Adult Male Purple Martin Looking Out Nesting Gourd Entrance Hole (note iridescent purple feathers)
Baby Ready to be Fed – Still Partially in Shell!
Looking through Gourd’s Entrance Hole (love the “lips”)
Leaf-Lined Nest Containing 5 Eggs
Leaf and Bark-Lined Nest Containing 5 Eggs
Leaf and Cedar Chip Nest Containing 5 Eggs
Cedar Chip Nest Containing 3 Eggs (probably a first-time nester)
Frog on Nesting Gourd
Silhouette of Purple Martin Gourd Rack and Sky: All Tucked-In for Night (click to enlarge for details)
Last weekend we did a nest check of our two purple martin gourd racks. So far we have a total of 11 nests containing 49 babies and eggs! There are also 4 more early nests that may or may not progress on to eggs within the next 2 weeks. One nest contained a baby that wriggled out of its egg as we watched. The baby even opened its mouth to be fed while it was still partially in the shell! The birds seem to have their own individual nest styles. Some martin parents gather lots of leaves, some add hard red bark to the nest, and others simply lay eggs on the cedar chips provided as a base. Each nest usually contains 3-6 eggs. Love this time of year! If you would like to host your own purple martins, more info is at: https://www.purplemartin.org/education/75/getting-started/.