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Oh dear. I have noticed a BIG decrease in numbers of Purple Martins!   
The past few days I've seen maybe 3 or 4 near the skating rink,  
whereas a couple of weeks ago there were at least a dozen.  I've  
wondered what happened to them, but didn't make the connection.  A  
couple of days ago I saw an adult male perched in one of the  
evergreens just before the bridge - he looked as though he were  
taking shelter, but I couldn't see what he seemed to be hiding from.

This is disappointing, and sadly ironic.  Two very cool species, both  
of which are encouraged to nest, and the one apparently falling prey  
to the other.

**********************
Sherry McCowan
Saint Louis, Missouri



On May 23, 2007, at 8:34 PM, Bailey, Tom wrote:

> Jeff Blunt was kind enough to bring his scope to work today so we  
> observed
> the WUSM peregrine nest for a short time from across the "canyon"  
> created by
> the pit from the demolished parking garage.  I believe that the  
> three downy
> chicks will be three weeks old this Saturday, and they have grown
> tremendously during this time and have begun to sprout pin  
> feathers.  Both
> parents are actively hunting and bringing prey to the nest,  
> although it seems
> that the male does the majority of the hunting while the female  
> tends the
> nest. The male and female are easy to distinguish.  I've noticed that
> recently they've been capturing small dark birds.  Through the  
> scope today it
> looked as though one of these birds was a fledgling of some type,  
> and it
> seemed to have a wide gape.  Has anyone noticed whether the purple  
> martins in
> Forest Park are decreasing in number?  We're hoping that instead  
> these are
> starling fledglings.  Obviously, I didn't get a great look at their  
> afternoon
> snack.  Others have noted a variety of birds being taken over the  
> past month
> or so--including a crow, a rock pigeon, a flicker, and, on one  
> occasion, a
> black-throated green warbler.  The latter couldn't have been very  
> satisfying.
>
> Tom
>
> PS.  I had a blackpoll singing in our Kirkwood neighborhood this  
> morning.
>

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