Purple martins

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Purple Martins in Jackson Park 2002

2002 feature, The babies have fledged! Return to Birding home. Jackson Park/JPAC home. Monk Parakeets.

Carolyn Marsh in 2002 wrote:
Terry Suchma and I have been advising Mary Vanhaaften, the naturalist with the Chicago Park District since last year and I picked the two locations at South Shore and Jackson Park for martin houses and offered to become the landlord at South Shore to get it started. The landlord for Jackson Park, Scott Carpenter, has been on vacation for a month and is missing all the action so I am acting landlord at Jackson Park as well. Don't the houses look beautiful at both locations?

One of several purple martin houses in Jackson Park south of Columbia Basin


I attended three public meetings a couple years ago when the city was discussing the master plan for the SSCC and am familiar with all the birding groups and individuals and met members of the Jackson Park Advisory Council. The nature area is a great achievement and I wanted martin houses at SSCC, in particular. Paul Cline, Hyde Park birder, wrote this is the first record of breeding martins in 50 years at Jackson.

One Jackson compartment has 5 eggs ready to hatch and the South Shore eggs will follow. The Purple Martin Society NA will be covering the Chicago Park District's Purple Martins in the Parks Project as well.


Carolyn Marsh
South Shore Cultural Center PM landlord
Whiting-Robertsdale Purple Martin Society

Terry Suchma, Executive Director
Purple Martin Society Society NA

Carolyn Marsh, SSCC purple martin landlord and Terry Suchma, Purple Martin Soc. NA, report Mayor Daley called for space for birds and wildlife in parks generally. He, Ald. Hairston, Junior Earth Team members, and JPAC members enjoyed a gingerly look at the tray of four eggs in one of the three martin houses at South Shore.

Ms. Marsh is acting as martin house caretaker in Jackson Park for vacationing Scott Carpenter. In early July one house had 5 eggs ready to hatch, which, bird-friendly vegetation expert Paul Clyne says, will be the first recorded hatching in Jackson Park in 50 years. The idea of reintroducing martins (which need some sheltering from vigorous invaders) started in discussions three years ago and was taken up by now-Park District Natural Areas Manager Mary Van Haaften. Nichols Park in Hyde Park will likely get martin houses in the future.

On July 12, to view the nests and hatchings at Jackson Park were the following:

Carolyn Marsh, Acting Purple Martin landlord at Jackson Park and landlord at South Shore Cultural Center
Mary Van Haaften, CPD, natural areas manager
Arlene Sison, CPD, natural areas department
Scott Carpenter and two young sons, Jackson Park Purple Martin landlord
Gary Ossewaarde, Jackson Park Advisory Council
Kurt Leslie and son, Ecology teacher


The Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times covered the first 10 Purple Martin hatchlings yesterday, July 12, 2002, under the park's project. The Sun-Times and Tribune have beautiful photos of the birds.

For more information about the Purple Martin Walk, contact the Purple Martin Society member Ray Feld at 420-5836. For more information about Purple Martins, visit the Purple Martin Society website at www.purplemartins.com

More Info on the Hatchings

Subj: IBET: Jackson Park Purple Martin Photos
Date: 8/17/02 9:59:47 AM Central Daylight Time
From: scott_carpenter@softhome.net
To: ibet@lists.enteract.com
Sent from the Internet (Details)

For those interested in seeing photos of the first Purple Martin known to hatch in Jackson Park in the last 50 years, I've finally put together a web site:


The first photo is from hatching day, the last from 20 days later.

Scott Carpenter
Hyde Park/Chicago

[Note: IBET is a listserve dedicated to Illinois' birders. To subscribe to IBET's email notification of bird alerts throughout the region (with a focus on Chicago and the collar counties), send an email to ibet@lists.enteract.com with the message SUBSCRIBE, and you will be added to the list.]

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