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JAMESTOWN, Pa – Driving down a muddy road by Miller Ponds by Pymatuning State Park, the Tweetspeak caravan passed a tiny apartment complex. Not an apartment complex for people, though. No, these ones were for the Purple Martins. A dark bluish-purple bird with brownish-black wings. These summer arrivals were preparing their nest boxes for breeding season.

While sitting in the car waiting for the downpour to slow, Dr. Kerri Duerr asked her crew if they knew how Purple Martins choose which nest box they inhabit for the season. Is the top box to most prized spot? Why could that be? We discussed dominance issues with males, but I wanted to look further into it. Why might other males want to live in the same nesting house with a male that has already gotten the top box? Why not find a different nesting house where they can get a better position?

Other species I identified, observed and submitted to e-bird for Tuesday, April 11, 2017.

  • Canada Goose
  • Blue-winged Teal
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Wild Turkey
  • Horned Grebe
  • Northern Harrier
  • Bald Eagle
  • Sandhill Crane
  • Killdeer
  • Short-billed/Long-billed Dowitcher
  • Lesser Yellowlegs
  • Tree Swallow
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Mallard
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Ring-billed Gull

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