Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Purple Martins Have Help Finding Homes

Putting up Martin houses used to be so common that John James Audubon used them to choose his lodgings for the night. In 1831, he remarked, “Almost every country tavern has a martin box on the upper part of its sign-board; and I have observed that the handsomer the box, the better does the inn generally prove to be.”

Native Americans used to hang up empty gourds for Purple martins before Europeans arrived in North America. Purples Martins in eastern North America now nest almost exclusively in birdhouses, but birds in the west use mostly natural cavities. 

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