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2014 Purple Martin Festival

Purple Martins

   

Purple martins, Progne subis, are a type of swallow, cousins to the types that nest in urban chimneys and Greene County barns, and return annually to San Juan Capistrano to the delight of tourists. Martins are skilled and entertaining aerial acrobats, snatching their favorite prey, flying insects from midair and, unlike other swallows, they are dependent on you and me for their survuval. Purple martins suffered a population crash in the 20th century, unable to compete with European starlings and house sparrows for naturally occuring nest cavities. In fact, they became pretty scarce in the Eastern US by the 1980s, and only rebounded when people began providing them with hollowed-out guords and nest boxes.

   

The Purple Martin Festival

Well-known Greene County bird experts Bly Blystone, proprietor Greene County's historic Jacobs Birdhouse Company, and Ralph Bell, reknowned for his bird walks, will be on hand for Mason Dixon Park's 8th Annual Purple Martin Festival. Learn how you can become a succesful purple martin landlord and meet some of your neighbors who have already taken the plunge. Learn which Greene County golf course has become a gathering place for Purple Martins as they prepare for their epic migration to South America. Watch as the park's bird condos are lowered and cleaned, and the birds are banded, and there's nothing more awww-inspiring then the sight of a baby purple martin! Last year, Mason-Dixon Park fedged 215 of the little balls of fluff! The Purple Martin Conservation Association's website will whet your appetite for our festival.

 

       

Food, Glorious Food

No Mason-Dixon Park Festival is complete without food. Lots of food. Summertime party fare you'll love, like potato and macaroni salad, and hot chicken sandwiches, and more deserts than you can shake a stick at. And, if your're an active duty servicemember, or a U. S. military veteran, you can still visit the Park booth and get a free Mason Dixon Dog. All you can eat. A whole meal on a bun. It's the least we can do.

When

The Purple Martin Festival will be held Saturday, June 28th from 10AM until 4PM. The best part of living here in Greene County is having nature literally in your back yard. Come and enjoy a bit of ours