Purple Martins of Plum Island – 2016 Breeding Success

Purple Martins of Plum Island – 2016 Breeding Success

Purple Martin 

It was a very hot and parched New England summer for the Purple Martins of Plum Island!  The martins had no problems with finding prey.  Each summer, the landlords’ focus is the breeding success of the martins on Plum Island. 

Purple Martins nested successfully this season.  To a martin, it’s all about safety, and safety comes in numbers.  

Below is the 2016 tally, and I’ve included our 2015 data for comparison:

2016 Lot #1 Site:

Gourds: 18

Eggs:  56
Non-viable eggs: 4

Fledged Young:  52

2015 Data for Lot #1:
Gourds: 18

Eggs: 23
Non-viable eggs: 5

Fledged Young: 18

We used martin decoys and lured breeders back to the North End Site this season.  Purple Martin decoys help attract Purple Martins to the gourds when there’s been little nesting activity, preventing the site from appearing abandoned.  Using these proven and highly photographed decoys encouraged passing martins to give pause and check out our gourds.

2016 North End Site:
Gourds: 24

Eggs: 54
Non-viable eggs:  2

Fledged Young: 52

2015 Data for North End Site:

Gourds: 24

Eggs: 31
Non-viable eggs: 4

Fledged Young: 27

Gratefully, this season the Purple Martin housing on private property on “The Basin” also was successful.  That house went up after much encouragement, and the martins  finally returned to it. 

Purple Martins bred and raised young in Newbury again this year. 

The Seabrook, NH colony did really well, and dedicated volunteers closely monitored that site.  We’re fairly confident that Plum Island’s offspring are feeding the Seabrook colony.

I thank you for your interest & support of this human-dependent songbird!
Best regards,