Starlings. Fortunately, the SREH openings are keeping them out.

One April 3, we had the first male go in and stake out a gourd. The same one used last year. I guess it is facing in a desirable direction.

He is an ASY male. Last week, a female made a number of attempts to join him but was not able to squeeze in. Last sunday, video captured a female entering with no problem. Perhaps it is a different one.  She has been flying with him since and they have both been sleeping in the gourd each night.

April 13 - Today, they started bringing in green leaf clipping to line the nest. We should expect eggs soon. No other gourds have been claimed, or visited by martins. Our pair attracts guests to fly overhead in the morning and evening.

April 15 - Today, a furious morning of leaf-gathering activity. This is mostly a female activity as is fluffing out the nest cavity. The male follows her around and occasionally brings in a twig or small leaf.

Nighty night, martins

Update April 20 - Today, video showed the second egg being layed at 7:28AM. Yesterday at the same time was the first egg.

Update April 27 - A total of five eggs were layed in this gourd #1, the last on April 23. A rare moment when all five are visible shown here.

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