Sunday, May 21, 2017

PURPLE MARTINS, BARN AND CLIFF SWALLOWS

Brian and Alan
A few years ago, Friends of Sam Smith Park received a donation of a hand-made Purple Martin house from a local youth group.  That house is now installed near the storm-water culvert on the west side of the yacht club.  The location was chosen because of its proximity to the water and for the safety of the birds by placing it within the yacht club security fence.
Thanks to Brian Keaveney and Alan Roy for their work on the installation.
Check it out.  We might get some residents soon.

At that spot, you will notice Barn Swallows swooping and diving under the wooden bridge where they are building their nests.  These birds rely almost exclusively on human structures. (Some park visitors have noticed the disappearance this year of Barn Swallows from the North Creek Wetland lookout where they also used to breed under the old wooden platform.  That old lookout became unsafe over the years and was replaced by a metal structure designed to deter vandalism. Unfortunately, the birds experienced difficulty adhering their nests to metal.  But a fix is in the works.  A wooden frame will be placed under the metal platform as soon as the unusually high water level drops.  Right now, you would have to use scuba equipment to do the job!)

While you're on the bridge, walk over to the east wall of the R.L. Clark Water Treatment Plant, look up and see the throngs of Cliff Swallows building their mud nests.  After two years of near absence, it is good to see them back again in numbers.

1 comment:

Angie in T.O. said...

Good to know about the Cliff Swallows! I had no idea they were in the park.