July 1, 2009

A Hotel For Birds


True to the hospitality industry, Das Dutch Village Inn expanded its customer base to a new species: the Purple Martin, a member of the Swallow family of birds.
Located in the east lawn by the Inn's gazebo, this birdhouse strikingly resembles the fa├žade of the Inn. A statuesque pole leads the eye to the custom built stark white traditional Purple Martin birdhouse with an antenna-shaped perch stretching from its roofline.

A drive through Amish country, Ohio inspired Owner Ralph Witmer to reinstate his hobby as Purple Martin Landlord. "I was just outside Wooster Ohio when I saw several Purple Martin houses along a farm just off the highway, so I pulled in and found that the owner of the houses actually built them himself," said Witmer.

Purple Martin Colonies are common in Amish and farming communities for their benefit of insect maintenance. The largest of the Swallow family, Purple Martins feed on insects in flight, such as mosquitoes, during summer breeding in eastern North America.

Identified by its pointed wingspan, acrobatic gliding and males' bluish black glossy color, guests of the Inn can stroll out to the gazebo for the unique bird watching this songbird provides. Ask for a room in the back of the hotel and you may be able to open your window on a summer evening to hear its song.

Purple Martins nest uniquely in colonies - one house with multiple nests for multiple pairs of martins. These birds pair monogamously and breed in the summer, choosing nesting locations to return to every year provided they are well maintained by the landlords.


For more information on Purple Martins go to Purple Martin Conservation Association and Cornell's Lab of Ornithology.

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