The National Wildlife Federation Habitat Steward Class of Fall 2016 had a class day at the Hornsby Center for Environmental Research on Saturday, October 1. Their day began with a short field trip to look at birds in various habitats. The walk was co-led by Travis Audubon volunteers Cinda Crossley and Jane Tillman. Stewards then attended morning talks on backyard birds and ecology, and Chimney Swift tower maintenance. The day ended with a fun group activity! The habitat stewards helped Purple Martin landlords Andy and Julia Balinsky clean their Purple Martin gourds to get them ready for next Spring. Due to cases of avian pox, it is particularly important to carefully clean Purple Martin gourds. The attendees removed nest debris, scrubbed all interior surfaces, and treated each gourd with bleach.
If you want to learn more about Purple Martins, including how to start and maintain a colony, sign up for the next Purple Martin class! It will take place February 11, 2017 from 1-4 p.m.