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Purple Martin Wire

Posted on Jun 30, 2015

There are precious few moments for Purple Martins (Progne subis) to rest at this time of the year with so many hungry mouths to feed back at their gourd. All of the cool butterflies and dragonflies that we regularly post are prey for these birds, and if you visit an especially populated gourd colony you will end up finding parts of them on the ground underneath. They used to be billed as mosquito eaters to help sell those apartments (ain’t marketing grand?) but the Purple Martin relies on much larger prey. If you ever have the chance to watch them feeding their young be prepared for some strange sights…like an entire dragonfly or a still-moving butterfly being shoved down the throat of a tiny hatchling. It is all part of our food web, sustaining the cycle of life.

Purple Martin wire-0907

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator