Tuesday, May 31, 2011

There's an exception to every rule.

You can do all sorts of research and talk to folks from everywhere,regarding your topic of interest, and you will hear everything under the sun. Much of what you hear has been researched to death, so I guess they feel they know their subject inside and out, but...there is always an exception to every rule. We sit on the porch most mornings,when the weather is permissible,and drink our first cup of coffee, so we get to see a lot of the daily goings on of the different kinds of wildlife.One of the subjects we watch on a regular basis is the Purple Martins.They are only here for  a short period through the summer and we get so anxious waiting for their arrival.They are a temperamental bunch though. We thought they would never stay and build and raise their young here on our property.We put up housing in an area we had been told was the most likely spot to entice them in. A water source near by,an open area with no trees.We would hear all sorts of accommodations they would be looking for when making their decision to stay or not.Nothing!Years went by, then one year,about three years ago, they came and went over a period of a week or two, then Nothing more. The following year we did get a couple or two to stay and build and raise their babies, then they were gone.This year they did come back, and there were ten.I assume they are four older couples which are much darker, and a younger pair,that are smaller and have a grey breast.Well, the older pairs are actively doing their thing. Rearranging their nest,laying their eggs,feeding the mates while they set on the eggs.Their usual duties.While the younger pair are doing a totally different thing. The young pair came very early. Much earlier than the older birds.There would be the worst rippet going on out in the yard you've ever heard. I would run out to see if the cats were after the birds or possibly a snake,but no.The two young Martins were literally driving the other bird from their already in progress nest building.I have several birdhouses around the property.Several were in fairly close proximity to the main cluster of gourds which the Martins use.I thought perhaps, they just didn't like the other birds being that close,so I proceeded to take down the already established bird houses and move them further away from the gourds.Several times after I moved the various houses, the young Martins would still try to run the other birds away from their houses.Then one day,the young pair took up with a bluebird box I had moved to a tree in the driveway.You can see it in the picture. It on the tree nearest the daughter's car.We were amazed that they would even consider a bluebird box.After all,it was blue, and only 5 feet from the ground. No way would they ever use that.Wrong!They began coming and going to that bluebird box quite often and on a regular basis.I would check it each day,but no eggs.They would perch on the empty flag pole closer to the porch where we sat to watch, but there was not enough room for both to perch together.

I took the pole down and placed an extra piece up on top so they could both perch, and low and behold,they began doing their sparking right then and there. I continued looking in the box each day and suddenly there was 2 eggs. I haven't checked lately, since she is setting on them pretty much full time,so I don't know if she layed more or not,but we have noticed she is on the nest every time we are out in the yard working. We see her peek out at us.We are so excited. Well,I am so excited.Pop would never let on, if he was excited. I only hope we can see the babies hatch and fly away before the cats or snakes or dogs get to them first.I would just die.We'll keep you posted.


  1. We found a young magpie in the yard today. Must have fallen from their nest up in the pine tree. Poor thing came and sat by me while I was working in the garden. I guess even baby birds know to find a mom when they are lost.

  2. Good shot of the bird Sue. Enjoy them while you can.

  3. We have never been successful in getting any Martins in our Martin house. You are so fortunate to have them! :)