Saturday, July 2, 2011

Purple martins; May Migration to Northern Illinois

Mr. and Mrs. Grumpy Purple Martin on the front porch of their Martin House,
Horicon Marsh Wildlife Refuge, Wisconsin; 5/29/2011.
According to Sibley's Field Guide to North American Birds, Purple Martins are common in much of the eastern half of the country, extending slightly north into Canada as well as slightly south into Mexico. They pretty much nest exclusively in man-made 'Martin houses," some of which can be found at the Horicon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters, up in Wisconsin. There are some Martin houses in Bauman Park in Cherry Valley (near Rockford, IL), but all I have ever seen in them are House Sparrows.

Purple Martins, which are a member of the swallow family, are fun to watch in their man-made colonies, as dozens of pairs of Martins noisily battle over which apartments they'll claim as their territory. They fly in and out of the little entry ways of the houses, and they sit on their little porches like an old couple watching and disapproving of the world. Their bills are somewhat turned down at the corners which give them the appearance of having perpetual scowls on their faces, as if they just got finished with a heated argument (Above).

1 comment:

~Val said...

I just love the expression on Mr. Grumpy's face. Hahahaha!