05 August 2012

Gilded Tower Attracts Migrant Martins

A gilded construct tower on the hilltop of the campus of the University of Nebraska Medical Center is quite an attraction to Purple Martins.

The birds appreciate the structure as a place to linger and sit about for a while before they move along to their roost a short distance to the west.

This obvious appreciation was first noted on the evening of August 4th, when the ambient temperature was something where it was a pleasure to be outdoors. It was a fine time, without the recent oppressive conditions due to high temperatures or excessive mugginess, due to humidity.

Particular details to denote were experienced first up on the 40th street ridge. Bird activity was the attraction, and upon getting closer to the scene, the gilded construct on the campus grounds was the place to be. A bunch of Purple Martins sat upon the structural beams, while a few others grasped a place on the mesh work of the unnamed structure. It was a lingering event.

There was no marker or plaque to identify this big tower, so perhaps it might be called the Martin Tower. There were enough birds of this sort present! Many flew about, while many others sat about upon a spot they found to be appropriate. They all seemed to vocalize in a most prominent manner.

It was especially interesting to watch the bird's activity. Many flew around but only a few were seen within the cylinder. Those few were seen to go around and around, but within a relatively short time, they realized that their circular route was useless, so they found an escape. The martins, landed upon the grid, and then squeezed between the gilded panels, and into an open-air space.

Numerous martins made this move, realizing, that after some few moments of a circular flight, that there was an option. Every martin seen in this situation had a similar response, with a result were they flew away, because of their own effort about how to get free of the constricts of the gilded tower.

The Purple Martin congregation was spread about on the hilltop of this vicinity. There were several hundred using tree-tops. Several hundred more were perched upon power lines, where they have been previously denoted, northeast of 40th and Farnam Street.

At the roost, all of the martins gathered in their usual manner. The tally for the day was ca. 15,000, with the typical "jet action" prominent as the martins darted in from the western sky, as they do every day during their time in midtown.

The wonderful perspective was appreciated by at least five people.

The gathering of the Purple Martins is a grand spectacle, free and easily seen. Some people that have been visitors, are cognizant of the migratory event which is as significant as the Sandhill Cranes on the Platte River, during the spring time.

This year, the wonder is currently underway.