There was a bit of excitement here at Bumblebee a couple of nights ago. I thought we had finally attracted some purple martins.
I was outside with the little dogs and was watching the bluebirds who have moved into the purple martin gourds. They have been there all summer, having babies and using the long arms of the gourd system as a perch to look for juicy bugs. But some of the “bluebirds” were exhibiting some very un-bluebird like behavior. They perched and then flew off to grab bugs in mid-air and then returned to the perch to chow down.
Well, naturally I thought they were purple martins. I was so excited my hands were shaking as I changed my camera lens to the monster long-lens. I snapped shots and sent them off to a couple of friends, including Ruthie, announcing, “I have purple martins!!!”
Well, don’t you love the innernets? Within three or four minutes one friend had called and the other emailed to gently inform me that I didn’t have purple martins at all.
I have Great Crested Flycatchers.
Well, naturally I was disappointed. After having invested a wagonload of money in the gourd system, charmed a handyman into installing the pole in my Maryland hardpan clay and gotten up for many, many mornings before dawn to play them the CD of purple martin dawn song on my boom box, I still didn’t have purple martins.
But my friends assured me that a Great Crested Flycatcher is indeed a very special and interesting bird. But then, I already knew the interesting part. He surely captured my interest!
Now, I am watching as the bluebirds and flycatchers share their perch. They seem companionable enough and both are special birds that I’m happy to have in my yard. Even if they aren’t purple martins.
There is always next year.
You might also be interested in reading about my lawn off drugs (my newly organic lawn) at Examiner.com.