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- Like us, follow, & share:This is the official discussion thread for the cause Coastal Carolina Purple Martin Society. Its EIN is 76-0838456 and it's a public charity based in Manns Harbor, NC. Research more info about the cause on GuideStar and Charity Navigator.
Coastal Carolina Purple Martin Society protect the annual roost at the Old Manns Harbor Bridge and promote their conservation in coastal NC.
The mission of CCPMS is to protect the Manns Harbor roost and to promote the conservation of purple martins throughout the coastal plain region of North Carolina through public education.
The Coastal Carolina Purple Martin Society was formed in 2006 to advocate for the protection of the purple martins at this popular roost between Roanoke Island and Manns Harbor. It is believed that thousands of martins have been killed at the roost every year, but thanks to a collaboration of private and public forces, signs and flashing lights have been added to warn motorists to use caution along the bridge.
The society worked with local and state officials in 2007 to have warning lights, an enforced 25 mph speed limit, and signs active during the roosting period, at dawn and dusk, when the birds leave and return to the bridge.
From July through August, the west end of the bridge on Croatan Sound becomes home to more than 100,000 purple martins as they prepare for their annual migration to Brazil. The Umstead Bridge between the north end of Roanoke Island and the Dare County mainland is also locally known as the Old Manns Harbor Bridge. The birds roost under the bridge at night, departing at dawn to feed and returning at sunset. The flock is so large during its peak that it can be seen on radar.
People in this area have seen Purple Martins roosting at this bridge for at least 40 years. The bridge is 61 years old and probably attracted the birds soon after it was built. The I-beam construction underneath the bridge makes a comfortable ledge where the parents and their young can sit at night, well removed from snakes, owls, vehicles and other predators. Families of martins from as far away as 150 miles come to this roost. There are similar, though smaller roosts at the Neuse River Bridge near New Bern and the bridge to Chincoteague Island on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
The society also offers sunset talks on the “Bebop” multi-purpose pier, and during the winter it arranges a workshop for landlords and prospective landlords on how to manage a martin colony in the region.
“Experiencing purple martins reminds us that nature is not only beautiful and uplifting, but also is mysterious and progresses by its own rules and evolution. No one who sees it ever forgets the sight and sound of 100,000 martins swirling and playing during sunset, then settling in at our roost for the night.”