Purple Martin Majesty

400px-PurpleMartin_cajay

  courtesy JJ Cadiz, Wikicommons

Last week I called Party Boy and offered to mow the back of our property. It’s an open area, so I wasn’t too worried about mangling anything with the tractor. He thought that would be okay, and walked me through how to use the mower on the tractor. It took me a bit, but I finally got it going and started into mowing the grass. It was around a half-foot high, but not unmanageable.

One of the things I love about living out here is the sheer number of birds that are around. We have a couple of cardinals that live on the side of our house, tons of egrets (or cow birds, not sure which, or maybe they’re the same), crows, vultures, robins, bluebirds, and purple martins.

As I was mowing, the grasshoppers and other small insects in the grass would fly up to get out from in front of the mower and boy did the martin’s enjoy that. They started out in a tree at the back of our property, but as they saw the bugs go flying they got more and more interested in what I was doing and moved to a tree closer to where I was mowing.

After awhile they figured out the pattern that I was following and would strategically dive off their perch in front of the mower to grab bugs as the flew out from in front of the tractor. There were four of them and they flew like a line of dive bombers, grabbing their prey and returning to their perch. Then they would watch as I did another circuit and dive again as the tractor got closer.

Once they were fed they performed an aerial acrobatic show the likes of which I have never seen! These birds are simply amazing in their ability to change direction in the air. It looked like there were two adults and two adolescents, so probably some teaching going on there.

It certainly made what would normally be a dull chore slightly more entertaining!

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