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.