A Year on Clear Lake-Feb 3, 2013

Flashback: Showdown – June 6, 2008

A brown pelican stakes out a claim atop the purple martin birdhouse and is met with several unhappy purple martins who launch a dive-bomb attack. Initially the pelican holds his ground refusing to budge. In the end, though, after a relentless attack he surrenders and flies off.

It’s that time of the year again. The purple martin scouts will arrive within the next couple of weeks – we most often see them first around Valentine’s Day, February 14. Shortly after the rest of the flock begins arriving to set up house and go about the business of breeding and child rearing. We always look forward to their arrival for a multitude of reasons: one, it signals the arrival of spring, and two, we have a spring and summer filled with their entertaining antics.

I don’t know what will happen this year with the old birdhouse damaged in Hurricane Ike. It is in bad repair – the top floor gone now. It is only accessible via boat and we have been unable to locate anyone with a boat to help us replace it. The good news is that there are two other purple martin houses nearby so we will still be able to enjoy the company of our chatty, aerial friends, but it is sad to watch such a legacy come to an end.