NOT Banding Purple Martins

Up early this morning with the intention of banding the young Purple Martins before they leave the nest. On the positive side, we were relieved to find that the raising/lowering mechanism on the colony works as well as it did when first erected but on the negative side we found once we could see inside that although there were several nests with young in (and one with four eggs) the birds were too young to be banded. Either these are a late-ish hatch or there has been a failure and a second lot were laid. I would suggest that the former is the case – PUMAs don’t start building nests until four to six weeks after return in the spring (https://www.purplemartin.org/purple-martins/biology/42/timeline/) and up here they are at the northern-most limit of their range and didn’t get back here until the last week in May (possibly a bit later but certainly they were here on 4 June) so the age of the nestlings probably fits in reasonably well with those dates … we have learned somethiing for future years anyway. We have the option to return once they are older.

Thanks to Gay for bringing her banding team along.

The colony was lowered so that the nests could be checked
The colony was lowered so that the nests could be checked
The adults kept an eye on us
The adults kept an eye on us
Colony returned to it's normal height
Colony returned to it’s normal height
Back up again, the adults returned and after swearing a bit settled down
Back up again, the adults returned and after swearing a bit settled down

20160712-007

The Chipping Sparrows checked us out in turn - here's one of their "new" ones.
The Chipping Sparrows checked us out in turn – here’s one of their “new” ones.

1 Comment

  1. G McDougall | | Reply

    Very encouraging morning! As you said, great to see the adults come back so quickly to their nests. Looking forward to our next session.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *