Purple Martins return to Moore County

Keep your eyes peeled for Purple Martins as they make their way back into Middle Tennessee for the summer. (File Photo)

If a Purple Martin could write a wanted ad, it would a lot like this:

WANTED: Summer rental preferably near the water. Seasonal short term renter but will likely return next year. No pets but three to six kids possible by the end of season. Prefer the country but city living also okay.

Since the U.S. started dealing with the COVID-19 situation, bird watching has become oh-so-popular. And why not? You can see dozens of species with a simple set of binoculars from the comfort of your back porch or riding down a winding rural road.

Purple Martin return to Moore County every spring. In fact, they can be seen in all of Tennessee’s 95 counties. They are North America’s largest swallow and in the East, they are nearly 100 percent dependent of human-made birdhouses for nesting areas. It’s a tradition started by this areas Native Americans who once hollowed out gourds to provide nesting spots.

Purple Martin begin arriving in early spring and usually migrate back in September. They are also a lot of fun to watch because they eating flying insect … and do so while suspended in air. If you’re lucky enough to spot a Purple Martin house or box, watch it carefully and you’ll see its homeowner swan dive into it from great heights.

If you’d like a fun quarantine project, you can build your own Purple Martin nest box by following a design provided by the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency. Click here for that plan. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}