Purple Martins

purple martin

I always enjoy checking out the Purple Martin houses behind a home on Sauvie Island.  These large swallows are one of the more popular yard birds in the eastern U.S. , but the species is much less common in the West. This site on  Sauvie Island is one of the few places in the Portland area to find them.

martin nest
Here a female is putting nesting material into a martin house. The “natural” nesting habitat for Purple Martins is a cavity, usually an old woodpecker hole. But for the past two centuries, most of the population has chosen to nest in man-made structures.

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2 Responses to Purple Martins

  1. Michele says:

    Is that first photo a decoy? While on Birdathon we thought we saw one perched on the stand and when we scoped it we discovered it was a decoy. I guess it attraches martins? Silly birders, we thought it was real!

  2. No, that is a real bird. A shame that folks don’t put up houses for them much anymore. I recently read that purple martin populations are only 10% of what they were before the introduction of the Starling and English House Sparrow.
    Would love it if you visited my blog http://mypurplemartinblog.com
    thanks so much

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