Purple Martin Range Expansion Test
I built two purple martin condos in the summer of 2017 for use by purple martins in 2018. One condo was installed just west of Peace River in a local park. This condo has 14 individual apartments on four different towers. The second condo will be installed on Judah Hill and is a little smaller with 10 apartments also on four towers.
The biggest problem I had with building these condos is the lack of free information regarding plans for condos online or plans in books I already own. Without paying for plans with an unknown level of detail there were no plans online, with the exception of a few simplistic plans that included a lot fewer apartments or were not close to the design I wanted. As a result I created my own design (similar to many other tower designs) based upon seeing pictures from various sources. Many of the starling exclusion entrance holes appear to be patented and unable to be used. Because of this I went with the standard 2-1/4" circular entrance hole. This is because the Judah Hill colony will not have house sparrow problems and any starling problems that may arise will not last long (plus I have had very few starlings nesting in kestrel boxes on Judah Hill). The other condo west of Peace River will also be closely monitored and shouldn't have problems either.
The test here will be to determine if we can get purple martins to colonize new areas 60-70km northwest of the northern most colony (that I am aware of) in Alberta and if so how long (in years) will that take to occur. Most of the well known colonies of purple martins are located in the Edmonton and Red Deer areas of Alberta with one colony located at the Kimiwan Bird Walk in McLennan, AB.