Monthly Archives: February 2017

Get Your Crickets Early….

Hey everyone,
It appears as if the jet stream has increased our temps in February and even though their arrival is over a month away, martins  to the far south are arriving earlier than expected. farther north than

Ontario has had some very unusual Spring weather and if you remember 2016. It  started out with many new arrivals who could not bear the three days of North winds which occurred leaving one colony with seventeen dead. Once temperatures  drops to 48 to 50 degrees the insects seem to disappear and the martins quickly lose their fat reserves.See Mary Wilson on Saturday to order your crickets for your martin arrival!

Bird Studies Canada Motus Program

Motus is a coordinated hemispheric tracking system for all migratory bird species, and is the world’s most ambitious bird tracking initiative. The project’s goal is to understand the connections between breeding, migrating, and wintering locations for every Canadian bird species by 2030.

Motus enables researchers to track the movements of birds, bats, and other flying animals at local and regional scales, and over vast distances. This project is providing critical new details about the exact breeding and wintering habitats, and migration routes, of birds in the Western Hemisphere. This information will help us identify priority habitats for protection.

Have a look at what is being done with small tracking devices to follow swallows and other birds to and from their wintering grounds Continue reading

Canadian Group Committed to Martin Conservation

The Winter 2017 issue of the Purple Martin Update  has mailed and this issue has a special focus on some of the Canadian friends and supporters of Purple Martins .There is an article about the Wasels who live in a lakeside village called South Baptiste,Alberta who report each year to the PMCA about their martins who make a 14000 mile round trip journey. In addition, another article about the Ontario Purple Martin Association  illustrates the work it has done to promote Purple Martin Conservation. If you haven’t got your copy yet, why not join the PMCA and receive yours.

Ontario Purple Martin First Meeting 2017

Hello everyone !     Hope you all have had a great winter !     Our first meeting of 2017 will be :
Saturday, February 25th ….. 9:00 am …… at Colasanti’s Tropical Gardens, Ruthven
(in the Willow Room).     We will have coffee available, and for those who want to order breakfast, Colasanti’s have a cafeteria that can accommodate your order.
A presentation of the geo-locator effort over the past several years will be given by our own member Richard Carr, from Walpole Island.   He has been a participant in the geo-locator project.     These devices have been attached to purple martins with the goal of tracking their migration, and the data that has been collected will yield invaluable information about their travels!
As always, at our first meeting of the year, we will be collecting membership dues, which remain at $20.00.
The martins are on their way !      As of Feb 13, the PMCA Scout report ( shows that martins have reached southern Tennessee.   History shows that our martins usually return in the last days of March to the first week of April.    Let us hope for a kinder and gentler spring than 2016 gave us !!!
To all who feed their birds, I will again be ordering crickets from our supplier, which I then freeze and re-package for you.    The estimated cost will be $22.00  per thousand.   To our non-local members, I regret that this service can be offered only to those who are able to pick up, or have their crickets picked up, from me.
More and more landlords south of us are feeding their birds, even into the deep south, to help them survive cold / rainy spells, and to help them raise their young through severe weather.    So, as our martins migrate northward, many stop over possibly in colonies where feeding is being done (per testimony of many southern landlords who feel that their colonies are temporarily enlarged by birds passing through).    So when your martins arrive, even if they haven’t been trained by you, they may have acquired some experience with supplemental feeding!
Food for thought (pun intended ….. *;) winking)
If you are at the February 25th meeting, you can make arrangements with me at that time, otherwise message me by email or phone.
Hope to see you there !!!!
Mary Wilson

Earliest P.A. Taverner Martin House

Purple Martins at martin house designed by Taverner. Photographed by Taverner in the garden of his home in Ottawa in the summer of 1916. (Reproduced courtesy of the Canadian Museum of Nature, number 41796.)

One of the first things Percy did when the garden was being laid out in the spring  of 1913 was to put up a Purple Martin house. In 1915 a pair nested in it, and in April 1916 three pairs returned to the house.

Peterborough Purple Martins

Elwood Ward sent me a photo of his new purple martin house creation complete with Conley 1 entrances and two Troyer vertical gourds from Aaron Miller, Norwich Ontario. He is looking for anyone who could give him some information about any  purple martin contacts in the Rice Lake/Peterborough area. Great job Elwood! Contact with any leads, please.