When we think about shorebirds we think about seagulls, terns, great white egrets, great blue herons, and so on. Rarely do we think about Purple Martins but they come here and enjoy the shore as do we. They winter in Mexico and further south, and arrive back at Long Beach Island in April. They spend a pleasant summer here, raise their chicks, and fly away in mid to late August.
Here’s part of their condos at nearby Cotov’s Landing on Liberty Thorofare.
After a day of insect catching, home to roost.
What prompted this post, however, was their recent gathering on the electric wires of our neighborhood. The image below is an eight shot panorama to try and convey the immensity of the gathering. As I captured the scene I could also see that the wires on the next street and the street after that were also covered with the birds. Unfortunately, the resolution of the web site doesn’t permit that but you can see a larger version by clicking on the picture. You may then be able to see some on the distant wires behind the front wires.
Click on the image below to see a larger version.
I was struck by their number as it was far greater than just those from the end of our street. Obviously there are others on the island but what in the world draws them all together and why? We’re speculating that this preceded the departure of many of them on their way south. As I’ve suggested in past posts maybe they’re comparing travel plans or checking with Orbitz.
Because of the hundreds and hundreds of birds I kept looking for Tippi Hedren and Rod Taylor but no luck.
(For those of you too young to have seen it, watch for Hitchcock’s “The Birds” on Turner Classic Movies.)
Here’s a closeup of the view out back (from Grampa’s deck). I thought their lineup on the diagonal electric service cable (from the pole, down to the right) was pretty nifty. Hope it can be seen against the houses.
Finally, since the other wires were already taken, lots of them took over the wires on the front end of our house.
I hope they have a great winter in Mexico, and I hope to see them again next summer.
Hasta luego y vaya con Dios.