More on Martins  

I think Purple Martins (Progne subis) have one of the most beautiful forms of any North American bird. The adults have black feathers with an iridescent purple sheen and their songs are quite beautiful and cheerful. I love to watch them in the evening as they fill the sky over our back yard, diving and swooping to catch flying insects (like the moths whose eggs turn into ravenous caterpillars in our garden).

I also appreciate them as a part of our American heritage. Some say that the Creek Indians were the first to utilize gourds to attract these extraordinary birds. And until a couple generations ago, every Southeastern farmer knew about Purple Martins and almost all of them made use of these fine feathered friends to reduce the insect population on their farms. These days, the overuse of chemical sprays makes the keeping of martins around the farmstead unlikely at best.

But over the generations, these former farmers' friends have become completely dependent on humans for housing. For this, and the above reasons, I wanted to encourage you to consider becoming a Purple Martin landlord.

Here are a few links for more info on these wonderful birds:

Purple Martin Conservation Association

Short video on Purple Martins in Brazil (where they spend the winter)

Another interesting video clip on Martins


P.S. A study of Purple Martins would make an interesting topic for homeschool!

This entry was posted on Monday, June 02, 2008 and is filed under , . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .


You are so sweet, thank you.