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Getting Houses Ready for Purple Martins

Believe it or not, they know us.  Not just that but they get all happy, they come out and sit on their perches, talking and greeting when they see us coming.

Nothing animates a quiet day in the garden like a colony of purple martins.  These migratory birds have long lived in association with people.  Long, as in before white people came to the Americas.  Ours, have lived with us two years.  And we can’t wait to see our friends when they return from wintering in Brazil.

In the next few weeks, male scouts show up looking for places to stay.  We’ll have their houses ready.  They’ll relay information to their mates and friends.  Some will be the same birds as last year — purple martins return each year to the same place, sometimes the same gourd house.

They’ll mate when they arrive, then have babies in late spring.  They trust us so much, they push the babies out the gourds, we give them a protective cage and water.  Day by day, babies fall into our care, strengthen then fly.

Tom and Caroline have been preparing their houses, from gourds we grew in the garden last year.

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