Special bird species makes Hammonasset home - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Special bird species makes Hammonasset home

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Purple Martin makes Hammonasset home (WFSB) Purple Martin makes Hammonasset home (WFSB)
MADISON, CT (WFSB) -

Dozens of bird lovers flocked to Hammonasset State Park in Madison on Wednesday to help track a special specie of bird, the Purple Martin.

East of the Mississippi, the winged wonders totally rely on humans for housing and need special care.

Colonies of the Purple Martins have made Hammonasset State Park their home, even though the species is originally from Brazil.

On Wednesday, members of the Menuntuck Audubon Society continued a decade-old tradition of banding the very young days-old chicks from the nests they installed in 2005.

"We're going to ban all the chicks that are between 10 days and 22 days old,” said Terry Shaw, of the Menuntuck Audubon Society.

Each colony in Connecticut will get a different colored band so when spotters see their band color they will know exactly what colony they came from.

On Wednesday, 85 birds were banded.

"They come here in the spring just to breed and as soon as the fledglings can fly they leave,” Shaw added.

There were 100 eggs found on Wednesday during the banding process. The young birds will stay at the park for about another month before returning back to Brazil with their families.

From a colony of 10 chicks in 2005, the volunteers have seen the Purple Martin population grow to more than 300 this year.

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