Purple Martin Stories

PurpleMartinsLandscapeThere are moments when it’s hard not to mourn the quick passing of the summer even though we are still in it. Cold rainy days that feel like they were borrowed from another month. A month like October.

And seeing that the Purple Martins have ‘left the building‘. Their summer nesting boxes empty – devoid of those beautiful summer sounds the swallows bring – the babies fully grown, independent. Eventually, hopefully, they will make it all the way to their winter home in Brazil, some of them banded and/or outfitted with tiny GPS trackers. Little winter ‘backpacks’ to tell stories of where they go. When they return in the spring the birds will be carefully caught and the tiny GPS devices removed. The number of Purple Martins is significantly dropping and it’s not really known why so, this data is hopefully a step in finding out what might be causing the decline in their population, and a step too, in finding ways to protect them. You can read more about the fascinating Purple Martin Project here and here on the Nature Canada website.


[The first image is a layered photograph ~ purple martins, a rainy window and a summer landscape made with movement.]

© Karen McRae, 2014

49 thoughts on “Purple Martin Stories

  1. Yes, yes. The quick turn of the seasons so far north. I’ve been reflecting on the same thing. Both your prose and artwork capture it beautifully.

  2. Oh, that first image is wonderful, Karen! It really does evoke the end of summer feeling…

    You might find this link interesting… http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/iln/research/birds/index.php It shows returns on weather radar caused by what are presumed to be thousands of Purple Martins leaving their roosts at sunrise. I have been watching these on the Cleveland Ohio weather radar for the last couple of weeks when I think to look.

  3. Beautiful pictures.
    The weather here in Germany is the same. It is too cold and too wet for the season, it looks like summer is over.

  4. Beautiful photos as usual Karen, and so interesting about the purple martins. There seems to be a decline in many bird species, this year in my part of the UK I have seen fewer swallows and hardly any sparrows , I hope they come back!

  5. These really are gorgeous – that first shot is so warm, generous and stimulating – it reminds me of the most absorbing illustrations from my childhood. The ones I got lost in.

    1. Hi Jennifer, is there a particular image (or images) that interest(s) you? I could add them to my website and make them available to order online. Thanks very much for your interest!

  6. Another sad story about beautiful small animals declining. Here there is a huge concern about bees due to an invasive asian species of wasp causing a big problem because they eat the bees.

    1. Thanks very much, Jeanette, that’s kind of you. I don’t really have time to follow up with these blog awards but I’m sure glad you think my blog is lovely! : )

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s