Articles and thoughts by Steve Green.
Since the first year I put up Purple Martin houses, they have returned every year to nest. It really is miraculous. The largest of the swallow family spend our winter months in Brazil, some 3000 miles away.
In early spring, scouts, or adult birds make their way back towards their houses. Before long, the jet-black males and greyer females that hatched in their particular house the year before return to start the process all over again. It’s just not spring without them. Their song is so unique and fills the air a cheerful concoction of Martin sounds. They have always arrived the last week of March. Always. But not this year. Into the second week of April I began to worry and even made a trip to the local birding shop to ask what was wrong. Someone had told me that any change to the house scares them away. Oops. I told the shop owner that I had put up new gourds and maybe they didn’t like the change. He assured me that they wouldn’t be bothered by that, but instead, the migrating birds were late this year due to weather patterns. (Not global warming, mind you.) He encouraged me to wait, saying they might be as late as May. That was good news. So I waited and hoped. While mowing the yard on the afternoon of April 14th, my gift came. One pair settled on the roof of the house and sang as if they owned the place. A few days later two more showed up.
It’s spring now. All is well. The Martins have returned and it’s just another small sign to me of God’s constancy. In a world of change, it’s nice to know that some things never change.
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