Tracking numbers on each bird's leg band enables researchers to track migration patterns.
We marveled at the ingenuity of the nesting material. Wallace provides the straw, and the birds line the nests with these fresh, green leaves. Experts believe the leaves aid in keeping the egg shells moist. Below: Female with newly hatched babies.
I asked Wallace, "Why Purple Martins?" He wasn't quite sure how to describe his admiration for the birds, but he said, "I am intrigued by their migration patterns---how they fly all the way up here from Brazil; they are graceful, soothing, and calming." "I enjoy just sitting and watching them."
And the final question: Why O'Neill? Wallace says we have a 'community atmosphere' here. "Everyone knows everybody, people wave, and the New Year's baby is born in July..." He said he "wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life" and this town has a "more laid back, more friendly atmosphere." He feels that there are lots of opportunities here for employment--"not a six-figure income, but jobs that will put food on the table."