7 comments on “Purple Martins Nesting in Street Lamps

  1. how nature adapts simply amazes me……..as always, thanks for sharing your great photos & knowledge!

  2. Unless someone is going to actively monitor a Martin house, it’s not a good idea to put one up there, IMO. The days when one could put up a house and be assured that the correct species would benefit, are, unfortunately, over. As a Purple Martin landlord myself, I know that the constant battle against Starlings and Sparrows is only won by having vigilant human protection. A better idea, IMO, and what I am working toward, is making people aware that having these unintended nestsites is one reason why there are 200 million starlings in North America. Light poles at every car dealership and shopping center in Delaware have pest birds nesting in them, due to human negligence. The light bulbs get changed, but the cover is not put back on the pole. Highway signs have access covers that have been left off. Pole buildings are put up lacking the necessary corner fillers. I feel the population could be significantly reduced if basic maintenance procedures were enforced. Unfortunately, these birds have been around so long that most people do not even know they are not native. And most people do not care, which is not surprising, since the only impression a lot of people have of birds, is of these pest species with their filthy nests, and bird droppings everywhere. It is no wonder most people do not really care about birds, IMO.

  3. Maybe this is the key to their survival. Martins will improvise and seem to like being around humans.

  4. I would imagine that the bulbs, where there are nests, are burnt out? They look like high pressure sodium that would get pretty hot with the nest only inches away?

  5. I am not sure if the bulbs are burnt out or not. We are going to contact the school to see if a teacher will take ownership of a martin box, so that it is maintained. We will ask about the bulbs as well. Joe

  6. It is really cool how after reading this article, I “really” take notice of street lamps on I-95 other than a use for hawk perching. Spotted what I believe to be the same as your photo is located at North 95 at the Harvey Road exit. Have not been able to get a really close look as too dangerous to stop. But I am sure it is one as so resembles your photo. Thanks again for pointing out yet another fascinating adaptation of nature!

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