Purple martins provide North America delightful songs and a beautiful presence. The males boast a shiny dark blue color while brown feathers note their female counterparts. They are the largest of the swallow breed, and they typically return to the same place each year after migrating to Brazil.
If the birds that were present at your house a year ago do not return as expected, it can be a very upsetting event. This is because there is a fear that the colony may have experienced some kind of peril on their journey back. The reality is more likely that something occurred during their previous year nesting phase. This has more to do with their choice not to return rather than some unfortunate event along the migratory route.
There are things you can do to ensure the birds return right where you want them. When they are due back from their winter migration, you can make sure you have the perfect housing arranged and ensure that it’s properly located.
If you do not currently have a martin house our friends at wild bird store online has houses for sale now. The best time to buy is during the slow season and it’s also the best time of year to put up the house or a series of gourds. John James Audubon himself only slept at lodgings that featured a martin box. It was a sign that the Inn was a success. This is because the more martins there were, the greater was the pleasure of the guests who stayed there.
The best martin houses and gourds should be painted white. They also have to be placed in an appropriate space near a source of water if possible and with plenty of open space. Do not erect the housing under trees or anywhere that predators such as owls, hawks, or raccoons – can get to them. Pre-made boxes will come with holes that are of the correct shape to keep other enemies like starlings from entering the shelter and stealing their eggs.
If you are a bird enthusiast, you may know that it is up to North American bird lovers to take care of this species. They have become dependent upon our nesting sites. Great care must be taken to offer them proper access to the food and shelter that they need. Be careful with where you place the birdhouse.
As for food, they are happy to help themselves to flies, moths, wasps, bees and dragonflies. The martins even enjoy eating termites. You do not have to work hard to feed them in order for them to remain healthy.
However, you can offer them occasional supplemental foods like crickets. This is one way to enjoy interacting with them. Toss the crickets and watch them snap them up with delight. You can also let them munch on bits of crushed eggshells. This helps them digest the insect exoskeletons they eat each day.
You will not make them completely dependent upon you by offering them occasional treats, but you do need to let them feed themselves naturally. They usually eat during the day in pairs, with a male guarding a female.
Enjoy the return of your purple martins. Get their houses and food in order properly and they will be happy to see you again, too.