Readers ask, "Is it possible to put up a backyard Purple Martin house? Send us your bird and habitat related questions and we'll do our best to provide great answers!
Questions From Our Readers: Purple Martins in Cleveland?
Greg Richard: Hello, I live in Westpark near Puritas and Grayton Rd. I was considering getting a Purple Martin house in my back yard. Our back yard borders a 9 acre field that has Chestnut trees in it. I have never seen a Purple martin at my feeder and was wondering if you think I could attract these swallows to my yard with the correct housing.
Nancy Howell, WCAS: So glad to hear about your interest in attracting Purple Martins. I have an idea as to where you live and I believe it would be a good place for putting up a martin house. Purple Martins are aerial insectivores - meaning they catch insects while in flight - so they will not come to a bird feeder, even if you had insects in the feeder ?
Martins like open areas for flying, so few, if any tall trees - open grassy areas are best. If there is water nearby that would be even better, but it is not 100% necessary. The Purple Martin Conservation Association is filled with information that should be of help. A martin house could be erected this year, but probably will not be used as most birds have arrived at their nest sites.
Also, taking care of the martin house by keeping House Sparrows out is VERY important. I am sure you will read about this from the Purple Martin site.
We wish you luck in getting your martin house up, attracting and protecting the species, and enjoying having them around.
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