Purple martins, along with other swallows, are facing a long-term gradual decline. In Ontario alone, the Purple Martin population has declined by close to 90 percent since monitoring began in 1970.
Purple Martin Housing
Purple Martins, our largest and fastest declining species of swallow, have a long rich history of relying on housing provided by humans during the breeding season. Interestingly, the relationship is often attributed to the Indigenous Peoples of North America who hung hollowed-out gourds on top of poles to attract Purple Martin to nest in.
In return, these beautiful birds provided population control for the abundant number of flying insects on the land. This was obviously a successful relationship – to the point where purple martins found west of the Rockies have now evolved to ONLY use human-provided housing for nesting.
Save Our Swallows
In 2020, as part of our Save Our Swallows campaign, Nature Canada distributed 30 new housing units in an effort to ensure purple martins were able to find available housing upon their return to Ontario after their spring migration.
Funny Duck Farms, which offers certified organic food grown and raised through sustainable farming practices in Ottawa, received one of these houses as a participant of the Save Our Swallow’s Purple Martin Housing Project.
A year later, Funny Duck Farms welcomed their first six Purple Martin hatchlings! Check out their post below:
Having trouble viewing this post? Click here to be redirected to Funny Duck Farms’ celebratory post on Facebook.
From habitat loss and pet predation, pesticide-caused crashes in their prey populations of flying insects, and climate change–humans have played the leading role in the loss of our cherished swallows. Furthermore, Purple Martins may be even more vulnerable as they are not currently listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) as of 2021.
You can do more to help! Add your name to our Save Our Swallows campaign to receive updates on our latest Purple Martin conservation efforts.
Are you a rural Ontario resident? Consider implementing beneficial practices for Purple Martin populations in your land. A critical aspect of martin conservation is to have a database of available habitats upon their return to Ontario, be sure to register your colony!
The post Funny Duck Farms Welcomes Purple Martin Hatchlings appeared first on Nature Canada.