[birdky] purple martin - are we crazy?

Okay, I know this sounds totally crazy because it is only February 19, but we 
think we saw a purple martin at the Woodlands Nature Station this morning.  (I 
know, I know, you are now thinking we are loons, or needed a little more coffee 
this morning, or something . . .)
But . . .

We have had a purple martin colony at the Nature Station for about 15 years.  
We 
have 40 gourds, and have had good success with them in the past.  (Last year, 
35 
of the 40 were used by martin pairs who successfully produced eggs.)  Usually 
we 
start looking for the first martins to show up toward the very end of February 
or early March -- I think our earliest arrival date in the past has been Feb. 
28.

But this morning when we pulled into the parking lot, there was a bird sitting 
on one of the martin gourd rack poles.  One of the other staff said, "Hey, 
look, 
a martin!"  And I didn't believe her, but as I walked up closer, it looked like 
she was right.  It looked like an adult female martin -- it had a dark back, 
dark wings, a dark head, and a lighter face, and a greyish/white underbelly.  
It 
was really cloudy, so it was hard to make out any purple tinges.  It made a 
martin-like "cher-cher" noise as I walked up to get a better look at it.  It 
was 
a fairly good-sized bird -- it looked to be just shy of maybe a cardinal size.  
After about a minute, it flew away and we haven't seen it back all day.  I

Are we crazy?  Is there anything else that we might not be thinking of that 
this 
could have been?  We really don't think it was a starling -- it didn't have a 
stubby tail, or a long skinny bill, etc.  Plus, it had a really light-colored 
underbelly.  Are we crazy?  


Sincerely,
Aviva Yasgur
Woodlands Nature Station
Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area
Trigg County



      
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