Posts Tagged ‘Purple Martin’


May 20, 2014

Humans and the family Hirundinidae (swallows and kin) have grown to become mutually helpful and even dependent. Without swallows many of our farms and cities would fill with mosquitoes and their ilk. Without man many swallows family members would lose nesting sites and thus diminish in numbers.
In North America the co-operation between humans and members of the swallow family has increased over the past two centuries. In the mid 1800s naturalists noted how the Barn Swallow had begun to nest around buildings in Northern California. Today Tree Swallows and Purple Martins regularly use nest sites provided by people. Sometimes Tree Swallows will appropriate a box first intended for bluebirds. Martins are colonial nesters so they oust House Sparrows and take over the provided tenements. Barn and Cliff Swallows regularly use manmade structures from bridge to barns to porches across their range.
martinropolis A Purple Martin tenement at Ottawa NWR, Ohio.puma gourd

PUMA FRNT A perched Martin.

trsw holeTree Swallow nesting in a natural hole.

trsw shape

bars nest
Barn Sweallows working on nests on the side of a building.
Many other birds now take advantage of intentional or incidental manmade nest sites: Barn, Great Horned, Great Gray and Screech Owls, European Kingfishers, many raptors nest on pylons or utility poles, Wood and other ducks, nuthatches, chickadees, bluebirds or all three species, phoebes, House Wrens, White-throated and other swifts. In Europe the most obvious building users are White Storks.



All these pictures were taken during a PIB field trip to northwestern Ohio earlier in May.


May 7, 2014

Today was the opening of the Biggest Week in American Birding festival here inn northwest IowaOhio. The four of us from Partnership for International Birding and Neblina Tours of Ecuador have already seen 110 species. Some samples:uppy-1Evenb here the increasingly scarce Upland Sandpiper is considered a good fine. These two were walking in the grass along the road margin today. Winter here has lingered and the birds could find grass tall enough to hide in.


bhvi-tu6Blue-headed Vireo, the eastern counterpart of our western Cassin’s Vireo.

C-S WAR1 Chestnut-sided Warbler gives me the eye.

eaki-1-2014Eastern Kingbird

eso-2014aYou know how much I love owls if you read my blogs. Eastern version of Screech-Owl.

oven1Ovenbird feeding on the forest floor.

puma sitzPurple Martin atop martin housing development at Ottawa NWR. They are big and aggressive e enough to drive off the real estate greedy House Sparrows.

swth-tu2014Swainson’s Thrush along the Magee Marsh boardwalk. All these birds are within a mile of the south shore of Lake Erie where the winds comes whipping off the waves.