We visited the Clark Farm on Rehoboth where Ray answered many questions about placement of new nesting boxes, issues with houses sparrows, predators, and management. He lowered one set of 18 gourd style nesting boxes and opened three of them, one with five 8 day old nestlings plus three Unhatched eggs, one with 4 eggs, and one with four 3-4 day old chicks. He removed one of the. 8 day old chicks for us to look at up close which still had closed eyes and with pin feathers visible under the skin. Pictures of nestlings gourds were taken by one attendee and will hopefully be shared. It was a gorgeous day, and a beautiful private property. Ray once again conveyed his passion for and wealth of knowledge about purple martins. He's been at it for 20 + years!
The following report was filed by Ginny and Jerry Gonville:
I thought the event yesterday at PIC-WIL with Ray went over very -very well ...There were 15 of us plus Ray---- two members of the Warren Conservation group were present plus a member of the Barrington Land Trust (wife of a steward), some OSBC members (names unknown to me except Nick C. ),and others from the Warwick area . Ray was very enthused and spent the first 15 -20 minutes or so giving us all a general history of the Purple Martin.....and noted that there are currently 110 nesting pairs in Barrington alone---He also displayed the nesting box which brought about a slew of questions----Seems the Warren reps and a person from Warwick are interested in establishing nests in their areas .....to which Ray will advise off line----We spent the next hour or so out on the water's edge observing the nest sites --as Ray dropped them so we all could get a good look inside and observe the eggs --2 day old chicks ---the nests themselves --and the parental behavior above...All were enthused and the weather cooperated -great at 80 degrees---dry --beautiful coast line with Osprey and sail boats about--low tide ----Awesome ---We hike'd back to the nests site that we saw last year where Ray discussed the Habitat---Impact of Cooper's Hawk----tree swallows etc -- Of this group 7 of us went over to RISD to observe there --and we got to see 4 day old chicks ----what a difference a day makes ----of note a family came over with their two children and Ray took the time to show the new chicks--eggs-etc to all ---On leaving later the Mom came over to Ray to Thank Him and to comment that she thinks two new birders were just fledged (her children).....so Ray also had a good day----Happy Birding -----Ginny and Jerry