A Topeka cemetery is preparing for an annual influx of purple martin songbirds.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the Newcomer Funeral Service Group initiated the project five years ago.
President Ren Newcomer happened to see several purple martin houses while out on a bike ride and asked accounts receivable manager Russ Burlew to establish the houses. No purple martins showed up the first year.
Burlew did some research and in 2012, he purchased a CD with a recording of the purple martin call. He said he receive some strange looks when he blasted the recording from his car. But ultimately, the effort was successful in attracting the birds. They arrive in Kansas in mid-March to nest and raise their young. They leave for their migration to Brazil in August.