Midway man turns a backyard into Purple Martin paradise

Roy's Folks

MIDWAY, N.C. — There is a riot of sound coming from Tim Hyatt’s back yard.

“This is enjoyable just listening to them,” said Hyatt as he watches hundreds of Purple Martins swarm in the sky. “They are feeding now.”

He first started hanging gourds up to attract the birds in 2001.

“It took me two years to get the birds here,” he said.  “The first time I got one pair and then I got more and more.”

Today he has 120 gourds hanging in his back yard.

“If my colony gets filled up, I am not getting any more,” said Hyatt.

In the fall, the birds fly south to Brazil to spend the winter, and that’s when Tim cleans out the gourds to get ready for the birds’ return.  The first start arriving in February. In early spring, the birds start building their nests and laying the eggs, and after that things really get busy. 

“They’re singing. They’re so happy. I am so happy. We like them around here,” said Hyatt. “When everything is gone I get sad. It’s so quiet, and nothing’s going on.”

But for now, it’s entertainment time with a Purple Martin parade and baby bird feeding and you can rest assured that when they do leave, they’ll be back.

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