Over the last several years, we’ve experimented in establishing a purple martin colony at our wetland mitigation bank. These rare birds require special nesting requirements that include nesting in gourds at least 10-feet high, close proximity to water, open areas and protection from predators. After three years of learning and improving our gourds, we are happy to report our first successful nesting season.

Three nesting pairs of purple martins resulted in nine successful hatches last summer

Last summer, we saw three nesting pairs of purple martins , which resulted in nine successful hatches.  Volunteers with the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge banded the nine chicks so their location can be tracked.  Purple Martins migrate between North and South America each year. Males return to their first nesting sites as full adults, so it is expected that this year’s chicks will continue to grow the population.

The species has declined dramatically in Washington over the past 50 to 60 years, so we are excited to re-establish a population at the Port of Vancouver USA!