Purple Martins have returned to the midtown Omaha roost where last autumn more than 30,000 were reported.
Many hundred were present on the evening of June 29th. A few were first noticed using the communications tower on the highrise at 122 South 39th Street. A couple of blocks west several hundred were noted near 41st and Farnam streets sitting on the power lines, and among a couple of small trees.
At the roost site on the medical center campus, birds were perched on the rooftop edges of the two towers, some were in the trees, and others came rushing in as dark settled on the scene.
The behavior of these martins was noticeably different than the aerial gathering, then swooping into the clump of roost trees, noticed last year.
This is a very early migration gathering in the Missouri Valley. It is not certain if the birds will occur in the same or increasing numbers as the season progresses. Also, it is not clear how the birds will transition ... whether they will remain for a period of time, with others joining in; or, whether there will be bunches that will be transitory, with regular arrival and departures from this locality.
The congregation is a wonderful sight to experience and can be easily enjoyed.
Due to the freshness of the roost and antics of the martin, another visit was made to the locale on June 30th. This time, there were about 600 martins counted, along with about 1000 European Starlings and a few hundred Common Grackles.