Monday, July 19, 2010

Last of the Purple Martins

Purple Martin sentries this evening

The Purple Martins are raising their last batch of young and will leave their birdhouse in my backyard in a few weeks.  It always seems like they leave to early but I guess this is necessary for their long trek to their winter home.

I was successful in keeping the sparrows out of my backyard habitat this year.  None raised their young in my backyard.  However, quite a few were raised in my neighbor's backyard.  He doesn't discourage them like I do.

This was the first year in two years that I didn't have any bluebirds raise their young in my backyard.  There was one sparrow who was particularly aggressive.  He killed two swallows who attempted to build nest.  This was the same sparrow who probably discouraged the bluebirds from building their nest in the same bluebird house that they used for the past two years.

A few weeks ago a bluebird pair laid three eggs (they usually lay four eggs) but then they abandoned their nest.  Bill and I think the resident backyard catbird did the discouraging this time.  Lots of turf battles this summer in our little backyard habitat.

Summers wouldn't be complete without all the activity around the Purple Martin house and this summer was no exception.  The Purple Martins are always squawking, getting things sorted out.  Whenever I walked out to the back shed some of them with dive bomb me just as a warning to stay away from their house and young nestlings.  I think they know I won't  bother them but they give me the warning anyway.

Many nights during the evening in summer, before the sun goes down, Bill and I sit out on the back decks and watch the young Purple Martins practice flying.  I can't think of much that is more pleasing than to see these young Purple Martins doing their aerial acrobats and then landing back on the birdhouse where they were born.  They know instinctively that they have to learn to fly for the long flight that they will soon have to make before winter sets in here on the Delmarva peninsula.

View from the bonus room towards the back yard 

Then there comes the day that they are gone.  They all go in the same day.  No lingering.  The silence is so sad.  The only thing Bill and I will hear is the wind and the traffic on Route 1.  Sometimes the catbird hangs around but usually all is quiet in our little backyard habitat once August arrives.

I hear the thunder outside now and I write this.  Now I hear the rain pelting the side of the house.

It's late.  Time prepare myself for bed and put another day to rest as the gentle thunderstorm rolls in.

End of the day July 19 2010 where I live on the Delmarva peninsula

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