Backyard Birds ~ Survival of the Fittest


Purple Martins

Four pair of purple martins arrived last week.  The battle for territory begins.  The sparrows are tenacious little buggers at first, but when the rest of the martins arrive, they usually retreat with only a pair or two in each box hanging on through the season.  

This guy may be pretty, but he is a menace to the martins. 
If he can't pull the babies out of the box, he will catch them in the air. I rarely see him
but when I do, he is usually being chased by a screaming mob of martins. 
It's no surprise to me that he's managed to time his arrival so perfectly. 
He may be a she, I can't tell them apart. 


 Rurality Blog Hop Nature Notes,  & Wild Bird Wednesday,

43 comments:

  1. It's always entertaining to watch the birds. Nature truly is the best TV! :)
    xo Catherine

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  2. what kind of bird is that mean one?

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  3. You're lucky!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  4. that is one cool bird house... and i was afraid the window going down would make the bird leave, i only put it down about 8 inches..

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  5. That reminds me that we need to put up our purple martin house up!!! March is when they show up here in Maryland.

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  6. Oh dear! So glad I am not a baby martin!

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  7. Oh I love to see Martins I do not have very many of them around here probably because of those sparrows:) B

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  8. He has some nerve sitting up there on their houses! I know they have to eat but dang. We watched a Phoebe couple try to raise four babies in a nest on our gutter right outside the back door last summer. A bluejay raided the nest and killed and took two of the babies. Those Phoebes fought like heck! We tried to help too.

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  9. I wish we had purple martins out here. I went back east to my parents and spent so much time sitting on the front porch watching their bird house. They are very entertaining. You got very nice shots.

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  10. ooh, hadn't thought about the hawks pulling nestlings straight out of the boxes! yikes!

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  11. A fine shot of these homes for birds and the "war" that occurs each season. Very interesting.

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  12. Wonderful post and great photo ~ fascinating the world of nature ~ ^_^

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  13. I had a neighbor years ago with purple martins. I wasn't into birding then. :(
    Amazing how they all live together.
    Mr. Meanie needs to go away. I guess he knows it's a well populated place of residence.
    Like Pix said they do have to eat too. Some sides of nature aren't always pleasant.

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  14. Yay, fun to watch the martins! I haven't seen any around here yet. Hope the hawk finds food, but not a baby martin!

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  15. I love to watch the birds. Love them all but I really could do without the hawks, grackles and starlings. Neat looking bird house!

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  16. Glad to see the martins push the sparrows out! I wish bluebirds could do the same thing. House Sparrows are a menace in many places.

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  17. Wonderful shots! They are so much fun to watch.

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  18. Great pictures! I hate to see the hawks get little ones. I hope he/she moves on to another location.

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  19. Great post, Terri. I've heard that Purple Martins are great birds to have around. I don't have any --but would love to see them. Thanks for publishing this.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  20. Just gotten interested in birds because I felt badly for them in this cold weather and felt that they needed food and water. Spend too much time at window with camera and am surprised at how aggressive they can be, especially the mourning doves. Peace like a dove-ha!

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  21. Watching that hawk hunt martins must be great (although the martins may not agree!)

    Seem like a sure sign of spring for you - we can tell that summer is winding down here - its much darker when I get up for work.

    Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW.

    Stewart M - Melbourne

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  22. my Dad tried for years to get the bugger to move into a bird house that he hand made but no luck. it was frustrating for him. he did all the research & all that jazz. great shots. ( :

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  23. So difficult to actually have martins take up residence -- we've never had any luck.

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  24. Survival of the fittest I guess. Still hard to see. Love your bird house!

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  25. Love these images. I've been getting into collecting bird stuff lately, those would make great art work.

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  26. I absolutely love my martin house and the purple martins that nest there. The last few years we've had issues with a local snake crawling aaaaaaall the way up that long pole and eliminating the nests. I respect the snake's right to eat, but I would like to have him do his hunting outside of my yard and the birdy-views I love so much. I've heard of predator guards, has anyone tried any of them with success? (visiting from Rurality Blog Hop)

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas
    www.taylormaderanch.com/blog

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    1. Oh gosh- we haven't had that problem yet! Try the Purple Martin Association, they probably make one.

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  27. Can't wait to learn more about the martins. Remember having a martin house when I was growing up but don't remember that we ever attracted any!

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  28. Hi, I am enjoying my visit to your blog and I am your newest follower....

    I love the Martins too but have never had any luck with them....Maybe one day.....

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  29. can you imagine having to fight so hard for food or for your babies! =0

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  30. Thank you for joining in 'Rurality Blog Hop #4' Hope to see you next Wednesday for #5...

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  31. This is why I don't put up a purple martin house..I am sure you know this but there is a thread on the purple martin website about hawks.. Yours looks like a sharp-shinned to me..but I could be wrong.. http://purplemartin.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=160424&sid=ca361e22ef30857d6e4d4afc78eb2ce4

    Michelle

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  32. Now that is a high rise hotel you have going there - looks like room for everyone.

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  33. It's hard to see the birds that you love to watch get plucked off by a predator but they all have to eat. You've snapped some nice shots. Keep on enjoying.

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  34. It's good to hear the birds are beginning to migrate north! I LIKE that.

    Yes, birds do not always play nice with each other.

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  35. Wonderful pictures, as always. Catching up with you after a long blog break.
    Hope you are doing well.

    Mildred

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  36. It must be wonderful to see them back! We haven't seen any yet.

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  37. Applause!

    I commend you for providing shelter to these bug eating champs!

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