Visited one of my Amish neighbors today and noticed their purple martin boxes coming to life with the annual return of their residents. It reminded me of something I read months ago about martins and their legendary appetite for mosquitoes.
Legend has it that a typical martin will consume about 2000 mosquitoes each day. The reality is that a mosquitoes make up only .03% of a martin’s daily diet. The myth has been traced back to a guy who manufactured martin houses and was told to increase sales.
Ironically, what purple martins really love to munch on are dragonflies and dragonflies, in their nymph stage, live primarily on a diet of mosquito larva. Even as adults they continue to chow down on mosquitoes and other small insects. It’s the twisted finger of fate that we pander to the very thing that will kill the very thing that kills the thing we want killed.