West Houston Roost Pics

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Post Reply
Guest

THis is in my back yard. They have been gathering here from about 7:45 - 8:30pm daily for about 1 1/2 weeks. I would estimate that ther are in excess of 10,000 birds(probably more) since they are stretched out about a 1/2 a foot apart for approximately a mile. :roll:
Attachments
IMG_0020.JPG
IMG_0020.JPG (23.87 KiB) Viewed 2714 times
IMG_0029.JPG
IMG_0029.JPG (13.49 KiB) Viewed 2730 times
IMG_0030.JPG
IMG_0030.JPG (19.12 KiB) Viewed 2729 times
IMG_0032.JPG
IMG_0032.JPG (16.84 KiB) Viewed 2741 times
Donnie Hurdt MN
Posts: 1717
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 11:14 pm
Location: North Prairie, MN

looking great. So many birds, so few rooms. I wish I had that problem. Thanks for sharing the photos.
PMCA member and Martin fanatic....
2011 A pair of subbies fledged three young but none returned in 2012 :-(
2015 One Pair of subbies came and stayed a few nits but got chased away by Bluebirds and Tree swallows. :-(
2017 0ne pair of subbies nested and fledged 4 young
2018 Tree Swallows AGAIN chased away any martins that wanted to nest :evil:
2019 Same old story................ :-(
Matt F.
Posts: 3894
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

Great photos!
Laverne
Posts: 2216
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:58 pm
Location: TX/Alvin
Martin Colony History: Erected 1st house in 1997. Birds were checking it out before Mike got down from the ladder. Six cavities had a little colony 1st year. Grown to 88 cavities all gourds with near 100% occupancy. Most important factor for success is rain = bugs.

What do the Purple Martins do at 8:30? Are they spending the night on the wires? Or do they leave at 8:30 and head over to Sharpstown Mall?
Sincerely,
Laverne
Guest

Hi Lavern, They leave. Not sure where they go but looking at the dusky pics from the Sharpstown mall area it would seem to indicate that its a little later than the gathering around my house and would be certainly possible that they are the same colony.

I would follow them , but the ultralight is in the shop!

:lol:
Laverne
Posts: 2216
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:58 pm
Location: TX/Alvin
Martin Colony History: Erected 1st house in 1997. Birds were checking it out before Mike got down from the ladder. Six cavities had a little colony 1st year. Grown to 88 cavities all gourds with near 100% occupancy. Most important factor for success is rain = bugs.

... :lol: yeah, my ultralight is always breaking down, too... :lol:

The premigratory roost at Sharpstown Mall begins to crank up around 8:30pm and by 9:00pm all the birds have settled in the trees. Most likely, the birds on the wires are stopping in to check on your colony before moving on into the roost. Because you are close to the roost, you are seeing this awesome gathering of Purple Martins at your site. Enjoy...
Sincerely,
Laverne
John Barrow
Posts: 940
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 4:12 pm
Location: Corpus Christi / Sandia , Texas

Hello dkjtwo. Looks like you are around a good staging area. When martins are perched on the wires like that is an excellent time to check for bands on the legs of the martins. I suspect that some ot the martins banded in Port O'Connor area are using the Houston roost. If you have the chance some evening would you scan the martins with binoculars to see if you detect any banded birds. The south Texas martins will have a silver federal band on the right leg and violet band on the left leg. I am not sure what type of bands Clay White was using in Houston, but am sure he would appreciate hearing of any banded martins.
It is almost impossible to detect banded martins at the actual roost location as the activity happens so fast and furious. However, these pre roost staging areas offer excellent opportunities and the data collected will go a long way toward helping us to understand migratory habits.
Last season I glassed a group of about 100 martins in Corpus Christi in late August and was fortunate enough to see one believed to have been banded in Ohio.
Thanks for those pictures and thanks for any help you can give in looking for and reporting bands, and their colors and combinations. john
~~TEAMED WITH A MARTIN GODDESS~~

Member/Mentor-PMCA. I do regular nestchecks and participate in PROJECT MARTINWATCH!! Coordinated 3 geolocator studies-2009, 2010 & 2013. State and Fed licensed bander (retired Jan., 2020)
Guest

I would be glad to But need to get my hands on a pair of them Binocs first..

Some bird watcher I am eh?

Actually, I can use my 35MM SLR with the 300mm zoom lens and will let you know.
Guest

John Barrow,

Do you know of a bander near NW Arkansas? I was interested in banding myself but have since learned that you must be part of an approved study. Not sure how to get involved. Do you have any info?

dkjtwo,

Use a tripod on your camera to get a better look at the band.......should work if you get close enough.
Post Reply