18 Feb/18

I read today about a purple martin that was found on a ship off the Falkland Islands in 2001. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/9894296 . It is unlikely that it survived, and represents the vagaries of bird migrations. Purple Martins are known to migrate long distances https://www.purplemartin.org/purple-martins/migration/50/routes/ , but to end up on a ship that far off course was deadly, since these birds catch insects on the wing.
I was thinking about this bird on my walk this morning, and remembering Bank Swallows a few years ago. The Red River has some steep clay based sides. Bank Swallows tunnel into the river banks. Generally, once the river has done it's spring flood thing, it drops back to a 'normal' level. About five years ago we went through several wet summers, and the river reached flood levels in late June. The Bank Swallow nests were flooded, and I assume the years brood was killed. I haven't seen them around much since then, and wonder if they chose a different place to make nests.
Getting back to the Purple Martins, I used to see them a lot more in my area than I do now. I don't know if this is just chance (I used to think that Redpolls did not stay here all year round, but have learned from a reliable source that they do - I've just never seen them), and the Martins are just in a different area now, but it is a little bothersome.

Lähettänyt mamestraconfigurata mamestraconfigurata, 19. helmikuuta 2018 20:17

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