Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Olde Florida Golf Club is "For the Birds" ... Literally, not Figuratively

Five years ago, at the start of the 2013 winter golf season, we installed a Purple Martin house at Olde Florida Golf Club. The house was located behind #2 championship tee next to the lake that separates holes two and ten. In our first winter with the house, we successfully fledged three Purple Martins. In 2014, the house was field to capacity and over a dozen Purple Martins were fledged. Therefore, prior to the 2015 season we added an additional house.  
One of the two Purple Martin houses behind #2 tee
Purple Martins migrate each winter to South America. However, they remain incredibly faithful to their colony (nesting) sites each year, often returning to the United States about the same date. This has been the case at Olde Florida with both houses being fully utilized each year. 
Purple Martins are quite friendly and prefer to nest in close proximity to people, which make golf courses a perfect location for the bird! Interestingly, Purple Martins are the only bird species that is totally dependent on human supplied nest boxes. Qualities that make the martins desirable are they nest in colonies and have fascinating social behavior. Their vocalizations are also quite beautiful, they are extremely graceful in flight and they consume vast quantities of insects.

The Purple Martin houses at Olde Florida are lowered for the summer to avoid damage from strong winds. 

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