© Helen Baines 2005                2003-2004 Seasons                 1999-2002 Seasons             HOME
We were pleased to see our Purple Martins return in February, after last year's disastrous season. Nest building begins in April and the photo to the right shows a fight over the possession of the T2 compartment.  There were plenty of empty compartments, so go figure?  Some of the other martins have brought in sticks for their nests, which they lay in straight lines, and then add mud to form a wall at the front of the compartment - see photos below.

We monitor our colony and remove any non-native house sparrow nests from the martin house. Unfortunately, the sparrows usually destroy the martin eggs when they take over a compartment and then they build right on the top of martin nest, eggs and all. .
My Purple Martin Colony
2005 Season

This page was last updated on: April 27, 2007

We were pleased to see our Purple Martins return in February, after last year's disastrous season. Nest building begins in April and the photo to the right shows a fight over the possession of the T2 compartment.  There were plenty of empty compartments, so go figure?  Some of the other martins have brought in sticks for their nests, which they lay in straight lines, and then add mud to form a wall at the front of the compartment - see photos below.

We monitor our colony and remove any non-native house sparrow nests from the martin house. Unfortunately, the sparrows usually destroy the martin eggs when they take over a compartment and then they build right on the top of martin nest, eggs and all. .
Left: Still squabbling over T2.  The martin outside B3 (bottom right) has a very long stick, which he probably won't be able to get into the nest!   The female trying to get into B2 eventually managed when she turned her head and the stick went in sideaways! 

We are able to monitor the progress of the nest building, laying of eggs and development of the young, by lowering the house and removing the front plate of each compartment.  It's very important to number the compartments, so that you always re-orient the martin house correctly when you raise it.  

Below: the nest in T5 - photos taken over 8 weeks.
April 13th, 2005 - nest building and squabbling over nest sites!
April 19th - finished nest in T5 with brown leaves
May 2nd - completed clutch of 5 eggs and green leaves in T5
May 15th - Feed me!!  Very new hatchlings in T5 - there is a 5th one hidden somewhere in there
May 24th - 5 nestlings, about 2 weeks old, beginning to get their feathers,  in T5 
© Helen Baines 2005                2003-2004 Seasons                 1999-2002 Seasons             HOME
June 3rd - the 5 chicks are just a few days away from fledging now
June 7th - it's getting a bit crowded in there!
June 13th - the empty nest - bet they were glad to get out of there!
All photos taken with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel