Welcome from Missi, Avian Ambassador at Wild Bird Rescue, Inc.

I came to Wild Bird Rescue in the summer of 2009. Some woman found me on the ground and picked me up. Good thing she knew what to do. She took me to Wild Bird Rescue. At the door, a nice lady named Lila, picked me up and took me into a room called the infirmary. After a complete exam, Lila put me in this large box called a carrier. I stayed there for a few weeks while everyone decided what to do with me. Because I had completely lost my left eye, I would not do well if released back into the wild. The Migratory Bird Act of 1918 says I have to be releasable or be euthanized. Lucky for me Wild Bird Rescue decided to keep me around as their first education bird. I like to be called their Avian Ambassador...I think that sounds more important. Don't you? I will be going out to schools in the fall to help with presentations. I wonder if I get to use PowerPoint? I hope you enjoy keeping up with my trials and tribulations while I am learning how to work on the glove.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March 2, 2011

Bob reported two Purple Martins at the rescue center this morning.  I decided to get on my bird thinking cap and do some research.  Here is what I learned.  Purple Martins are the largest member of the swallow family in North America, measuring 7 1/2 inches long and weighing 1.9 ounces. Purple Martins spend the non-breeding season in Brazil then migrate to North America to nest. East of the Rockies they are totally dependent on human-supplied housing.

The pair-bond of the Purple Martin is monogamous. The male and female cooperate equally in building the nest out of mud, grass and twigs. The female lays two to seven pure-white eggs at a rate of one egg per day. The female incubates the clutch for approximately fifteen days, then the young hatch. The parents both feed the young continuously for a period of 26-32 days until the young fledge. The young continue to be dependent on their parents for food and training for an additional one to two weeks after fledging.

Martins, like all swallows, are aerial insectivores. They eat only flying insects, which they catch in flight. Their diet is diverse, including dragonflies, damselflies, flies, midges, mayflies, stinkbugs, leafhoppers, Japanese beetles, June bugs, butterflies, moths, grasshoppers, cicadas, bees, wasps, flying ants, and ballooning spiders. Martins are not, however, prodigious consumers of mosquitoes as is so often claimed by companies that manufacture martin housing. Very facinating birds but not as cool as me!  Phee Phew!
(Obtained from the Purple Martin Conservation Association)

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