PI 365: Purple Martins

May 17, 2013

If you're an avid bird watcher or just love nature, there's a rare chance for you to peer into the nests of Presque Isle's Purple Martin birds.

You may have seen the purple martins flying around their bird houses along Presque Isle, especially at the Rotary Pavilion.

The bird is almost entirely black but in the sunlight, there's a purple sheen to them.

The international headquarters for the Purple Martin Conservation Association is located at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center.

Environmental educators are working with PMCA doing research and data collection and monitoring the birds. The purple martin is easy to find and relies mainly on manmade structures and bird houses. They're constantly flying around the houses and are already popular with people who are visiting the park.

There are several chances coming up to observe the nests being lowered and data being collected. The field biologist will count the number of eggs, the number of active nests, and will eventually band the nestlings to track their movements when they migrate and eventually return to Presque Isle. Some that have been tracked have come from as far away as Brazil.

You're encouraged to see the hands-on biology and the research involved. If you'd like to see the purple martin nestlings up close and interact with researchers, the first opportunity is May 29th at 10:30 a.m. at the Rotary Pavilion, and at 12:30 p.m. at the West Pier.
For more information, please visit www.trecpi.org and www.purplemartin.org

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