Date: 7/11/19 4:37 pm From: Jeff Gilligan <jeffgilligan10...> Subject: [obol] Purple Martins feeding on larvae in birch trees
I was contacted by a Purple Martin expert in Washington, who had not heard of such a thing. At his request, I went back and saw martins catching small yellow caterpillar-like creatures. The martins aren’t particularly good at it. They miss some, and are clumsy looking when they reach for the caterpillars or change branches to look for them.
He located a reference to such behavior: Charles Brown’s 1997 species account. Page 7, Food Habits, capture and consumption, says, “Very rarely may glean insects off foliage or alight on ground to take caterpillars (Gullion 1980)….”