We also re-set the second purple martin house. Put that up yesterday, over closer to the fence line marking the cattle pasture. It looked OK from the south, however looking at it from the west very obviously Purple Martin Apartment Building #2 qualified as the Leaning Tower of Ranch. Now it is significantly vertical. And Hurrah! for the purple martins are definitely establishing themselves in Purple Martin Apartment Building #1! We'd seen males checking the house out, and now we're seeing females perching on the 'stoop'.
Purple martins and their houses are some of my longest memories from Gramps home on the shores of Lake Huron. Differences, sure. Gramps built those (ours are plastic kits) and they were huge, six nesting spots long, three more on the short sides, three floors high and more nesting spots built into the gables and dormers of the roof. He mounted them on posts like telephone poles, and I can't remember if he hinged them or not to aid in cleaning between seasons. And they do need to be cleaned or the martins won't move in again next spring. That was one of my chores, sometimes, visiting on autumn or winter weekends. Cleaning out the old nests.
Watching them fly provided hours of entertainment, as the whole flock swooped and looped and circled as a unit. Forget the fact that purple martins are insectivores, eating through their weights many times in mosquitoes and flies. The colony flying and hunting as a single organism, oh my!