The Purple Martin colony in Seabrook has grown to 13 pairs – completely maxing out the available housing. A single pair of martins was found nesting at this location in 2013, and had apparently been there for 1-2 years previously.
Thanks to some dedicated efforts by a group of volunteers, more suitable housing was installed in the spring of 2014, and supported five pairs that summer (plus the original pair in a stand-alone bird house).
On a recent nest check, all 12 of the plastic gourds at the colony held either eggs or young (or both), with some chicks roughly half grown. Given the success of this effort, we have started discussing ways to add more nesting capacity at the site and/or try to establish additional new colonies nearby.
Purple Martins are rare in New Hampshire, and this is one of only three known colonies that remain, down from 10 in the early 2000s. On the same day as the recent nest check, we investigated a Purple Martin report from Greenland and found an apparently unmated young male. The site is a historic colony location however, so we will see what we can do to improve conditions there and perhaps get it back up and running in 2006!