Purple Martin Nesting Box Installation Complete Thanks to Community Collaboration

Monday, June 7, 2021 – The community joined forces this weekend, led by Wild Wise Sooke with support from the District and local business, Sooke Gutter, to install twelve purple martin nesting boxes at the Sooke Pier (located on the waterfront at the Prestige Oceanfront Resort).

Wild Wise President, Sam Webb, describes one of the biggest projects the organization has undertaken to date and remarkable efforts of the community:

“We are pleased to say it went very smoothly thanks to the organization and expertise of those involved. Special thanks to volunteer Mike Pretty for loaning his carpentry skills to the project, building boxes and leading the install today, Kelly Chartier for initiating the project last year and for her involvement in the planning and construction process, Shane Robertson and Sooke Gutter for purchasing the lumber and for continued assistance with the project, Evey Chartier for allowing us to recruit you into constructing boxes, Wallis Moore Reed for introducing us to PUMA nest monitoring and for answering our many many questions, Jessica Boquist and Laura Hooper from the District of Sooke Parks Department for overseeing and supporting this project, and all the volunteers who came out today to help with the full day of installing the beams and boxes.”

Webb notes that educational signage will be next for the project. “We will continue our citizen science project by checking to see how active the boxes are. If you get a chance, take a walk down the pier and see if you can spot members or the new Wild Wise Purple Martin colony!” Webb adds.

Purple Martins are Canada’s largest swallow, averaging 17 to 20 centimetres in length with a wingspan of 9-41 centimetres. They consume a variety of the larger flying insects, including dragonflies, moths, house flies, horse flies and deer flies. The Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks describes the Purple Martin as a Species At Risk; however, they note the species is increasing in numbers due to nest-box programs.

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Christina Moog, Communications Coordinator
250.642.1634, ext. 678