- Associated Press - Saturday, June 4, 2016

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - The purple martins have returned to their restored colony in Bloomington’s White Oak Park.

Vandals pulled down two purple martin houses and damaged a third. The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports (https://bit.ly/1sW1VYU ) the city’s Parks and Recreation Department straightened poles and replaced them immediately after discovering the wreckage in late May.

Matthew Winks is head of the Purple Martin Project for the John Wesley Audubon Society.

He says the purple martins arrived in March and have been nesting but not yet laid eggs. The birds returned almost as soon as the houses were replaced. He examines nesting boxes to ensure invasive house sparrows and starlings don’t take over.

Purple martins are songbirds and the largest member of the swallow family - up to eight inches long. They devour mosquitoes and other insects.

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Information from: The Pantagraph, https://www.pantagraph.com


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