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Winter 2013 Newsletter

Purple Martins call Greenwich Point Home


By Mike Aurelia

The Greenwich Point Purple Martin Condos went up for the
second season on April 9th with the help of Joe Cassone
(Conservation Assistant) and Dick Lane (Friends of Greenwich
Point). This year Purple Martins started to appear at the
Point in May. Initially a pair of tree swallows utilized one of
the plastic gourds.Ultimately, however, six pair of Purple
Martins occupied six of the plastic Gourds. Periodic
monitoring revealed that fifteen youngsters were fledged
by the end of the season.


Banding Program Helps

State wildlife officials with the CT Department of Energy and
Environment were interested in banding our Purple Martin
juveniles this year. Since the officials arrived late in the season
only ten juvenile Purple Martins were banded. The color of the
Greenwich Point Purple Martin leg bands are baby blue and
yellow. As a result, next season, it will be possible to determine
if our year old birds return to the Point or visit other area colonies. At Greenwich Point this year two birds had DEEP bands and were determined to be from colonies in Kent and Westport, CT. Banding will help determine the movement and breeding success of Purple Martins along the CT coast line.  One large colony in Clinton has more than 200 active nesting structures.There is only one other successful Purple Martin colony in Greenwich which is located in Riverside along the tidal portion of the Mianus River.


Volunteers Needed

High winds from freak storms knocked the Purple Martin condos down twice this year. The juveniles survived both storms without injury; but, a few eggs were lost. This coming season we hope to add a couple of hundred pounds of concrete to the base. In addition we are hoping to add 6 new nesting gourds to the 6 we already have. We are always looking for volunteer assistance with monitoring the nesting success during the season along with spring setup and fall take down of the condo. If you are interested please contact Mike Aurelia at The success of this Friends of Greenwich Point Wildlife Enhancement Project has lead us to look for ways to expand Purple Martins to other areas of the Point.

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