Batavia Wastewater Treatment Plant
2016 data (as of 2016-Jul-29)
Here’s a short description of the site: The
gourds on the Batavia rack are equipped with tunnel entrances that
prevent European Starlings from entering. Non-native House Sparrows
also compete with Purple Martins and can be controlled with tunnel
entrance traps with this rack. The artificial gourds have wing guard
entrapment ledges inside that prevent martins from becoming stuck in
an entrance. The roomy, weather protective gourds provide safety and
space for the juvenile martins to exercise their wings. The gourds
have access caps that allow Purple Martin volunteer landlords to check
nestling conditions every five to seven days. The square three-inch
aluminum pole is equipped with a winch to raise and lower the housing
during nest checks. The pole has a predator guard to prevent any squirrels,
raccoons, snakes or other climbing predators from entrance to the colony.
(I saw a Black Rat Snake at water’s edge during the last nest
check!) We installed the housing on the lower berm near Wetland Three.
This location reduces wind exposure.
During the breeding season of 2014, I opened the
rack for the first time and noticed that four of the gourds had SY
martins sleeping in them during that time. No nesting took place. In
spring 2015, Tree Swallows prevented martins from nesting in the gourd
rack, probably as a result of opening the rack too early. Tree Swallows
fledged from three nests that season. I opened the gourd rack May 20,
2016, after Tree Swallows were firmly established in Tree Swallow housing
within 20 feet. This year was the charm and breeding season 2016 is
a great success story!
Purple Martins have returned to Batavia Wastewater Treatment Plant, thanks
to the Buffalo Ornithological Society grant. We hope to add twelve additional
gourds to finish the project in May 2017.
Celeste Morien Medina, NY
Treatment Plant (BWWTP) in Batavia, NY is a birder's paradise
acres of open space that is
open to the public 7AM-3 PM daily, on 9 Treadeasy Drive, Batavia.
The lagoon system is said to be the largest east of the Mississippi
River. Effluent is not chemically treated and after six to nine
months of natural cleansing is discharged safely into Tonawanda
Creek. New Plant Manager, Kevin Volk is very friendly and
encourages birders to make note of their sightings so he can keep
a current list of species sighted at the facility. So far, the
plant has hosted approximately 150 -160 species of birds. The
only requirement of birders is to sign in at the plant office.
Local birders have found uncommon species here, including Northern
Wheatear, Willet, Piping Plover, Eared Grebe, Red-necked Phalarope
and Bohemian Waxwing, among others.
|In 2013, in a joint effort
to replace outdated Purple Martin housing at the plant, Buffalo
grant to New York State Purple Martin Project (NYSPMP),
which paid for the installation of a Gemini Gourd Rack and twelve
Friends of Iroquois, Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge and
New York State have also been active in funding the NYSPMP/Iroquois/Tonawanda/Oak
Orchard Purple Martin sites, and we expected that some of the
fledged birds from Iroquois and the New York State Department
Conservation Wildlife Management Areas nearby would colonize
the new Batavia site. In fact, none of those banded martins nested,
however a sub-adult (SY) male martin (#B043) green-banded at
Job Corp Shop 1 box cavity 3 is currently hanging around with
several other SY males. We hope that these males return from
full breeding plumage to nest in May 2017.