Purple Martin press release

Ed Newbold newboldwildlife at netscape.net
Fri Sep 1 15:18:13 PDT 2000

Hi all, I sent this press release out to all Seattle media today plus Everett
H. and Tac NT. Kevin Li wouldn’t let me use his name anywhere near the
headline and has been reluctant to take any credit at all, pointing out how
much others do and saying he doesn’t want to seem like a media hog. I say,
“Kevin, don’t worry about it! The press knows just who the media hog is here!
(ME!!!). “ Anyway, all these folks really do deserve credit and in my
opinion, the Purple Martin story in the Northwest is totally underreported
(except for Jane Hadley’s wonderful piece in the P-I last year) and at least
so far it has one of those made-for-Hollywood feel-good plots as well. Knock
on wood everybody.
Ed Newbold Wildlife Artist Press Release

Success comes in the Lower Duwamish
Seattle Purple Martins bring off two broods

Boxes put up in the lower Duwamish River by private volunteers were used by
two Purple Martin couples to bring off broods of 3 or 4 each respectively in
the summer of 2000. Both of the successful Martin couples used boxes that
had been placed on pilings in the lower Duwamish at Terminal 105 within the
past two years.

Purple Martins are widely thought to be making a steady comeback in the Puget
Sound region, aided by a small number of volunteers who put up boxes and
monitor colonies.

Purple Martins used to be common in downtown Seattle in the summer. Oldtimers
remember scores of nests on the Bon Marche Building in the 1950s. Competition
for nest sites from Starlings and nest predation from Crows are possible
factors that may have led to the demise of the urban population, although
there were no studies of Martin ecology conducted at the time. A few pairs of
Purple Martins continued to nest in the downtown until perhaps sometime in the

Martins were fairly common generally throughout the region in the early
decades of last century, and thousands are reported to have congregated at
Green Lake during fall migration in the 30s.

The boxes used by this years’ families were put up and monitored by Kevin Li
with help from Kris Baker and Rich Siegrist. Li credits the Port of Seattle
with granting access and supporting this grassroots recovery effort, not to
mention the immensely important policy of reserving the Kellogg Island and
T-105 sites for nature and habitat restoration.

2000 was a fairly good year for the Martins in other areas of our region,
thanks in good part to a few dedicated individuals. The following individuals
are active in Purple Martin stewardship: Kevin Li and Kris Baker (phone #)
Seattle area, Olympia etc. Todd Tannery (phone #) Hylebos colony in the
tidal mudflats of Commencement Bay. Rich Siegrist (phone #) Vashon Island.
Rich has many Martin tenants on Vashon. Stan Kostka (phone #) had a banner
year with his Hermosa Beach colony (new last year) producing 50 young from 12
pairs plus two other all-new colonies taking hold in boxes he put up. Of
these, the “English Boom” Colony at North Camano Island had five pair
producing 15 young. The English Boom adults originally hailed from Hylebos,
Woodard Bay, and Ft. Lewis.
(Contact me for phone #s since I didn’t get anyone’s permission to post them
on the net) If anyone knows of other martin stewards who deserve credit in
their home communities, or other more localized media that might do a story on
the above individuals, I urge them to help shine a light on these heroes.
Ed Newbold newboldwildlife at netscape.net Beacon Hill, Seattle

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