Thanks to the care and maintenance by the Thruway and nearby neighbors, the
Purple Martin colony at the east side of the New Paltz Thruway exit lane is
doing very well this year.

With birds coming and going to the many occupied next boxes and gourds, it
is hard to get a good count, but I'd estimate that there are at least a
dozen pairs in residence, more likely more.

The birds can easily be seen from the shoulder of the exit land (after
exiting the toll booths) or from the Park & Ride lot on the west side of
the lanes. You can get much closer to the birds at the end of Paradies Lane
off Rt. 299. The good folks nearest to the martin colony welcome viewers.
But there's no need to go off the public road since the martins frequently
fly up to the utility lines and shrubs close to the road.

The heron colony north of Rt. 299 seems to be thriving as well.

Richard Guthrie


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