Offshore housing for purple martins
August 4th, 2020

Offshore housing for purple martins

I photographed this gentleman Monday morning at Ship Harbor, poised and equipped to watch a thriving colony of purple martins living in houses atop high poles in the water. Skagit Audubon reports: “While not endangered, purple martins suffer from habitat loss along the West Coast. They are ‘cavity nesters’…building nests in holes. Free standing snags along bodies of water are perfect sites. On the East Coast humans have provided nesting sites since the early colonial days and the birds have adapted, accept living in close proximity and thrive. Along the West Coast the practice of providing replacement man made housing has not been as prevalent.” Ship Harbor features 36 elevated boxes. See skagitaudubon.org for more information.

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About Photographer Steve Berentson

A fourth generation Skagit County native who was moved kicking and screaming from this island community in 1960. I finally reclaimed an Anacortes address in 1980, and I have been in constant celebration of my return since that time. Many of us who call Anacortes home love Fidalgo Island for its natural assets: among them are rugged beaches, pristine lakes, thousands of acres of forestland and some awesome views of the Skagit Valley and surrounding islands. Another element of my love affair with this community is its people, both natives and immigrants. They will “star” in many of my journal entries.

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