The Inn may be open year-round, but our Purple Martin birdhouses are not. They have been lowered and cleaned out for the winter. Purple Martins are one of the first species to migrate. Come mid-August, when their chicks are reared, the birds head to South America for the winter. It’s always surprising, when, in the height of the summer season, you notice the fall migration underway!
Guests of the Inn often wonder why I lower the houses during the fall and winter months. After I finish meticulously cleaning each of the 14 units per birdhouse, I leave them lowered to reduce wear and tear on the assembly. During a large wind, the heavy steel house boxes can really torque the tall poles.
We will raise the boxes again in April and wait for the same nesting birds to return. Typically, the established Rhode Island birds return first, followed some weeks later by the young birds of the previous year. In the three years since we have had our boxes, we have filled one fully and about half of the other. If our colony keeps growing, we will have to add a third box!
The Purple Martin birdhouses are seasonal, but the Inn welcomes guests throughout the winter. Why don’t you come to visit? The Martins may not be present in the cooler weather, but we always have other fun birds to view.