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Purple Martin Watch Update

Sunday, March 31, 2024 1:17 AM | Cynthia Woodard (Administrator)
This is the fifth year that the Venice Area Audubon Society has been ‘landlords’ of a Purple Martin colony of 66 apartments. Purple Martins are completely dependent upon humans for their housing and thus survival!

We waited patiently for them to return from their winter stays in the Amazon region of Brazil. They worried us when their arrival was about two weeks later than last year. And because of that, their egg laying has also been later than expected. Ten days ago, one couple finally laid their first egg! Then, five days ago we had over 20 eggs and on March twenty-fifth we found 96 eggs.  Last year we had over 300 eggs, so we are well on our way to perhaps even higher numbers.

Children in our Youth Education Program assist us, when schedules overlap, in cranking the poles down and up and counting the number of eggs for our citizen scientist data count


To our utter surprise, however, on March 25 we found a Corn Snake in one of the wooden apartments. That apartment had had 6 eggs in it the week before and was now empty. We took out the snake and brought it to the edge of the pond, where hopefully, it will find other food than omelets! 

We perform nest checks every five days at 11 AM. Future dates are scheduled for April 4, 9, 14, 19, 24 and 29. You are invited to join us!

- Barbara Zittel



Telephone: 941-496-8984

Sarasota County Call Center: 941-861-5000 (General information and directions)


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