Purple Martins


Purple Martins....

 One of  the greatest loves in my life are Purple Martins

This Page Updated 07/2001

There are several reasons why any bird lover would want to raise and house Purple Martins.

The song. Purple Martins sing a beautiful song. No matter what is going on in your life, if you walk out to your site, and hear a Martin song, you'll find yourself smiling.

Insects. Martins eat a *lot* of insects. They are great to have around the garden. As people we need to move away from pesticides and towards natural forms of insect control, like birds. Put a Martin house near your garden. Not only will they keep the insect population down, but they'll be great companions to you while you are out in the garden.

Purple Martins need our help. The population of Purple Martins is on the decline. Purple Martins do die during migratory flights. Also, predation is a major problem. Starlings, Sparrows, Snakes, Raccoons, Hawks, to name a few, all play a role in the decline of Purple Martins. Proper housing management is one way to ensure that predators have a minimal effect on your site. Read up on Martin housing, do your research, and make sure your housing will meet the needs of the Purple Martins.

 These fine birds arrive each year, and help us control the insect population over much of North America, as shown on the map below.



There is much to learn about Purple Martins, and one of the best places to start is at the

The Purple Martin Conservation Website here, where you

will find plenty of information on our feathered friends, the Purple Martins.

There is much debate regarding Martin Housing. Some great building tips exist on the

web. Here is a link to some building plans Building A Purple Martin House

Here are some other great links to Purple Martin sites on the web.

The North American Breeding Bird Survey
Chuck's Purple Martin Page
The Purple Martin Site
Danny's Purple Martin Site
Join The Plain Living Newsletter

Here are a couple of photographs of my setup so far.

This is the first Martin house I made. I renovated it last year after reading about how much better Martins do with larger dwellings. I had 6"x6" compartments. I converted them over to approximately 7"x12". Things went much better in the 2000 season because I enlarged the housing. Also, aside from the Super Gourds, research indicates that wood is the best insulator, keeping babies warm in cool weather, and cool in warm weather. Don't forget to drill out drain holes, and vent holes in wooden housing.

They aren't the clearest pictures, but do note the water supply in the form of an old birdbath below the gourdrack. If you want to attract and keep a Purple Martin site thriving, it is absolutely *essential* that they have a source of water to aid in nest building, and for sustenance. Also, note the space around the houses. If you want to attract Martins, you must make sure you give them lots of space. Do not put housing too close to trees, or your home or outbuildings.

The 2001 season is going very well. Sadly it is almost over. I thought I'd post some more photos. They may take a while to load. Be patient.

For some Eastern Blue Bird pictures from this season, Click Here, for my Blue Bird Page

You can go to my Understanding Bats page by CLICKING HERE

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