A Natural Unnatural Home: A history of gourd birdhouses for purple martins

Wednesday 14 February 2024 14:15-15:30,
Hulda Garborgs hus,

by Dolly Jørgensen, Professor of History, University of Stavanger

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Picture of a Purple Martin building a nest in a gourd

In this talk Professor Dolly Jørgensen, University of Stavanger, will look at the history of making birdhouses for purple martins out of calabash gourds from the 1700s through 1900s in North America. It appears that indigenous communities had used gourds prior to European arrival and that settlers, including enslaved persons, learned this practice. I will argue that these gourd birdhouses became integrated in both bird lives and human culture.