My neighbor Larry and I built a house! Photo by Tom MacCubbin
Something I have been planning on for a while is building a new purple
martin home. I had one for more than 20 years that slowly declined and
was never occupied by more that maybe a few sparrows and squirrels. The
martins did check it out one time but I don't think they liked the
Well the new one is up thanks to my neighbor Larry. We
both pushed it up in place over the weekend and now it sits waiting for
the first visitors. Regretfully I may be a bit late this year to catch
the passing crowd during their yearly migration. Do they all come at the
same time? Or are they like the tourists and come in from time to time,
in this case, during late winter and spring. I hope they do. Reports are
they arrived as early as mid January this year.
Plans for purple
martin houses can be found on the Internet and they are easy to build.
This one is about a $75 investment plus a few weeks of on and off work.
Still, Joani says it is a beauty and the pride of my back yard. The
house is perched atop a 12-foot pole and out in the open which the birds
seem to prefer.
They say it helps if the purple martins are in
the neighborhood within a mile. There are other houses less than this
distance away. Also, they do not seem to mind a lot of activity. A
number of gourd-like homes are found at the Epcot and can be observed
during the International Flower & Garden Festival which begins March 7
and lasts through May 20. The crowds gather daily for the festival and
the martins go about their work of raising the next generation. They
should thus find my yard a pleasant retreat.