Has anyone seen where purple martins are swarming and roosting in mass at dusk?

833 Views | 10 Replies | Last: 18 days ago by rrtodds
rrtodds
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AG
Mine have all left ... only a few stray occasional visitors. I assume they are roosting in mass somewhere.

Anyone? Anyone?
GottaRide
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S
I still have a few but most have left. I read that they form up on the Louisiana coast before migrating back south.
chickiepoo
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Some of ours are still hanging around and one of our gourds has babies. We haven't had young this late in the season (we have had purple martins for nearly 20 years) but I guess the parents got a late start.....
rrtodds
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AG
GottaRide said:

I still have a few but most have left. I read that they form up on the Louisiana coast before migrating back south.
The first time I saw them was the summer of 75 here on campus. Then about 3 years back they roosted in the trees by the CVS and oil change place SW parkway and Texas ... swarmed and roosted there each night at dusk for about 10 days.

So somewhere between here and the coast ... ???
farmersfight
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AG
Check the overpass at peach creek & 6, heading south on peach creek towards Millican
rrtodds
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rrtodds said:

Mine have all left ... only a few stray occasional visitors. I assume they are roosting in mass somewhere.

Anyone? Anyone?
Here I am answering my own OP.

We were at the Leach Teaching Gardens on west campus at dusk. I heard martins and looked up to see many purple martins ... not the multitude that I've seen before, but many. After finishing my walk through the gardens I drove toward the Bush Library on Research but heard nothing, so I headed back toward main campus on Research which turns into John Kimbrough at Discovey. At the intersection of J Kim and Olsen by the west campus parking garage I could hear them to my left toward the main academic buildings of west campus. The trees lining Olsen, before it makes several turns by the shuttle bus loading area, were swarmed with thousands, yes, thousands of purple martins roosting for the night.

It will be quite the show between 8-8:45 of which I plan to take in the whole show tomorrow ... providing tomorrow is not the day they decide to fly south for the winter.

I'm not a birder, but I enjoy birds as much as the next guy. My dad had purple martin houses when I was a kid of the 60s growing up in central Texas. Wasn't very successful attracting martins in Williamson County for our 30 years behind the Orange Curtin, but our retirement house here in the south of CS came with martin houses and an established colony of birds that we've now enjoyed for the last dozen years. I'm not a birder but I am invested in my local backyard birds and wildlife ... esp the purple martins that keep on coming back.
Sam75
GottaRide
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S
My last ones left today, I think. Glad you found them.
rrtodds
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AG
farmersfight said:

Check the overpass at peach creek & 6, heading south on peach creek towards Millican
Farmer, those are probably Cliff martins also called Mud martins. They are smaller swallow cousins and build nests of little mud balls under bridges, eves, porches, and of course, cliffs.

Purple martins are known insect eaters ... thought to really help control mosquitos in the yard. Really, the cliff martins are much better mosquito eaters since they stay pretty close to home all the time. Purple martins fly high and far for their main meals although they do hunt close to home as well.

As you see above I happened onto the purple gold mine the roosting pm masses on west campus tonight.
Sam75
rrtodds
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AG
GottaRide said:

My last ones left today, I think. Glad you found them.
You gotta come see the mass gathering. It's unbelievable.
Sam75
GottaRide
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S
Mine were here this morning. I'm going to try to make it there this evening to see the big group. It's hard to believe that those birds can bring such enjoyment, but they do.

To be clear, are you saying they are north of the parking garage?
rrtodds
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AG
Yes ... just north of the west campus parking garage. I parked in the first surface lot just north of the west parking garage ... enter off of John Kimbrough or off of Olsen.

The build up started by 8:00. The big swarm was full blast by 8:30.
Sam75
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