Date: 7/9/18 4:14 am
From: Shelia Hargis <shelia.hargis...>
Subject: [texbirds] Purple Martin Roost in Austin - Need Information
Good morning all,
If you live in Austin, especially in Central or North Austin, we need your
help to locate the Purple Martin roost. Usually by this time of year, the
roost is very obvious and many birds are using it. But the birds are making
it very challenging this year!

In May, AJ Johnson and his son stopped by Taco Bell on Cameron Road on the
east side of Capital Plaza. AJ texted saying there were a bunch of Purple
Martins roosting there. We were shocked because we hadn't known that they
started roosting that early. Over the next month or so, we monitored the
roost occasionally. As the time for Travis Audubon's Purple Martin Parties
got closer, we started monitoring the roost more often. We found that the
birds were moving between several groups of trees on the Capital Plaza
property. One night there would be birds in the Taco Bell trees and the
next night they would be roosting in the trees near Chase Bank on the west
side of the property. Within the last few days, the roost has totally
disappeared from Capital Plaza. Our team has searched the historical roost
locations without success - Embassy Suites, Texas Land & Cattle, and
Highland Mall/ACC Highland area. I talked with Byron Stone last night and
he is seeing birds flying in from the west but maybe not as many as in
years past. So, it seems likely that they are roosting somewhere in Austin
but in smaller numbers than normal. We just haven't found that location.
Byron mentioned that the birds roosted at Walter E Long (Decker) Lake in
the past.

I asked the researcher with AeroEcology to review radar images for a roost
signature. They did not see one in Austin. I'm guessing that is because the
number of birds is too small to detect with radar.

So, if you're in Austin, please watch for martins flying over near dusk. If
you can follow them or at least note the direction they are headed, that
would be appreciated. And if you find the roost, we will sing your praises
far and wide! Email me at this address with any information you have.

If you live in another location that has a roost, I'm very interested to
hear how things are going with your roost. Is the roost active? Is it in
the normal location? Are you seeing about the same number of birds you
normally see at this time of year?

Thanks for your help.
Shelia Hargis

Shelia Hargis
Texas Ornithological Society

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