Another nesting has come and gone, and still no Purple Martin's have nested in our dee-luxe 12-plex hi-rise bird condo overlooking a coulee that is a vertiable bugfest.
It wasn't for trying this year, and we actually came close. If I hadn't made a tactical blunder, we may have fledged some Martin's.
By early June, we had not had any Martin's take up residence. I decided to allow a pair of Tree Swallows to nest. I grew to respect the swallows: they fought very hard against the sparrow's to establish their territory (I helped a little by trapping and disposing of nearly 50 sparrows). In short order a nest was built, and they wasted no time laying 6 eggs (5 of which hatched and fledged). The swallows are nice birds, in my opinion. They are wonderfully acrobatic and fun to watch. They don't seem to mind people, and put up with my lowering and peering into their nest. They don't make as nice a sound as Martin's, but they're still nice birds.
About a week after they laid their eggs, a young pair of Martin's wanted in. For nearly 2 weeks (into late June) they tried hard to build a nest, but the aggressiveness of the Tree Swallows eventually wore the Martin's down and they took off.
The Tree Swallows fledged very quickly. One day they were in their nest, chattering for food. The next day they were gone. We never even saw them go. They didn't say goodbye. And now I'm an empty nester, and actually feeling a little sad. We really enjoyed our tree swallows.
I've left the nest up, and occassionally I see some young Martin's checking it out. Its too late to start a nest this year, but hopefully they're scouting locations for next season.
Next year we'll try for Martin's again. I have a feeling though, that next year I'll be trying to scare off tree swallows as well as sparrows.