purple martins habitat

purple martins migration

Purple Martins Birds – Knowing Your Bird Species

Purple Martins… birds that make great neighbors. Not only do purple martins birds help keep insects at bay they also have a pleasant chattering call and a stunning purplish blue color to enjoy.


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Whether you are hooked on bird watching or just like to know what you are looking at, knowing your birds is important. In this article, we take a look at Purple Martins.

purple martin mosquitoesAs the name suggests, Purple Martins are a colorful bunch. Only the males actually have a purplish blue color. Females tend to be dark brown with bellies that are whitish. Male or female, they have a distinct appearance.

Purple Martins are members of the swallow family. They are found throughout North America, but migrate to South America in the summer. They are a larger bird noted for their triangular wings. They have a deep whistle and often made metal sounding trilling calls.

These are a much loved bird by homeowners in the spring and summer. Why? They are insect eaters. Specifically, they have been touted as mosquito eaters. While they do eat mosquitoes, they tend to go for larger insects that make better meals. Still, anything that eats mosquitoes gets a thumbs up in my book!

purple martins migrationWhen it comes to nesting, Purple Martins like to be up in the air. They build nests in niches or gourd like areas. The use twigs and dry grass for the structure, but line the interior with green leaves. This is believed to help maintain humidity for the eggs. The female Purple Martins will lay three to seven eggs. Oddly, the first eggs tend to result in stronger chicks than the latter eggs. Once hatched, the parents feed the chicks insects ranging from beetles to ants. The chicks remain in the nest for roughly one month.

As a member of the swallow family, Purple Martins are social birds. They are seen migrating in huge flocks. They nest in colonies of these flocks. They are also receptive to human habitats, which means you may see them in your backyard and on golf courses.

They are an interesting bird to keep an eye out for when you are birding. They are certainly worth adding to your life list, although they are not really a difficult sighting to find.

Author: Richard Chapo

Rick Chapo is with NomadJournals.com – makers of birding journals that make great bird watching gifts.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Richard_Chapo

Banding Purple Martins

Over the last 3 days Mark Newstrom and I have banded close to 200 young Purple Martins. This year marks the first year of a color banding program to track birds. I have posted photos and a video clip for anyone interested.

More About Purple Martins Birds 

Mark and I went to a couple of new colonies this morning and in beautiful weather we banded 34 more young Purple Martins. One of the colonies already has both young fledged and flying around and chicks that are no more than 2 days old.

Purple Martins Birds 

Purple Martins are birds that are colony nesters – meaning, they prefer to live almost like humans in apartments. I was able to visit a colony maintained by some very nice folks outside the metro area.

Purple Martins Birds Have Landed In The Lakes

In 2000, people in Portage Lakes decided to build houses for Purple Martins in hope of reducing the insect populations. The birds were counted on to target insects that had been plaguing the region.

Purple Martins Birds 

If there was a ten most wanted list for birds, Purple Martins would be on it. Over a million people in North America put up Martin houses in hopes of attracting a colony. If only it were so easy. Purple Martins are picky house hunters.

Purple Martins

Purple Martins are rare on the the west coast of Canada. Unlike the eastern race, they only breed along the coast. Years ago they nested in dead trees along the south coast of British Columbia.

Purple Martins Birds 

I had seen and heard reports of Purple Martins being seen, so it was a thrill to finally see some ourselves. The lady to whom this birdhouse belongs was so kind and welcoming to us, which we appreciated greatly.

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