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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Birds 
Thread started 23 Apr 2010 (Friday) 05:44
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Purple Martins

 
sparker1
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Apr 23, 2010 05:44 |  #1

These birds have always been desirable in the south because they have a voracious appetite for mosquitoes. In rural areas, it was common until recently to see large groups of dried gourds hanging from posts. People placed these for the benefit of martins, who seem to like this type of structure. (In the north, martin houses seemed more like people apartment buildings.) Anyway, while camping in the Big Cypress National Preserve (by the Everglades), we noticed the Feds have erected metal poles with metal arms and plastic bulbs made to simulate gourd housing. The martins appear to be very comfortable in their government provided housing.


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Stan (See my gallery at http://www.pbase.com/s​parker1 (external link))

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snowyowl13
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Apr 23, 2010 06:16 |  #2

I saw the same type of housing at Hilton Head. Nice shots!




  
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Richard ­ G
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Apr 23, 2010 06:34 |  #3

snowyowl13 wrote in post #10049963 (external link)
I saw the same type of housing at Hilton Head. Nice shots!

Likewise in EPCOT. Wondered what the birds where, but you've now confirmed the ID to me.

Nice shots, I couldn't get anything near as decent as the day we were in EPCOT it was overcast & grey.

Richard


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sparker1
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Apr 23, 2010 06:58 |  #4

Thanks, Dan & Richard. Perhaps I simply had overlooked these martin houses in other locations, but this was a first for me (and I assumed only the government would do this). With so many mosquitoes in Big Cypress/Everglades, every rest area, visitor center, campground, etc has these structures.


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dbriz
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Apr 23, 2010 08:27 |  #5

Interesting shots and story Stan... I have never seen this before...

db


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ajosteve
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Apr 23, 2010 08:32 |  #6

Thanks for the info. Stan, glad to see a housing project like this!


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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Apr 23, 2010 10:20 |  #7

Wow, what a brilliant project! Great story and shots, Stan.


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Janika
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Apr 23, 2010 10:33 |  #8

We have these homes in and around Ottawa, especially near marinas. Nice shots


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sparker1
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Apr 23, 2010 10:44 |  #9

Thanks for all the nice replies.


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copper
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Apr 29, 2010 09:08 |  #10

Sorry! I need to educate people on the Purple Martins. I have 38 cavities for purple martins, four which are gourds. Right now in one purple martin house (14 cavities) I have 40 eggs. Yes I will have well over 100 Purple Martins when they all hatch. :)

6. What do Purple Martins eat? Purple Martins are obligate aerial insectivores, which is a fancy way of saying they eat only flying insects, and they take them only on the wing, not off the ground. Martins eat beetles, flies, dragonflies, midges, mayflies, bees, stinkbugs, cicadas, flying ants, damselflies, butterflies, moths, grasshoppers, and wasps. Martins are generalists, and do not specialize in taking just one or two types of insects, to the exclusion of others. Martins drink and bathe while skimming over the surfaces of bodies of water. Purple Martins do not eat huge quantities of mosquitoes, despite what some martin house manufacturers claim (this fraudulent claim is used to market their products). See Update issue 2(3), "The Relationship of Purple Martins to Mosquito Control": http://www.purplemarti​n.org/update/MosCont.h​tml (external link)


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sparker1
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Apr 29, 2010 11:29 |  #11

OK, I stand corrected. Thanks for the info.


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dicklaxt
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Sep 14, 2013 03:48 as a reply to  @ sparker1's post |  #12

I'll explain a little further on not eating mosquitos,,,,,,,,,,Pur​ple Martins feed at altitude ( as high as the insects fly,may be upwards of a 1000 feet) and while in flight during daylight hours. The mosquito's are hidden out in grasses during daylight hours and when awake in flight them selves they are usually close to the ground. It really isn't a fit. The PM will feed on swarming mosquito's tho but thats rare. I notice Copper had butterflies listed in red and may have forgotten to post a bit more on that. It is thought that the butterfly when ingested is toxic to some bird populations and that the PM is one of them. I have personally witnessed the PM avoiding capturing a butterfly many hundreds of times,another non fit .

I also have a backyard colony of PM's consisting of 36 cavities.

dick




  
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Lester ­ Wareham
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Sep 14, 2013 08:26 |  #13

Nice shots.


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Don1
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Oct 07, 2013 18:56 |  #14

Great capture of the Martin in a very unusual home. Nice find Stan.


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