Purple Martin Cam

August 1. The martin colony at the Coastal Center is active but the young martins have left the gourd we were live-streaming. We’ve shut that camera off but will keep the distant view active until the martins leave for the year.

July 23. The baby martins have fledged!

July 5. As of today, the colony has 104 chicks!

June 26. Eggs hatched today! The mother is usually busy brooding but when she gets up to move around you can catch a glimpse.

You can also view the Purple Martin Cam here to enlarge the screen and use the comments section to tell us what you see.

June 22, 2017
Mike Aurelia and Melina Giantomidis made the latest survey yesterday. They found 33 active nests, with 135 eggs, adding: “We could have juveniles starting to hatch as early as this Sunday.”

June 14, 2017
The Purple Martin colony at the Milford Point Coastal Center is thriving once again. Michael Aurelia, a member of our Board of Directors, and Melina Giantomidis, who is working as a coastal ranger for us this summer, checked this morning and found 30 nests and 67 eggs. That’s a great start!

Thanks to the generosity of Phil Donahue, the film producer and former television talk-show host, we are bringing you live video of the Purple Martin colony, and of the interior of one of the gourds, at our Milford Point Coastal Center. In the bottom view, the gourd that is occasionally shown in close-up is the one with the interior camera, so at times you might see one of the parents approaching in the exterior view and then entering in the interior shot.

Purple Martins feed on aerial insects, which are often caught in the rising thermal air currents that can carry them miles above the ground. The martins follow their food, and may feed so high that they can’t be seen against the blue sky. Most activity at the site tends to take place early or late in the day.

Martins are the one species nesting in Connecticut that we can truly say needs help from humans. A threatened species here, they nest only in human-made structures, either boxes or gourds.

Our colony is at the south edge of the Wheeler salt marsh (we encourage you to see it in person, from the observation deck near the Coastal Center’s parking lot). Purple Martins need open areas rich in aerial insect life. In Connecticut, that usually means coastal salt marshes, but there are a few inland colonies, as well, usually on farmland near a large body of water.

Purple Martins usually arrive in Connecticut toward the end of the first week in April. They will remain through August with a few lingering into the third week in September. Nesting colonies are often quite active early and late in the day.

One Response to “Purple Martin Cam”

  1. Jocelyn Barrett says:

    What a wonderful surprise my cousin gave me when she sent me the URL to watch the development of these sweet little birds. It is amazing to see first hand, and not just imagine, how the birds are taken care of by their parents. The meanness of “Meanie” was hard to look at, but Alfie, with his lovely singing made up for it – sort of! Thank you for making this opportunity available. I look forward to next year. Congratulations on a job well done! Jocelyn

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