Getting to know Purple Martin’s

Adult male and female purple martin birds appearing on the perch of a commercial made poly supergourd

Purple martin birds usually have anywhere between 2 to 8 babies per brood. They prefer to reside in man-made housing such as gourds and birdhouses, which are designed to mimic their natural habitats. Common predators of purple martins include cats, hawks, raccoons, snakes, owls and other large birds of prey. In order to protect them from these threats, it is important to keep the birdhouses properly maintained and positioned in the correct location away from predators.

The Purple Martin (Progne subis) is a species of swallow native to the Americas. They migrate south in the late summer and fall, returning to the United States from Central America and South America during February or March. Once back in the US they will nest in colonies near water, often in man-made birdhouses. The Purple Martins then spend their days hunting for flying insects and roosting at night. By June or July they have completed breeding season, and they will again migrate south, this time with the young birds accompanying them on their journey.

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