You have probably seen them around town – tall, lavish or interesting looking bird houses. Perhaps you simply glanced, remarked to a friend, but didn’t consider them much beyond that.
Those multi-plex or gourd creations are home to purple martins. Like so many other beautiful, natural things in our world they need our help. According to the Purple Martin Conservation Association, “East of the Rocky Mountains, these songbirds nest almost exclusively in human-supplied housing.” So those sky condos for birds are some folks way of doing their part, and we get to reap the benefits. Much like the bats in Austin, purple martins have a way of painting our horizon during their migration. People flock to a particular location for “Purple Martin Parties” and with blankets, chairs, cameras, and binoculars (though you don’t need them) observe as the purple martins challenge the bats to Austin’s best sky-inhabiting performance.
If you are interested in learning more about Purple Martins:
- Stop by the Yarborough Branch for a Travis Audobon Purple Martin Presentation on Sunday, July 17 at 4:00pm and find out how purple martin's are Austin's new bats!
- Visit Travis County Audobon Society for event listings.
- Visit the Purple Martin Conservation Association website.
Other ways to learn about the enviornment and sustainability:
- Check out the Audobon Magazine through Zinio on Austin Public Library's Virtual Library.
- Attend an Austin Public Library Talk Green to Me: Sustainable Living Series event
- Stream from the PBS Video Collection's abundance of films accessible through Austin Public Library's Virtual Library
- Explore articles, reference books, topic overviews, detailed experiments, and more on Science in Context, part of the Gale Databases