Nature Speaker Series
Explore nature Thursday evenings with great speakers talking about everything from birds and butterflies to culture and art of the Rio Grande Valley.
The educational series is brought to you by the generous sponsorship of Thurmond Eye Associates.
Regular Schedule & Fees
|Date: ||Thursday Evenings (October through April) |
|Time: ||6:00 pm to 7:00 pm |
|Fee: ||Included in General Admission |
$3.00 Per Person
FREE with Membership
Attracting Purple Martins,
Thursday March 6th, 2014 6:00- 7:00 pm
The Purple Martins are coming! The Purple Martins are coming! Are you ready? Sure hope you are because it is just around the corner! If not, do not panic, Mr. Mark Wright will be debuting his Purple Martin presentation at Quinta Mazatlan on March 6, 2014 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm. Not only will be sharing his knowledge about Purple Martins, but also how to prepare nesting sites they will surely like.
Mr. Mark Wright has studied and been around Purple Martins since he was 10 years old. He has had Martin houses in Arkansas, northern Louisiana and Dallas. Since moving to the Rio Grande Valley in 1985, Mr. Wright, his wife, 4 kiddos and dog have been gracious hosts to about 30 Purple Martins, in season.
According to Mr. Wright, sentinel scouts will be arriving in the Rio Grande Valley in the next few weeks (early to mid March) with the larger body of Purple Martins following 1 – 2 weeks after. They will then make the Valley their home until July.
As good hosts, let us take a moment to learn a little about our future guests:
Shape, Size, & Color- They are large broad- chested swallows with stout, slightly hooked bills and long tapered wings. Adult males are iridescent, dark blue-purple overall with brown-black wings and tails. Females and immature martins are duller, with variable amounts of gray on the head and chest.
Diet- Their diet consists of aerial insects (i.e. dragonflies, bees, butterflies, flying ants). They feed only in flight, no ground bugs please. Martins drink and bathe while skimming the surfaces of bodies of water.
Housing- They are colonial birds - nest in groups. Martin houses should be isolated from any permanent construction, carports, trees, shrubs, brushes, or other overhanging obstacles.
Loyalty- They are said to have site fidelity, which is of course dependent on accommodations and hosts’ behavior. If everything is up to par, Martins will return year after year, resulting in site tenacity (attachment and willingness to defend nesting site).
So, if you are eager to have Purple Martins come to your backyard, come to Quinta Mazatlan and learn from Mr. Wright how to provide attractive accommodations for these loyal visitors.
- 2nd Raptors of the Rio Grande Valley, Bill Clark
- 9th A Tour of Italy Cooking: Mark Deckard
- 16th The Trees of the Valley, Carol Goolsby
- 23rd Birding the Valley Virtual Tour, Tiffany Kersten
- 30th Urban Ecology, Alex Racelis, UPTA Ecology Professor
- 6th Birding the Yucatan, Dr. Timothy Brush, Professor of Ornithology
- 13th Native Sounds Huehuetzin Concert
- 20th Birds of the Lower Laguna Madre, Outdoor Movie Screening, Richard Moore
- 27th Wildlife Sculpture Trail Talk, Mary Thorne
- 6th Attracting Purple Martins. Mark Wright
- 13th Life on the Laguna Madre, Scarlet Colley
- 20th RESERVATIONS for Moon Over Mazatlan Fundraiser for Habitat (tickets $100)
- 27th What Can the Birds Tell Us? Mark Conway
- 3rd El Valle, NaturePhotography,Seth Patterson
- 10th Dragonflies: A Natural Cycle. John Yochum
- 17th Uses of Native Plants, Benito & Toni Trevino