The Purple Martin Bird
The Purple Martin bird arrives shortly after the swallows and tend to brighten the surroundings with its presence. Learn why!
The Purple Martin arrives shortly after the swallows and tend to brighten the surroundings with its presence. This swallow type bird sports a glossy purple on its outer feathers and on the male even the stomach area is purple. This is the largest of the swallow type birds. The females and juveniles are gray on the underside. The tail of this magnificent bird is forked. They are a migratory species, flying with quick wing beats and gliding easily in pursuit of insects.
The Purple Martin can be found anywhere in association with buildings. They prefer man made houses for nesting and readily use martin houses if one is supplied for them. They have a loud, rich call that is easily distinguished from other summer visitors. Their diet consist of mostly insects and they even eat mosquitos though they prefer larger insects. Since they are cavity nesters their nesting habits are more interesting and accomplished than those of the swallow. Both the male and female share in the nest building task and will often be seen prior to nesting indulging in flights of courtship and twittering conversations.
The nest of the Purple Martin, like other martins, is strong and compact, sometimes lasting for years with only the straw and feather lining being renewed. The nest is cup shaped leaving only enough space for one parent bird at a time to enter. The female will lay four or five eggs that are mostly white. This is a sociable bird that, like the swallow will raise two or three broods in a season.