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I visited Galveston during the passage of Tropical Storm Bill on June 16, 2005.

Wind speeds were in the 25-40 mph, with steady, heavy rain. These are not severe tropical storm conditions, but were strong enough to make it unpleasant to be out in the elements.

As I was about to depart to return to Houston, the winds blew over one of our four purple martin houses. The 3/4 inch steel pipe simple buckled at a junction point.

Five recently hatched purple martin babies lived in that house.




I put on my rain gear and rounded up the 5 baby birds, placing them in a cooler with a secure top to keep them warm while I considered what to do about their smashed home.

This was our oldest martin house and much of the wood had become a little too soft to try to nail back together.




With a few stainless steel nails where the wood would hold together, but with a lot of Gorilla tape, I manage to "re-build" the martin house to a reasonably usable form.

After getting the house back to this form, I inserted as much of the nesting material in each of the separate apartments that the martins live in.

I then used a 1/4inch line to secure the house to a nearby palm tree to offset the continuing high winds. Without that line, the house would surely have quickly collapsed again.

Useing a ladder, I then put each of the 5 baby martins in one of the nests.

As you can see, the martin parents quickly returned to check on their baby martins. There may have been a little confusion as to whether each baby martin was in their original apartment, but they seemed to quickly sort it out.




Returning to Galveston a few days later, I found the martin house to be thriving.

However, shortly after arrival I noticed that a baby martin thought he could fly, but couldn't get up from the grass after departing the nest.






I captured the baby martin with Turner's help, althReturning to Galveston a few days later, I found the martin house to be thriving.

However, shortly after arrival I noticed that a baby martin thought he could fly, but couldn't get up from the grass after departing the nest.

ept. 14, 2014 at The Old Globe.
Photo by Jim Cox.
 




































 



 

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