Saturday, July 2, 2011

Purple Martin progress

It has been about a month since we mentioned Gazebo Phil's Purple Martins. The six beautiful eggs are long gone having been replaced by six rapidly growing nestlings. Thankfully, all of them are doing very well right now. Mom and dad are feeding them nonstop, and every day you can see them getting larger and purpler with more feathers popping out. Their eyes are open and they are taking up much more space in the gourd. I encourage you to check the site to see viewer-submitted questions, Purple Martin facts, and information I post regularly about the stage the birds are in.

Look at this picture Gazebo Phil posted with a four-minute old hatchling being fed. The date was June 21.

Now look at this photo from this morning - they are not even two weeks old yet! 

In related very cool news, Stratford Point has had two pairs take up residence in our gourd tree. Milford Point has several breeding pairs, as usual, but Stratford Point's are new as we just installed the gourds last summer. One of the pairs built a partial nest, not sufficient for breeding and what we felt was too late in the season. However, just yesterday I saw a Purple Martin carrying a bright green leaf back to the gourd, one of the last parts of a soon-to-be nest. It definitely seems very late, especially considering Gazebo Phil's martins, but you never know...

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician

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