A few years ago I developed an interested in America’s largest swallow, the Purple Martin.  They arrive in North America from South America in the Spring, stake out their nesting areas (usually natural or fabricated gourds provided by people for the purpose) where they raise their young. Traditionally they have then gathered mostly on Bomb Island in Lake Murray before all flying South again for the winter, but for some unknown reason they changed their rendezvous area and went to Lake Monticello last year instead. Disappointed Lake Murray tour operators who profit from the birds’ presence were at a loss to explain this departure from past behavior and hopefully they hadn’t already spent their season’s anticipated income.  We will have to wait and see where they go this year.  In the meantime, the young birds have not yet fledged.  Here are some images of feeding time – the most popular item on the menu seems to have been dragonfly 🙂