The Purple Martin

Posted on October 25th, 2009 by admin in Bird Article, North American Birds

The Purple Martin

Anywhere you live and whatever you call one, you cannot reject the prized tie that binds this bird to the Americas. This Wild Bird that travels hundreds of thousands of miles to nest on Northern American soil depends upon us, almost totally, to breed. If Purple Martin landlords did not exist, these birds could perhaps go by way of the Dodo or traveler pigeon.  What additional bird captures the splendor of nature like the Purple Martin? What other animal-wild or domestic, traverses oceans and continents to revisit to the same exact place-year after year? We have been privileged with a blessed trust over hundreds-perhaps thousands of years, to offer homes for these birds. It is a responsibility that some have been called for; to preserve their homes and supply their safety.

Purple Martins are secondary cavity nesting animals.  Due to human contribution, east of the Rockies, Purple Martins have under gone a Male-purple-martinbehavioral change. This means that, for the main part, they no longer distinguish natural cavities as possible nest sites. Due to numerous factors they have become dependent on humans to perform their need for nest sites. Factors such as widespread deforestation and urbanization have left the Purple Martin with little alternative

Placing a Purple Martin dwelling is not as benign or common place as other types of nest boxes such as a Bluebird box, for instance. Purple Martin houses were a frequent place sight in the 1940's due to a regular misconception that Purple Martins feed on mosquitoes. As that population ages and those people either take down the birdhouses, move or pass away, less and less housing is put up to reinstate the housing that is taken down. Regrettably, Purple Martin numbers reflect this tendency. Fortunately, North America’s largest swallow can bounce back with our help.


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