It’s been over a month since the arrival of the first scouts to our colonies. Over that time, more and more martins have arrived including the subadult martins on May 23rd. During the last week the martins have been busy gathering nesting material and we now have several well built nests at each of our colony sites.
In the first few weeks after their arrival, the martins spend their days feeding on insects and will return to the housing in the evenings. PMCA biologist spend this time opening cavities for the martins as needed and ensuring that other bird species, like English house sparrows or tree swallows, are not nest building in the martin housing.
When Purple Martins are ready to build nests, they will collect dry leaves, twigs and sometimes mud from the ground and bring it into the gourd or compartment. This process can take 3-4 weeks and the final result is a flat, bowl-shaped nest. When they are preparing to lay eggs, they will line the nest with fresh green leaves. If you are unsure if the nest in your Purple Martin house is from a Purple Martin, you can visit our Nest ID page to help identify the type of bird that built the nest.
PMCA Field Biologist