Purple Martins- 100,000 Are Expected This July

Purple Martins

Purple Martins Observed Returning To Roost In North Carolina

By The End Of July 100,000 Purple Martins Are Expected In The Area

Purple Martins are regularly being spotted returning to their roost on the west side of Manns Harbor Bridge. The bridge located in Dove County, North Carolina, is a bridge with historic significance. Purple Martins upon returning to their roosts tend to fly quite law. Warning signs have been put up on and near the entryway of the bridge. The North Carolina Department of Transportation is in charge of keeping both people and birds safe.

A speed limit of 20 mph is in place and enforced at sunrise and sunset. Those are the times which are the times of day most of the birds are in the air. Those are also the times when martins are most susceptible to injuries from moving cars. A new bridge, Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge which was completed in 2004 is being an alternative route, while the purple martins are returning.

The Purple Martins are A Sight To Behold Once A Year

Officials with the Department of Transportation of North Carolina (DTNC) says this is an annual spectacular event. They say there is no real rhyme or reason why the Martins come back in flock, However they do, and the event brings in visitors from all over the country and world. They say it’s great for the local economy, and the locals look forward to it as well.

The flocks descending on the area are so large they can be viewed by Doppler Radar. The purple martins raised their offspring in colonies during March and April and early May. Those colonies are maintained by humans as the birds leave the area. Several human volunteers have been lending their hands to the Martins for years. Some have come to the area from as far way as 150 miles.

The Purple Martins Have A System, They Are Creatures Of Habit

The returning Martins, roost at sundown, and leave the nests early the next day. At Sunrise they are off to fly along the coastline, looking for feeding areas. The birds return from their day of feed to the nests and sunset. It’s is for those reasons that cars are advised to use extreme caution when driving into the area.

The birds roost at the bridge to take care of their newly born birds. Then they prepare to leave the area at the end of the summer. Their flight paths take them to parts of Brazil, sometime in August. Most of the diets of Martins consists of flying insects. They are a plentiful supply in the coastal areas of North Carolina. The Martins feed on the insects along the coast and in farmlands. They institutionally know that they need a lot of energy for their long flight to Brazil.
The Coastal Carolina Purple Martins Society will be holding special educational events to co-inside with the Martins departure in August.