Members of the Squamish Environment Society cleaned and retrieved camera footage from the purple martin nest boxes in the Squamish Estuary.
Despite a south wind gusting up Howe Sound, project co-ordinator Tiffany Brunke, Davina Dube, and John Buchanan boated out to the purple martin nest boxes on Saturday, Oct. 22.
The team took notes and photographs and also bagged some of the items inside the boxes — including leftover eggs, leaves and sticks, and even lingering feces.
The team also retrieved the camera footage from inside several different boxes. The cameras take a five-second video every hour, said Buchanan, as the birds use the boxes throughout the season.
These cameras were reset for this season in mid-April, said Brunke. Now about six months later, just one camera has nearly 2,000 clips that the society will go through to document a variety of nesting activities.
In total, there are five cameras in nesting boxes to study. These particular boxes were installed in 2021. These videos and photos captured will be made available to other citizen scientists in and around B.C. who are also participating in Purple Martin recovery projects, according to the project’s webpage.
This project originally began in 2015 when they installed a single nest box to monitor the purple martins. Since then, the society has installed 27 more for a total of 28.
The webpage contains progress reports throughout the years of the Purple Martins. It also notes that the project is actively looking for more volunteers.
For more information, go to SquamishEnvironment.ca.