Birdhouse to help Purple Martins

Filed under: In Our Community |

Birdhouse1 by Sylene Argent

To help increase the numbers of Purple Martins, The Town of Essex, The Essex Communities in Bloom Committee, and the Ontario Purple Martin Association partnered to install a multi-compartment birdhouse that these feathered flyers can use to nest and rest.

The birdhouse in located on top of the cliff at Colchester Harbour Park as Purple Martins enjoy being around water and in open spaces. The location of this birdhouse should make it easy for these birds to find, Paul Hamel, Chairperson of the Ontario Purple Martin Association, said.

Last Wednesday afternoon, members of these three organizations gathered at the newly installed birdhouse to officially launch the Purple Martin Project at Colchester Harbour Park.

Hamel said that in around a month of having the birdhouse installed, Purple Martins are already beginning to occupy the new home available to them.

“Essex County is a real hot spot for Purple Martins,” he said.

Installing houses that Purple Martins can use are important to helping this species of bird to increase its numbers. Hamel explained Purple Martins only nest in houses. He said Native Americans used to creates houses for them out of gourds that the birds could use to nest.

“If we did not put the houses up, I don’t know what they would do,” he commented, adding without the housing, he is sure the Purple Martin population would dwindle. “Hopefully by doing these things, Purple Martins will be around for years to come.”

Creating and providing a home for these feathered critters is only half the battle. They also need to be maintained and looked after. Hamel explained that sparrows can chase Purple Martins out of their nests and use them to lay their own eggs.

Hamel said many Purple Martins, as insect eaters, did not survive when they migrated back to the area in late March. Normally, they arrive in April. He said they seem to be doing better now.Birdhouse

Hamel thanked the Town of Essex and the Essex CIB Committee for partnering with the the Ontario Purple Martin Association to launch this project. He hopes area individuals will take the time to learn more about the Purple Martin, and other birds found locally, as a result.

Essex’s Director of Community Services Doug Sweet commented that the Town of Essex took on this project through its Communities in Bloom Committee. This Committee, he said, looks after many projects that can enhance the community.

The Ontario Purple Martin Association members will look after the Purple Martin birdhouse at Colchester Harbour Park now that it has been installed.

Find out more about Purple Martins from the Ontario Purple Martin Association website essexpurplemartins.ca.