On Monday, while working in the garden, I heard that familiar liquid, warbling call overhead and looked up to see three of the birds circling over my backyard. Since then I've seen and heard them every day - old friends back again.
|That familiar shape was a welcome sight. Martins really are one of my favorite summer visitors.|
It was the same story that has happened in all too many places to all too many native birds. Our martin houses were invaded by non-native House Sparrows and European Starlings. We found ourselves in a constant battle with those aggressive birds to try to give the martins an opportunity to nest. But the martins were being pushed out and we finally had to acknowledge defeat. Sadly, we took down our martin houses rather than provide nesting places for the sparrows and starlings. In the last year that we had the houses up, we had only one successful nesting by a pair of Purple Martins.
Still, some of our neighbors do have houses open for tenancy by the birds and so, even though we ourselves are no longer landlords, we get to enjoy the birds as they circle over our yard, always looking for more insects. I like to think that some of these birds are descendants of ones that we hosted in the past.
|A pair of martins resting on a house like the ones we used to provide.|