IN THIS ISSUE:
Sales & Specials
We've decided to run a special on a handful of products. Act now on the following "Hot Buys" because the special ends on Monday, February 20th. Be sure to check out all of our exciting specials by visiting the Hot Buys department regularly.
New at the Nest
Our customers are valuable to us. We continually search for new and better ways to serve you. In an effort to better meet your needs, BestNest aggressively adds new products to the website. Some of the new and exciting products that we've added are shown below. Be sure to check out our New Items department regularly.
A few of our deeply discounted items appear below. These items feature exceptional savings and value but are not all of our sale items. More discounted items may be found in their corresponding departments. Be sure to check out some of our other exciting deals by visiting the Clearance department regularly.
Purple Martin Migration
Throughout the ages, one of the most anticipated signs of spring in North America is the arrival of purple martins. These amazing colony birds have been housed and celebrated for hundreds of years, even by Native Americans prior to the arrival of Europeans. The appearance of these birds in your area not only heralds warmer weather; it also offers natural insect control and exciting bird watching. The birds winter in South America, and begin to arrive in North America as early as mid January. Each area of the country east of the Rocky Mountains has a different arrival time, and knowing your estimated arrival time helps you prepare for your colony.
These fascinating avians split their year between two hemispheres, spending summers in North America from Texas up to Canada, and living throughout Brazil, Venezuela, and Colombia in South America all winter. They exclusively eat insects, and thus the tropical regions of South America offer a steady food supply through the winter. As the temperature changes, the males launch their migration northward to their breeding range, and begin to appear in south Texas and Florida around January 15th. As the weeks pass, not only will more birds arrive, many will continue their journey farther north until the beginning of May. As they locate their previous breeding ground, the birds will begin to roost and establish their colony.
Martins tend to arrive systematically, and to the same colony each year. First, a few adult males will appear, often referred to as “scouts,” and choose a nesting spot. Next, loose groups of adults, both male and female, arrive and establish mating pairs. Subadults, which are the birds who fledged last year, are the last to arrive. These birds may or may not breed this year, and often are the most likely to use new housing. A list of martin arrival dates and the general area is below.
January 15th—Florida, Louisiana, Texas along the Gulf Coast
February 1st—Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas
February 15th—South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas
March 1st—North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma
March 15th—Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas
April 1st—New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska
April 15th—Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota
May 1st—New Hampshire, Vermont, Quebec, Ontario, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta
If you have not yet seen martins, remember the dates above are guidelines based on martin activity in the past. Landlords and ornithologists have been keeping records for several years, and have found the listed information to be accurate. So far this year, according to keen observers, adult martins have been seen throughout Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana, as well as along the Gulf Coast in Texas.
Purple martins are less common west of the Rocky Mountains, and tend to live singly rather than in colonies. They are more likely to nest in natural cavities, single houses, gourds, or abandoned woodpecker nesting spots. Thus, if you live west of these mountains, the information presented above may not pertain to your situation. You can still be a martin landlord, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, where the birds will often use gourds or groups of single houses.
The purple martin, one of the most desired avian inhabitants, travels up to 7,000 miles to reach its summer breeding grounds in North America and Canada. This arduous migration culminates in the bird locating its previous breeding area, often to roost again in the same spot. By monitoring the martins’ arrival dates, you can ensure both you and your colony are properly prepared, to ensure a successful breeding season. BestNest carries a wide range of purple martin houses and resources in our Purple Martin Houses department. For more personal assistance, feel free to contact one of our customer service representatives toll free at 877-562-1818 or internationally at 513-232-4225 from 9 AM to 5 PM Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.