Purple Martins at Robert is Here

This afternoon we took some friends down to Robert is Here, a popular fruit stand and farm that has been a South Florida landmark since 1960.  The word “landmark” is especially appropriate in this case, because “ROBERT IS HERE” appears in large block lettering atop the roof, so that even those passing by in airplanes can plainly see just where Robert is.  As we parked I noticed some birdhouses at the side of the property and a sign underneath them that boasted, “Southern Most Purple Martin House in the Continental USA.”  At first I saw nothing more than a couple of House Sparrows playing on the birdhouse but soon a male Purple Martin landed on one of the pegs.  Then a female joined him and some juveniles poked their heads out of some of the holes. Purple Martins, the largest of the North American Swallows, are completely dependent on artificial houses and next boxes.

Purple Martin (Progne subis) at the “Southern Most Purple Martin House in the Continental USA.”

Purple Martin (Male and Female)

A juvenile Purple Martin pokes his head out of the bird house at the Robert is Here fruit stand in Florida City, FL.

Here is a shot of the male Purple Martin in front of a sky filled with smoke from the brush fires currently burning in the Florida Everglades.

The Purple Martin Conservation Association
Wikipedia Entry for Purple Martin
All About Birds Entry for Purple Martin
Visit Robert is Here