If you build it, they will come… sometimes

But not always. This wannabe Purple Martin colony waits patiently at the Narrows Botanical Garden. The half dozen bird-shapes are decoys It’s thought that the birds like to see that someone has done some recon. The so-called “scout” phenomenon of martins who arrive weeks in advance of others at a colony is, in explained by this: veteran birds returning to their nesting colony do it faster than the year-olds. Having made it back once, they’re able to do the migration rather quicker in subsequent years. (The oldest Purple Martin on record was 13-years-old.)

I don’t know of any Purple Martins nesting in Brooklyn. It’s certainly possible to see them passing through during migration. Meanwhile, here’s an established colony on Staten Island. Here’s another at Great Swamp.Meadows, meanwhile, are a very good bet for attracting: pollinators; the creatures that eat pollinators; creatures that eat plants; creatures that lay their eggs on plants. It cascades, it becomes more complicated, it triumphs over the sterile, water-wasting, poison-filled grass lawn.This hillside in Green-Wood is looking good. More than 99% of the place is still grass, though. Gotta start convincing people that life is better than lawn, and Green-Wood that its honeybee hives are a mistake.

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