Purple martins winter in South America. Many winter in Brazil and seem to head north right after Carnival in Rio. Purple martin scouts have been arriving in Texas since January and martin numbers are starting to increase substantially. If you already have a purple martin house its time to open it up. Make sure it is clean and dry on the inside.
If you are thinking about putting up a martin house for the first time here are a few quick tips.
1. Both the apartment house style and gourds work well. A minimum of 6-8 nesting cavities is recommended.
2. Martins eat insects on the fly. Make sure your martin house has plenty of free fly space around it. 100 ft. or more on at least one side is a good idea. You are unlikely to attract martins in the middle of a heavily treed area.
3. For maximum enjoyment and nesting success you will want to monitor the nests. This means you will need access to the nesting area. Select a good mounting pole, many now have winches and pulley systems to make this job much easier.
4. Playing the purple martin â€œdawn songâ€ can help attract martins the first year.
More information on Purple Martins:
â€“ follow the purple martin link on the left.
â€“ Search for â€œpurple martinâ€ to hear my interview with Louise Chambers, Education Director of the Purple Martin Conservation Association.
3. The Purple Martin Conservation Association www.purplemartin.org