Purple Martin Colony Bonds And Preens In Early Morning



It’s been a while since I’ve woken up early in the morning to take pictures.  Even at 7 am (I’m complaining about the lack of rain and heat again) it’s hot and humid.  While I was outside and drinking my Latte, I took some pictures and videos of the Purple Martins.

The overriding theme for the Purple Martins early in the morning is to stretch their wings, yawn, do a little singing, preen, and listen to the babies still in the nest squawk about how hungry they are.

Just like I would do, the first thing you do to start the day is yawn.

Purple Martin Yawning In The Morning

Purple Martin Yawning In The Morning

After the morning yawn and a few wing stretches it’s time for the family to begin preening their wings.

Then you start bonding with the family by doing a little singing, and ignoring their sibling who hasn’t fledged the nest.

Colony Of Purple Martins Enjoying Morning Sun

Colony Of Purple Martins Enjoying Morning Sun

When the baby realizes that the sad stare “because I’m hungry” doesn’t work, it starts to squawk for food.  Unfortunately for the baby, this is their brother who just left the nest a couple of days ago and is still learning how to hunt for its own food, much less food for its sibling.

Baby Purple Martin Begging Sibling For Food

Baby Purple Martin Begging Sibling For Food

Just like a human family, the mother had enough of the squawking and flew out to get some food.

Purple Martin Mother Feeding Her Young

Purple Martin Mother Feeding Her Young

Once that baby quieted down, another mother went out and actually found a Dragonfly for her babies.

Female Purple Martin Finally Caught A Dragonfly For Babies

Female Purple Martin Finally Caught A Dragonfly For Babies

While some of the parents went out to search for food for their babies, others decided to spend some additional time bonding.

Brother And Sister Purple Martins Sitting Together

Brother And Sister Purple Martins Sitting Together

And that’s the way the world turns early in the morning for this Purple Martin colony.  I’m not sure what they’ll be doing the rest of the day, but I will do a nest check tonight to see how everyone is doing after the high temperatures we’re expecting today.

Mercedes Mangan - Wow these photos are amazing! Keep up the good work!

(Fluffyghost Via Swapbot)June 5, 2011 – 9:21 am

texdr - Thank you!June 5, 2011 – 12:48 pm

PurpleMartins-R-Us - Great lighting. Did you use fill flash? I have issues getting them either too dark or over exposed against the white.
Hope you visit my blog sometime too. http://www.MyPurpleMartinBlog.comJune 11, 2011 – 5:12 pm

texdr - Thanks. I actually did use fill flash. I find I almost always have to do that when taking pictures of Purple Martins for the exact reason you mention. They will either come out too dark or over exposed, especially against the whiteness of the Martin house. All the being said, before I got my flash bracket to elevate the flash, many of my bird shots would exhibit “steel eye.” With the flash bracket, it seems to make the shots much more natural.

By the way, I just started looking at your blog, and it’s AWESOME! I’ve already bookmarked itJune 11, 2011 – 10:29 pm

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