Greenwich Point Purple Martins


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The return of the Purple Martins this spring to Greenwich Point was a welcome sight. This year 36 gourds were installed. By the end of May multiple gourds had the classic straw-lined nest with green leaves, and a few nests even had an egg laid. By early June, we counted over 100 eggs across 22 active gourds. A week later, 23 chicks were born, and 86 eggs across 23 gourds.  


Midway through June, a pair of Great Horned Owls preyed upon the colony and we lost nearly half of the juveniles. We installed ‘owl guards’, metal prongs that hang in front of the opening to the gourd to prevent owls from being able to reach and grab inside, on the gourds that still had nests. Fortunately, the guards worked, and we were able to save the remaining juveniles. 


A serendipitous meeting with a local photographer while monitoring the colony helped identify three banded Purple Martins. CT DEEP bands Purple Martins with two ankle bands: a colored band and a metal U.S. Geological Survey band. The colored band signifies the natal location where the bird was banded. Greenwich’s colors are yellow and blue. The metal band has a nine-digit code engraved on it to identify the individual. When juveniles are banded, they are weighed and aged. 

For more information about the Purple Martin Nesting project at Greenwich Point, click on these links.


Spring 2011 Newsletter                           Winter 2012 Newsletter                              Winter 2013 Newsletter

New Home for Purple Martins              Birdhouse Sparks DEEP Interest            Purple Martins call Greenwich Point Home

By Cynthia Ehlinger                                 By Denise Savageau                                 By Mike Aurelia


Autumn 2013 Newsletter                         Autumn 2015 Newsletter

Bird House Filled to Capacity              Purple Martin Success Story

By Mike Aurelia                                       By Cindy Catterson


Our mission is to act as an advocate for Greenwich Point. 

We are committed to responsible stewardship and public education to preserve and enhance Greenwich Point's diverse natural environments and beauty; to safe and appropriate recreation; and to the maintenance of its facilities. The Friends of Greenwich Point initiates and carries out projects related to the organization's mission, complementing the efforts and resources of the town.

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