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Purple Martin Houses – More Than A Desirable Residence
No garden would ever be the same without the sounds, colours and movement of the birds that visit it. The British and Americans appreciate birds in their gardens more than most, and in the UK, the million plus membership of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is testimony to that. Not only do we love having birds in the garden, many encourage them by providing bird feeders and bird houses, or nest boxes as we call them in the UK.
The birds themselves come in all shapes and sizes, so you will find bird houses have evolved to cater for the many different species that might visit the garden in the breeding season. For gardeners who like to see the birds close at hand, bird houses can be an integral part of the garden, even the house itself in some cases.
While bird houses are functional, and intended as a place to breed, they can also make attractive garden decor. Some bird houses are, indeed, very decorative. They can even be whimsical and humourous. There really are some wonderful and unusual designs on the market. More conventional bird houses are also readily available, especially online.
One type of bird house, though, is particularly important, and that is especially designed for purple martins.
Purple Martins – A Breed Apart For Human Intervention
The type of birds you get in the garden will depend on where you live, of course, but you may find specially designed bird houses for your favourite birds, whether they are bluebirds, robins, purple martins, or other favourites.
Purple martins, though, are very special when it comes to people providing their housing needs. They are much loved visitors to parts of North America, where they go to breed every spring and summer. One remarkable thing about these fork tailed swallows is that they actually depend on human intervention for their housing needs. In other words purple martin bird houses are more than a desirable residence for the purple martins; they are an essential to their survival in North America.
If you are excited about birds visiting and breeding in your garden, and are lucky enough to live in an area where purple martins are summer visitors, then you can have many hours of joy every day knowing that you are also providing an important service. The purple martins will not come down to feed in the garden, but you can watch them fly off to feed on high flying insects, and return to base to feed their hungry young. That is, if you have one or more purple martin bird houses.
Later in the season, you can watch the baby purple martins learn to fly as they depart from the nests you provide. So, having purple martin bird houses is much more than adding garden decor; they are like a living entertainment centre for those lazy summer afternoons in the garden. You can relax, knowing that you are doing the world a big favour by helping to perpetuate the purple martin species.
Purple martin houses come in many forms, but you need to bear in mind that they breed in colonies, so putting up a single bird box for one nest is no help. The other thing to consider is that the purple martin needs height; they will only breed if well clear of the ground. Despite those limitations, purple martin bird houses come in many designs and have evolved to make the most of what the birds need. Some can be very attractive too, making them a welcome addition to the garden décor.