Purple Martin Palace

I believe I mentioned the other day my wool post that we had a visitor from the Assessor’s office the other day, assessing our farm for local property taxes.  

About that visit, let me just say that she was incredibly thorough in her report of our farm, including every structure that had a roof – like the 3 sided, no floor shelters we have for the ewes and rams, the area under the roof in front of the ewe shed (did she consider that a sheep “porch”?), and the moveable hen house (I wonder if she considered the oversized step to go into it a hen “deck”?!  

But I digress…

What I’m getting at is that we have erected a new structure at Morning Star Meadows that I think she would be comfortable excluding from her report…

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We seem to have the ideal location here for purple martins, with wide open spaces bordered by trees.  Within 12 hours of erecting this house, though, it was invaded by unwanted tenants…sparrows!  They were all over it – and I kept seeing them in the pastures, looking for nesting material!  

Every good purple martin steward knows that starlings and sparrows are BIG no-no’s for purple martin houses.  They are both aggressive toward the martins, and won’t allow the martins to colonize the house.  SO, apart from shooting the little trespassers, the only suggestion is to provide alternate housing for them.  

Sounds like some poorly thought out government welfare program, doesn’t it?

Last night Roy put up a little birdhouse that the boys put together at a Home Depot workshop, but it’s not nearly as attractive as this veritable bird McMansion with its penthouse view of the farm, so I’m not holding my breath for all of those little sparrows to hold a little sparrow meeting and make a joint decision to vacate and move to the sparrow cottage.  

Maybe we’ll have to send them an eviction notice?

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