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Summary of 2014 reports:
   3718 adult scout reports submitted.
   453 subadult male reports submitted.

This map is no longer being updated. All reports submitted via the online form will still be posted to the adult and subadult detail pages automatically. However, your scout reports are still needed for research purposes. If you haven't yet submitted your scout reports, please do so at any time. Thank you!

Click Here to Submit Your Scout Report

Note: Due to the volume of scout arrival reports received, the PMCA cannot verify the accuracy of individual reports. Consequently, the PMCA posts scout arrival reports as received. Reports of adult (ASY) martins generally are reliable, but some reports of subadult (SY) martins may not be, because observers sometimes mistake adult females for subadults. (See the Purple Martin identification page.) Subadult martins generally arrive 3-6 weeks later than adults at any given location. Thus, very early reports of subadults should be viewed with caution.

Welcome to the Purple Martin Conservation Association's 2014 scout-arrival page. At this site, we collect and disseminate Purple Martin migration reports from all across North America. On the map above you can see (in purple) the migration of the adult (ASY) martins up through the United States and into Canada. In yellow, you can see the migration of the subadult (SY-M) male Purple Martin later on in the season. Clicking on a particular region of the map will take you to a geographic-specific account of the martin migration.

To visit other scout pages:

Previous years' scout pages: 2013201220112010200920082007200620052004200320022001200019991998


Animated scout maps: 2013 » 2012 » 2011 » 2010 » 2009 » 2008 » 2007 » 2006 » 2005 » 2004 » 2003 » 2002 » 2001




Migration Map
The purple areas in the background show the breeding range of the Purple Martin. Red arrows show the theorized migratory routes taken by Purple Martins. Colored sections mark the average first-arrival dates of adult martins (also called "scouts") at long-established breeding sites. For example, there is a 95% likelihood that a martin spotted in the light blue section was reported arriving around February 1st. Subadult martins (those in their first breeding year) return to North America about 3-6 weeks after those dates shown above. If you are starting a new colony, do not open your martin housing until 3-6 weeks after the first adult martins arrive in your area. Check the Arrival-Map above for specific reports.

The PMCA's Scout Arrival Study by James R. Hill, III
Purple Martin Update - Volume 9(3)
This document requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.


TO REPORT YOUR SCOUT-ARRIVAL DATA:

Please complete the online form provided. Be sure to include the date and location of your sighting. The PMCA will gather and post dates throughout the entire 5-month migration period of the Purple Martin and will update the map each workday. Each reporter may choose whether or not to display their report on the detail pages.

Please note: The dates shown on individual scout pages are for active colony sites. If you are trying to attract martins to a new site, note the scout-arrival date for your area and do not open your housing until three-six weeks after that date. New sites are typically colonized by yearling (subadult) martins. Their arrival period begins approximately 30 days after the first scouts arrive and continues until late May, early June. Also note: we are interested in all arrival dates, even if an earlier report exists for your community. We ask that everyone be honest. This is scientific data collection, not a contest.


SCOUT PAGE UPDATES:

The state pages are updated automatically each time a reporter chooses to have their data displayed. The only information displayed online is name (optional), city, state, and any scout dates. If a reporter reports two adult dates (one for their colony and one for another colony in same city), both reports will be displayed.

The scout maps are manually updated once each workday. When making the map, all reports will be accepted as received. These are not necessarily accurate reports. Please let us know if your report is not displayed on the map. Exceptional reports will be reviewed and, if necessary, verified prior to being mapped.

 
INFORMATION:

Regarding the first adult male or female martins you saw this year, please tell us what they were doing (i.e., foraging out over water, perched on the martin housing, flying overhead, etc.), how many there were, whether you heard them give their familiar Purple Martin vocalization (a pleasant gurgling chortle), whether they stayed overnight or kept migrating, how many years you have been hosting Purple Martins at this site, and how many pairs bred at your site last year.


FOR BEGINNERS:

Be absolutely sure the birds you saw were not Tree Swallows, Barn Swallows, cowbirds, grackles, or European Starlings. Tree swallows have pure white bellies and are 1/2 the size of Purple Martins. Purple Martins have short black beaks and are either all-black (adult males) or have gray undersides with darker backs (females and subadult males). Starlings have long yellow beaks and a vocalization that is an intense squeal. Barn Swallows have orange bellies and long forked tails. Grackles and cowbirds are iridescent purple like martins, but they frequent seed feeders and walk through the grass; Purple Martins don't.

Also, northward migrating martins travel alone, or in very small, loose, groups of 2 or 3 individuals. If you are seeing flocks of dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of birds, they aren't Purple Martins. If the first "martins" back at your site immediately start to clean old nesting material out of the housing, THEY ARE NOT MARTINS - they are probably starlings. Martins do not begin nest building until about 4 weeks after the earliest ones return. Also, if the birds you see are more than two weeks earlier than the average first-arrival dates shown on the migration-timing map displayed at this web site, it's very unlikely they are Purple Martins.