By Diane Seward
We saw at least 30 Purple Martins flying over and perching on the martin houses and gourds. So far, no eggs, but lots of nest-building activity.
Initially, we had a slew of House Sparrows (HOSP), which concerned us greatly. At the time, there were four nests underway and about 12 or so eggs. Two weeks ago we set mouse traps in the known HOSP nests to discourage their use, but this only worked in one instance.
This weekend we removed cold and cracked HOSP eggs. We did not set any mouse traps, but we will if we observe HOSP nesting activity again.
We do, however, have great news! In one of the compartments that held six HOSP eggs earlier this week, we found a Martin nest well underway, a very welcome sight. If you have not been out there recently, take the time next weekend to enjoy the Martins.
In other news, we are also seeing significant numbers of Tree Swallows. We added another nestbox today to give the swallows or bluebirds another box in which to nest. Immediately after we finished the installation, the Tree Swallows descended and began taking up residence.