This Week’s Purge: The Purple Martin House

Sparrow Nests by Doug HaglerOne spring afternoon, I was working outside when I saw a couple of swallow-like birds circling, gliding, and swooping above the backyard. Less than three days later, I had installed a purple martin house.

I grew up with a purple martin house in the backyard. I looked forward to their return each spring when I could listen to their cheerful song and watch their graceful aerobatics. Martins are coveted birds to have around because their diet consists solely of mosquitos.

The swallow-like birds I saw i turned out to be barn swallows, and I’ve never seen them again.I spent the next three years trying to keep sparrows from nesting in the martin house. Yes, despite scripture and the famous Southern gospel hymn, I do not like sparrows. They’re mean to other birds, invasive, and prolific. They’re like the the roaches of the bird world.

Before the sparrows start building their nests once more, I decided that I would make the purple martin house this week’s purge. Good riddance!