The last question that Mr. Barrow asks in his article is: "That, friends, is my last testament to the Purple Martin. What is yours???".
|My friend and mentor, John Barrow.|
During the purple martin season, I would often think of what my response would be to that question. In 2009, after 3 years experience with my own colony, it suddenly occurred to me what my response would be: "My last testament to the purple martin and all the thousands of martins that I intend to fledge from my site is to help other landlords in Missouri offer safe housing, free from nest-site competitors and predators, to my returning birds that will disperse around this area to their sites."
I embarked on that project during the winter of 2009-2010. I was honored when I was asked to talk about my Missouri mentoring project at a PMCA conference in August 2011. Since that presentation, my list of people that I mentor has now climbed to 63 and I have helped new and existing landlords setup 17 new gourd rack systems, cleaned out numerous starling and house sparrow nests, installed predator guards and SREH plates on older housing, and I've lost track of how many site visits I've done.
|Purple Martins & Coffee presentation on a Saturday morning.|
In our fast-paced, stressed-out, and overworked lives, it seems daunting to take on the tasks of helping someone else with their purple martin site. But from my own experiences, I can assure you, it is manageable and the long-term, downstream effects are immeasurable. By making the best use of electronic media, you can manage quite a few new landlords! Your efforts to help your neighbors with their colonies by reducing their house sparrow populations and increase their martins' productivity would likely benefit your own colony!
The attached presentation is in a video format, but you can click the "Pause" button to review each slide in detail. I hope you enjoy and consider becoming a mentor yourself this season; even if it's just one site, you too can leave behind a legacy for the Purple Martin.