Purple Martin Conservation

March 8, 2018 7:00PM - 8:30PM

Friendly and entertaining, these aerial acrobats, the largest of the swallows, are the perfect backyard pets.  Purple Martins prefer raising their young in colonies close to humans, and the type found east of the Rocky Mountains (Progne subis) no longer nests in natural cavities.  These lovely, dark-colored songbirds with feathers of a purple sheen are one hundred percent dependent on humans for nesting houses or gourds for breeding.  While thousands of Purple Martin "landlords" provide that housing, in the Great Lakes area in particular, Purple Martin numbers are declining sharply.  This decline is thought to be largely due to a shortage of nest cavities and a declining supply of insects (their only food source), which they generally hunt high in the air.  Learn what you can do to attract Purple Martins to your garden or landscape and effectively manage a colony.  While helping a native songbird in danger, your reward will be enjoying - up close - their entertaining chick-rearing routine, flying expertise, and bubbly, cheerful twitters.  Penny Briscoe is a Master Naturalist, past president of the Audubon Society of Kalamazoo, and a mentor for the Purple Martin Conservation Association.  Program is free and open to the public.  Sponsored by the Hidden Lake Gardeners.

Event Location

6214 W. Monroe Road (Hwy M-50) Tipton, Michigan 49287

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