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Backyard Wildlife Habitats Purple Martins

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Here for your enjoyment is some history about Purple Martins. Expect to learn the truth about martins and mosquitoes. Before we start I want to give you some general information to help you understand what I am going to say about Purple Martins.This information comes from a pamphlet on Urban Wildlife Diversity from the Texas Parks and Wildlife, written by Ray Whitney. Ray starts off with definitions, which always help me. ildlife diversity means the variety of animals that live within a particular area. These often decrease when the area becomes urbanized.Urbanization is the process by which wildlife habitat is transformed to better meet the needs of humans.


When an area is developed for human use, much of the native vegetation is removed and its habitat potential for wildlife is significantly altered.Some animals adapt very well to the urban environment. Others, however, either move elsewhere or decrease in number and variety.Urban Wildlife icons is a term most often used in reference to nuisance animals like opossums and raccoons or House Sparrows and Bronze Cowbirds.However, there are numerous native and migratory animals that spend part or all their lives inside city limits. An animal's response to urbanization depends on its natural habits.In birds, for example, habitat specialists (those who have special preferences for foods, trees for nesting, etc.), such as flycatchers, vireos, bluebirds and warblers, tend to decrease in number. These birds are typically long-distance migrants and cavity nesters, that rely on complex habitats throughout their migratory routes.


Habitat generalists (those who adapt to whatever is available), such as Northern Mockingbirds, House Wrens, doves and grackles, may actually increase in the urban environment. These birds tend to be edge species, short-distance migrants that are seed eating or omnivorous by nature. Habitat generalists are able to find food and shelter in a variety of ways and can survive quite well in simplified urban habitats I want you to note the ideas of urban wildlife and habitat generalists. These two terms help us understand Purple Martins.First of all Purple Martins are complex birds. They winter in South America, which makes them long-distance migrants. Martins are cavity nesters and do not eat seeds. They eat insects. Therefore, they are outside most of the typical parameters for habitat generalists and yet they have increased in urban environments.

Edited by bellavivian10

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