Bird Man Mel's Attracting Purple Martins Video
Purple Martin Progne subis
Bird Man Mel's Attracting Purple Martins - Turn up the sound and enjoy!
Purple martins are one of America's favorite birds. Their arrival each spring is a much heralded event in many backyards and their departure each fall marks the passing of another year for many. In the eastern U.S. purple martins nest almost exclusively in purple martin houses and gourds provided by man. In the west they nest more regularly in natural cavities.
Family: Hirundinidae, Swallows
Description: 7-8 1/2" (18-22 cm). Our largest swallow. Adult male dark steel-blue. Female and immature male duller above, pale gray below. Overhead, similar in shape to European Starling, but flight more buoyant and gliding.
Habitat: Open woodlands, residential areas, and agricultural land.
Nesting: 4 or 5 white eggs in a mass of grass and other plant material placed in a cavity -- sometimes a hole in a tree or a martin house with many separate compartments, where the birds nest in a colony.
Range: Breeds from British Columbia, central interior Canada, and Nova Scotia southward, but absent from interior western mountains and Great Basin. Winters in tropics.
Voice: Liquid gurgling warble. Also a penetrating tee-tee-tee.
Discussion: The custom of erecting a martin house to attract these beneficial birds was practiced by the early settlers and, before them, by the southern Indian tribes, who hung clusters of hollow gourds in trees near their gardens. In other areas, the species nested in tall dead trees riddled with woodpecker holes, but these original colonies never reached the size -- as many as 200 pairs -- of colonies found in large martin houses today. In the West, it tends not to occupy martin houses, preferring the open countryside or downtown areas, and is becoming scarcer, probably due to competition with European Starlings for nest sites.
Products Featured in Video (click link)
Purple Martin Houses
Purple Martin Accessories