Purple Martin

Ivan Miller has created a Purple Martin housing facility near his home in Jamesport, Missouri. Miller will be offering a guided tour to the public free of charge on June 1.

Every five days during the spring and summer, Ivan Ray Miller, in Jamesport, Missouri, walks to a uniquely designed housing facility he created for Purple Martins to check for newly hatched birds. He pulls down each house — consisting of a mixture of plastic gourds and apartments that are each numbered — to write down a record of the count. Miller holds an open house each year for the public and there is no fee to tour the houses. “I put up a few more houses this year but I have around 170 apartments,” Miller said. “Last year, we had 137 pair of Purple Martins arrive at the colony and utilize the plastic gourds and houses. We also fledged 583 young last year.” After Miller moved to Missouri in 2000, he said he put up one Purple Martin house on his property and watched as two mating pairs arrived the first year. As he added more houses, more birds returned each year. From August through October, Purple Martins migrate to South America. The birds migrate north to Missouri in order to nest from March 20 through June 1. To conduct research, Miller applied for and received a U.S. Federal Bird Banding and Marking Permit so he could track the dispersal of adults and fledglings by placing a band on their leg before releasing them. Last month when he lowered one of the houses, he found a female bird that had received a band at his colony five years ago. “That means the bird made five trips to Brazil and back,” Miller said. “It’s give or take 5,000 miles to fly one way to Brazil so a total trip is 10,000 miles.” Miller will offer tours of his Purple Martin houses every hour from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on June 1. The tour will begin at his home located at 22885 340th Street in Jamesport, Missouri. Miller owns the business Meadow View Pallets and sells Purple Martin houses to customers. “There are a lot of people in the area that have attracted Purple Martins since we’ve had our big colony,” Miller said. “It’s helpful for people to buy their own gourds or make their own. Since we fledged 583 young last year, even if half of them show up again this year, there’s no way I can put up enough houses to accommodate all of them. That’s why we want to help someone else get started.” Miller said there will be free refreshments at the event including homemade ice cream and they will have a drawing for door prizes. For more information, contact Miller by phone at 660-684-6563.

Every five days during the spring and summer, Ivan Ray Miller, in Jamesport, Missouri, walks to a uniquely designed housing facility he created for Purple Martins to check for newly hatched birds.

He pulls down each house — consisting of a mixture of plastic gourds and apartments that are each numbered — to write down a record of the count.

Miller holds an open house each year for the public and there is no fee to tour the houses.

“I put up a few more houses this year but I have around 170 apartments,” Miller said. “Last year, we had 137 pair of Purple Martins arrive at the colony and utilize the plastic gourds and houses. We also fledged 583 young last year.”

After Miller moved to Missouri in 2000, he said he put up one Purple Martin house on his property and watched as two mating pairs arrived the first year. As he added more houses, more birds returned each year.

From August through October, Purple Martins migrate to South America. The birds migrate north to Missouri in order to nest from March 20 through June 1.

To conduct research, Miller applied for and received a U.S. Federal Bird Banding and Marking Permit so he could track the dispersal of adults and fledglings by placing a band on their leg before releasing them.

Last month when he lowered one of the houses, he found a female bird that had received a band at his colony five years ago.

“That means the bird made five trips to Brazil and back,” Miller said. “It’s give or take 5,000 miles to fly one way to Brazil so a total trip is 10,000 miles.”

Miller will offer tours of his Purple Martin houses every hour from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on June 1. The tour will begin at his home located at 22885 340th Street in Jamesport, Missouri.

Miller owns the business Meadow View Pallets and sells Purple Martin houses to customers.

“There are a lot of people in the area that have attracted Purple Martins since we’ve had our big colony,” Miller said. “It’s helpful for people to buy their own gourds or make their own. Since we fledged 583 young last year, even if half of them show up again this year, there’s no way I can put up enough houses to accommodate all of them. That’s why we want to help someone else get started.”

Miller said there will be free refreshments at the event including homemade ice cream and they will have a drawing for door prizes.

For more information, contact Miller by phone at 660-684-6563.

Margaret Slayton can be reached at

news@greenacressells.com

Margaret Slayton can be reached at

news@greenacressells.com