Manitoba Purple Martin Club Newsletter
October - December 2010
(For information, contact :
Manitoba Purple Martin Club
Box 36, Grp. 615, SS6,
Winnipeg, Manitoba, R2C 2Z3.
I cannot justify feeding wild birds; I can explain why people do it. People like feeding birds. The activity brings them pleasure. When you ask people why they like feeding birds their answer separates into the following categories. Bird feeding brings birds’ closer where they can be seen more clearly and in finer detail birds are non-threatening for most people. They lack teeth, claws, and venom with which other animals can threaten a person. The image of being harmless makes birds easier to like. Bird feeding provides some people with their only exposure to wildlife. For other people it is their primary contact. Moreover, bird feeding can introduce people to other facets of natural history. Through bird feeding, many people develop a greater natural history awareness on which they often act. An example might be supporting local conservation efforts that protect bird habitat. Bird feeding has a dark side, and it goes deeper than birds colliding with windows and succumbing to cats. Prevent injuries that could maim birds or cause infection by using feeders with sharp edges or splintery wood. Also avoid feeders that could accidentally imprison a bird. Remember that birds do not need us to feed them. We feed them because we derive personal enjoyment from doing so. In truth, we are the beneficiaries more than are the birds. Make sure your birdseed is used up regularly, otherwise it can cause a disease.
We thank Lloyd Robinson of St. Laurent for sending a picture of George Finney with his 8 ft, 10 inch high Martin house. George is 87 years old and lives in Winnfield Louisiana. It has 600 rooms, each offering double occupancy. There are 300 to 500 Martins nesting here.
In October I got a call from The Preferred Perch (bird store) that one of her customers bought a Purple Martin house and wondered if anyone could install it at the St. Francis Xavier. I phoned Olsen Dorey, our new member from Springstein Manitoba and he was more than happy to give me a hand. Evon cook, who lives at the Evergreen Senior Home, wanted their house cleaned and closed for the winter. I went over there and it was nice to see this dear senior and get the house looked after. We’ll be donating a 16-room castle style house at the Senior Home in Boissevain this spring. We also didn’t forget about the house in Gull Lake.
Ken Miller, an avid birder mentioned that chickadees were trying to nest in a Barn swallows nest. He also observed them catching insects on side of the wall of a barn.
The winners of the Grey Cup Raffle were (long list of names as winners)
To all the members and friends who sold the Grey Cup Tickets – THANK YOU. We sold 2700 tickets at $1.00 each. Our expenses were as follows, $1500.00 for prizes, $201.60 for printing, $200.00 for trust funds, $50.00 to The Wildlife Bird Refuge Inc. in Tunica, L.A. and $19.77 postage for sending the winners prizes, for a total of $1978.58. We cleared $728.62.
The club sent out $100.00 to the Dubois Boys Trust Fund. This family of 6 was returning home from Yorkton Saskatchewan when they were involved in an accident. The parents, 38 years old died. One 14-year-old boy is in the hospital in critical condition, if he survives he’ll be paralyzed, one boy lost his sight, and the other two are hurt. Their 19-year-old son was at home. Now he has to look after his brothers. His dad volunteered for the Children’s Wish Foundation. We also sent a $100.00 cheque to the Merkel family who lost their home due to a fire. This family emigrated from Germany about a year ago and Jacob, the father died trying to save his son from the fire.
The Martinfest gathering that was always held in Finger Tennessee will be held in Griggsville Illinois, the Purple Martin capital of the World in June. Victor Stoll who hosted the Martinfest in Tennessee, for a good many years had to quit due to his health. In 2004 he had 729 nesting pairs on 3 his farm. He’s written a book called “Stolls Purple Martin Colony,” (The Success of Americas Largest Purple Martin Colony). The book consists of 114 color photographs. The book costs $12.00 each plus $2.50 for shipping and handling. Call –1-800-255-2692 or go on-line to www.naturehouseline.com to order by credit card.
Just a reminder that the 2011 membership is still about 4 months away but the rates will still be the same $10.00 per family. Some members have already renewed for 2011. Renewal forms will be sent out in the March Newsletter. Memberships can be mailed to Manitoba Purple Martin Club, Box 36, Grp. 615, SS6, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R2C 2Z3. Thank You!
Over the years we’ve met a lot of friends and members who are associated with Purple Martins. We’ve received a lot of kind letters, cards from schools, the administrators from Senior Citizen Homes, the residence plus many others that are fresh on my mind from the years gone by. On November 13th I received a letter from Carlyle Rogillio, the President of the National Wildbird Refuge in Tunica Louisiana. His group looks after all the migratory birds that have crossed the Gulf of Mexico from Brazil. Lots of them are tired, weak and need a rest to continue their journey up North. A lot of Martins stop here before they take off for Brazil in the fall. This Sanctuary has started to provide a habitat for all wildlife. The National Wildbird Refuge has sent a letter of thanks and a donation for all the work that we’ve done for the Martins. Thanks from all the members of the Club for your kind letter, which I’ve enclosed. I’ve also dug up another kind letter from the St. Joseph’s Senior Citizen Home, I thought you’d be interested. Marvin O’Neil sent some beautiful pictures of his house and Martins.
Will close for now and on behalf of all the members of the Club, we wish you A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Take care, we care!
ERNIE DIDUR, President
"Keep 'em Flying!"
The Purple Martin Society Webpage
The Scout Report Online
Purple Martin Travelogue