Monday, July 23, 2007

Purple Martin Extravaganza

You know 'em, ya love 'em, they're purple, and they're martins. That's right, our biggest swallow, the ones with the rich liquid gurgles that dwell in houses that we make for them, have an enormous fan club. So, if you've ever even looked cross-eyed at a martin, you'll want to attend the event that I will unabashedly plug below.

First, a few Purple Martin points of trivia. This is the only swallow named for a famed comedian, they are not actually purple, they eat many dragonflies, and with perhaps one exception, depend entirely on humanoids to provide their housing. All true, but the first - Steve is funny, but he doesn't rate being equated with this bird. Well, I guess the males are kinda purple...

I've always enjoyed martins. They often soar on high, their rich chortling carrying down to us commoners on the ground and alerting us to look upwards and wish we, too, could be Purple Martins. I particularly enjoy watching them at their martin houses. They remind me of New Yorkers hanging out on the porches of their brownstones, gossiping away and watching the traffic go by. The females occasionally poke their heads out the doorway, just to see what's happening.

Susan Smith sends along a bulletin about an event that martin enthusiasts won't want to miss. Read on:

Purple Martin Conservation Association301 Peninsula Dr., Suite 6Erie, PA 16505814-833-7656 http://www.purplemartin.org/
For Immediate Release Contact: John Tautin - 833-7656, Ruby McCormick – 833-7656, Susan A. Smith – 460-2540
2007 Purple Martin Conference & Festival at Tom Ridge Environmental Center at Presque Isle
The Purple Martin Conservation Association (PMCA) announces its first Purple Martin Conference & Festival on August 17, 18 19, 2007. Purple martin enthusiasts from around N. America are expected to attend this 3 day Festival. Friday (1-5pm) workshops from experts from around the country include: Mentoring purple martin landlords, Feeding Purple Martins, Preparing natural gourds and Conducting nest checks. Friday evening (5;30-7:30pm picnic and viewing hundreds of p. martins staging on the Beach 11 wires.
Saturday’s (9am-5pm) presentations include: Survival in purple martins, Swallow roost ecology, Purple martins in S. America, and more. Saturday evening (7-9pm) Reception on the Victorian Princess and view of thousands of p. martins at their waterfront roost.
Sunday 10am-4pm) is a celebration of PMCA’s 20 year anniversary and will appeal to kids, families and the general public including: gourd painting, face painting, making Origami martins, Purple martin exhibits, scavenger hunt and children’s activities and prizes and partner exhibits.
This event is open to the public. Registration form is at www.purplemartin.org/2007conference.htmlor call 814-833-7656.

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1 comment:

KatDoc said...

Hey, Jimmy Mac - Welcome back! Glad to find you oagain; I hope you like Blogger. I finally have my first successful year hosting Purple Martins, after 4 years of trying. My 11 pairs had 55 eggs and it looks like I am going to have about 40 fledglings when all is said and done. You're right, they are very vocal birds. They have to "disccus" everything that is going on around them.

~Kathi