The Wisconsin Purple Martin Association is playing host to its free seventh annual Purple Martin Festival near Waupun at the north end of the Horicon Marsh at Marsh Haven Nature Center on June 30.
Purple martins have flown across two continents to spend their spring and summer in Wisconsin, and will celebrate their return in the backyard of Marsh Haven Nature Center. This family of aerial insectivores will delight the public with firsthand sightings and chatter coming from over 30 pairs of harmonious birds.
Food and drink will be available and all proceeds will benefit the purple martin colony at the location. Activities for both youths and adults will be offered at Marsh Haven Nature Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The public may also enjoy numerous trails available for walking through woods, prairie and wetland habitats that include a 30-foot observation tower.
Talks presented about martins will be on ecology, their housing, how to attract them and preventing nest competition. Whether the day is rainy or sunny, a live camera showing of purple martin activity will be ongoing at the nature center.
A martin-housing vendor will be available outside along with free brochures and related martin information. A silent auction inside will benefit the Wisconsin Purple Martin Association in their activities throughout the year. If the weather is truly cooperative, a close-up view of adult martins will be shown with their nests while banding.
Purple martins make a 4,000-5,000-mile flight from South America to Wisconsin from early April to the end of June. They are one of the earliest spring migrants. Most notably, they are semi-dependent upon people to provide housing and security for their reproduction to be successful.
Because of this close association with people, purple martins need managers to be educated to prevent Wisconsin’s sinking purple martin population.
Information is available online at http://www.wisconsinpurplemartins.org/from Wisconsin Purple Martin Association or Marsh Haven Nature Center http://www.marshhaven.orgin Waupun.