Purple Martin Nest Box Update – December 2019

On Saturday December 19, John Buchanan and Rachel Shephard went out by small boat, to check and clean out the purple martin nest boxes in central channel. It was a calm, overcast day, with a high tide of 16.1 ft. We checked the two clusters of nest boxes between Squamish terminals and the spit. We didn’t have time to check the nest boxes located further up central channel beside the Swan Walk.

Seven of the boxes showed signs of nesting or attempted nesting, including nest material, eggs that failed to hatch (2 boxes), and in one there was a dead bird. The nests that we found were typical of purple martins – fairly flat and lined with leaves. The eggs were also the right size and color for purple martins. All of the boxes were cleaned out, ready for next year.

Many birds hunt and feed from dolphins. The top was a regular smorgasbord of bones and feathers and there was fresh blood on top of one of the boxes.

For more information about the project, please see squamishenvironment.ca/purple-martin-nest-box-program.

Please contact volunteer@squamishenvironment.ca, if you would like to help to monitor the nest boxes, or assist with any other aspect of the project.