Saturday afternoon, Mike put up the Purple Martin house and we were all set to keep an eye out for the scouts. Usually, several days before the main group flies in, there are two scouts who show up, I suppose to be sure their home is still where they left it last fall. When the house goes up in the spring, the openings into each little compartment are sealed over with duct tape to prevent other species of birds from moving in. Once we see the scouts, we remove the tape and wait for the pairs to show up and claim their nesting compartment.
The shearer was here on Sunday afternoon to do the yearlings and we were very busy in the barn for most of the afternoon. Imagine our surprise, when we were walking to the house afterwards, to see 3 pair of Martins circling the birdhouse. We don't know if we missed the scouts this year because the house wasn't up yet, or if they all just came together. Last year they didn't arrive until April 18th. Anyway, down came the house and the tape was removed. Within moments of the house going back up, the birds had moved in. This morning the take-offs and landings were non-stop and it's obvious there is some serious nest building going on. Though the weather has been erratic (77 degrees on Sunday, 29 on Tuesday), I'm hoping the Martins are a sure sign that spring is really here.