"Just growing up as a young boy, I saw the birds in town and they always fascinated me. They're just an amazing animal, the way they fly and group together," states Andrew Burnett, Project Coordinator.
So, the fact that the number of Purple Martins are declining nationwide, particularly in Parsons, doesn't sit well with him.
"It's not what you call severe but it is declining," says Burnett.
The Martins are falling prey to bigger birds.
"Sparrows and Starlings will actually attack the Martin nest and destroy it, and even kill the Martins," says Burnett.
To fix the problem, Burnett kicked off the "Purple Martin Rehab Project" to restore Martin homes. The bird depends on human made houses to nest and reproduce.
"With the upgrades we're looking to make with this project, it will help stabilize that population and even grow it," says Burnett.
The Parsons Chamber of Commerce is the projects main supporter, hoping to restore community pride.
"All the little things build up, so rehabbing these 30 houses and putting them out so that we're back at the top of being the Purple Martin capital of Kansas is just one more thing that builds together to make a full community," states Jim Zaleski, Parsons Chamber President.
The chamber and Burnett are working together to raise money to repair the homes. About one dozen homes have been repaired so far, each one houses about a dozen birds.
"If you're going to be the capitol of anything, like the Kansas capitol for the Purple Martin, you want to take that seriously," says Burnett.
The chamber and Burnett hope to raise $9,000 to restore all 35 homes. $2,000 has already been donated. If you'd like to donate to get a Martin home repaired, call the Parsons Chamber of Commerce at 421-6500. To donate your time rehabbing houses, call Andrew Burnett at 816-810-3913.