Thanks to member and donor support, the Purple Martin Conservation Association is hard at work helping to ensure the future of Purple Martins.

 As the largest organization devoted to Purple Martins, the PMCA has been working to protect the species by leading research and studying Purple Martins for over 30 years.

 By conducting and supporting world-class martin research, we are learning more than ever about this amazing species! Through partnerships with universities, corporations and other governmental entities, the PMCA remains the largest advocate for resources to support martin conservation.

 Not only are professional teams conducting research, but individuals are also participating through the PMCA maintained citizen science programs. Additionally, the PMCA offers annual research grant opportunities to students, professionals and individuals seeking to better understand the mysteries of Purple Martins.

 Through these partnerships, martin research is happening not just locally at the PMCA headquarters, but actively throughout all of the Western Hemisphere!  It is a particular challenge to understand more about the migratory movements and wintering habitats of martins in the tropics. As population estimates continue to decline year after year, it is necessary to uncover as much as we can about Purple Martins within all of their range. The PMCA is committed to facing those challenges; developing partnerships in Central and South America are generating very exciting opportunities for collaboration and discovery.

 In conjunction with our partners, the PMCA remains committed to identifying conservation issues and developing solutions to maintain a healthy and sustainable Purple Martin population.


We invite you to read about some of the fascinating research that the PMCA has been a part of over the years. Every new observation and discovery provides insight into unraveling the complicated world of Purple Martins.


PMCA contributor publications

Santos CO, Branco JM, Belotti MC, Abilleira P, Siegrist J, Fischer J, Lima LM, Cohn-Haft M, Hingst-Zaher E. Distribution and migration phenology of Purple Martins (Progne subis) in Brazil. Ornithology Research. 2021 Dec;29(4):213-22.

Lavallée CD, Assadi SB, Korpach AM, Ray JD, Fischer JD, Siegrist J, Fraser KC. The use of nocturnal flights for barrier crossing in a diurnally migrating songbird. Movement ecology. 2021 Dec;9(1):1-1.

Neufeld LR, Muthukumarana S, Fischer JD, Ray JD, Siegrist J, Fraser KC. Breeding latitude is associated with the timing of nesting and migration around the annual calendar among Purple Martin (Progne subis) populations. Journal of Ornithology. 2021 May 18:1-6.

Williams HM, Siegrist J, Wilson AM. Support for a relationship between demography and modeled habitat suitability is scale dependent for the purple martin Progne subis. Journal of Animal Ecology. 2021 Feb;90(2):356-66.

Ray JD, Grisham BA, Siegrist J, Maintaining Purple Martins’ Majesty, The Wildlife Professional, Jan/Feb 2020, 14(1):34-38.

Shave AC, Garroway CJ, Siegrist J, Fraser KC. Timing to temperature: Egg‐laying dates respond to temperature and are under stronger selection at northern latitudes. Ecosphere. 2019 Dec 1;10(12).

Fraser KC, Shave AC, de Greef E, Siegrist J, Garroway CJ. Individual variability in migration timing can explain long-term, population-level advances in a songbird. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 2019;7:324.

Fournier AM, Shave A, Fischer J, Siegrist J, Ray J, Cheskey E, MacIntosh M, Ritchie A, Pearman M, Applegate K, Fraser K. Precise direct tracking and remote sensing reveal the use of forest islands as roost sites by Purple Martins during migration. Journal of Field Ornithology. 2019 Jul 31.

Raleigh D, Ray JD, Grisham BA, Siegrist J, Greene DU. Nest survival data confirm managed housing is an important component to the conservation of the eastern purple martin. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 2019 Mar;43(1):93-101.

Jervis LL, Spicer P, Foster WC, Kelly J, Bridge E. Resisting Extinction. Conservation & Society. 2019 Jan 1;17(3):227-35.

Abdulle SA, Fraser KC. Does wind speed and direction influence timing and route of a trans-hemispheric migratory songbird (purple martin) at a migration barrier?. Animal Migration. 2018 Nov 1;5(1):49-58

Lam L. The ecomorphological role of wings in migration performance and wing morphometric growth rates in ectoparasite-reduced nests. 2018.

Kelly JF, Pletschet SM. Accuracy of swallow roost locations assigned using weather surveillance radar. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation. 2018;4(2):166-72.

Ritchie A. Determining the impact of intrinsic and extrinsic factors throughout the annual cycle on the reproductive behaviour of a migratory songbird, Purple Martin Progne subis. 2017.

Van Loon A, Ray J, Savage A, Mejeur J, Moscar L, Pearson M, et al. Migratory stopover timing is predicted by breeding latitude, not habitat quality, in a long-distance migratory songbird. Journal of Ornithology. 2017;158(3):745-52.

Potter BA, Sperry MM, Hoang DD, Pander KC, Weaver SG, Day AN, et al. The bacterial community found on the surface purple martin (Progne subis) eggs. The Open Ornithology Journal. 2017;10(1).

Fraser KC, Shave A, Savage A, Ritchie A, Bell K, Siegrist J, et al. Determining fine‐scale migratory connectivity and habitat selection for a migratory songbird by using new GPS technology. Journal of Avian Biology. 2017;48(3):339-45.

Arab A, Courter JR, Zelt J. A spatio-temporal comparison of avian migration phenology using citizen science data. Spatial Statistics. 2016 Nov 1;18:234-45.

Stutchbury BJ, Fraser KC, Silverio C, Kramer P, Aeppli B, Mickle N, et al. Tracking mated pairs in a long-distance migratory songbird: migration schedules are not synchronized within pairs. Animal behaviour. 2016;114:63-8.

Stutchbury BJ, Siddiqui R, Applegate K, Hvenegaard G, Mammenga P, Mickle N, et al. Ecological causes and consequences of intratropical migration in temperate-breeding migratory birds. The American Naturalist. 2016;118:S0000.

Bridge ES, Pletschet SM, Fagin T, Chilson PB, Horton KG, Broadfoot KR, et al. Persistence and habitat associations of Purple Martin roosts quantified via weather surveillance radar. Landscape ecology. 2016;31(1):43-53.

Ray JD. The status of the Purple Martin in Texas. Texas Ornithological Society. 2015;48:41.

Kramer PM. Assessing the benefits of extra-pair mating for female purple martins (Progne subis). 2015.

Arab A, Courter JR. Spatio-temporal trend analysis of spring arrival data for migratory birds. Communications in Statistics-Simulation and Computation. 2015;44(10):2535-47.

Ray JD. Avian predation on Purple Martins nesting in artificial housing. Bull Texas Ornith Soc. 2014;47:1-2.

McKinnon EA, Fraser KC, Stutchbury BJ. New discoveries in landbird migration using geolocators, and a flight plan for the future. The Auk. 2013;130(2):211-22.

Fraser KC, Stutchbury BJ, Kramer P, Silverio C, Barrow J, Newstead D, et al. Consistent range-wide pattern in fall migration strategy of purple martin (Progne subis), despite different migration routes at the Gulf of Mexico. The Auk. 2013;130(2):291-6.

Fraser KC, Silverio C, Kramer P, Mickle N, Aeppli R, Stutchbury BJ. A trans-hemispheric migratory songbird does not advance spring schedules or increase migration rate in response to record-setting temperatures at breeding sites. PloS one. 2013;8(5):e64587.

Courter JR, Johnson RJ, Stuyck CM, Lang BA, Kaiser EW. Weekend bias in Citizen Science data reporting: implications for phenology studies. International journal of biometeorology. 2013;57(5):715-20.

Kelly JF, Shipley JR, Chilson PB, Howard KW, Frick WF, Kunz TH. Quantifying animal phenology in the aerosphere at a continental scale using NEXRAD weather radars. Ecosphere. 2012;3(2):1-9.

Harrington CA. Habitat selection, distribution, and abundance in Purple Martins (Progne subis). Saint Louis University Graduate Thesis. 2012.

Fraser KC, Stutchbury BJ, Silverio C, Kramer PM, Barrow J, Newstead D, et al. Continent-wide tracking to determine migratory connectivity and tropical habitat associations of a declining aerial insectivore. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2012 Oct 24;279(1749):4901-6.

Courter J. Avian phenology, climate, and land-use conservation assessed at broad spatial and temporal scales using interdisciplinary approaches and citizen science. 2012.

Tarof SA, Kramer PM, Tautin J, Stutchbury BJ. Effects of known age on male paternity in a migratory songbird. Behavioral Ecology. 2011;23(2):313-21.

Tarof SA, Kramer PM, Hill III JR, Tautin J, Stutchbury BJ. Brood size and late breeding are negatively related to juvenile survival in a Neotropical migratory songbird. The Auk. 2011;128(4):716-25.

Stutchbury BJ, Hill III JR, Kramer PM, Rush SA, Tarof SA. Sex and age-specific annual survival in a Neotropical migratory songbird, the purple martin (Progne subis). The Auk. 2009;126(2):278-87.

Stutchbury BJ, Tarof SA, Done T, Gow E, Kramer PM, Tautin J, et al. Tracking long-distance songbird migration by using geolocators. Science. 2009;323(5916):896-.

Tautin J, Cousens B, Kostka K, Kotska S, Airola D, editors. Addressing regional declines in Purple Martin populations. Tundra to Tropics: Connecting Birds, Habitats and People Proceedings of the 4th International Partners in Flight Conference; 2008.

Patterson J. An analysis of spring bird migration phenology in Kansas: Kansas State University; 2008.

Davidar P, Morton ES. Are multiple infections more severe for Purple Martins (Progne subis) than single infections? The Auk. 2006;123(1):141-7.

Tautin J. USDA Forest Service Hawks Aloft, Inc. 2006.

Eads JA. The Effects of Parental Age and Housing Type on the Reproductive Success of the Purple Martin (Progne subis subis). 2001.

Moore OR, Stutchbury BJ, Quinn JS. Extrapair mating system of an asynchronously breeding tropical songbird: the mangrove swallow. The Auk. 1999:1039-46.

Russell KR, Mizrahi DS, Gauthreaux Jr SA. Large-scale mapping of Purple Martin pre-migratory roosts using WSR-88D weather surveillance radar (Mapas a larga escala de los dormideros pre-migratorios de Progne subis utilizando radares WSR-88D para el monitoreo del clima). Journal of Field Ornithology. 1998:316-25.

Hill III JR, Neto PS. Black Vultures Nesting on Skyscrapers in Southern Brazil (Buitres Anidando en Rascacielos en el Sur de Brasil). Journal of Field Ornithology. 1991 Apr 1:173-6.

Hill III JR. The eastern House Finch nesting in Purple Martin houses and gourds Am Birds. 1988;42(1):36-8.

Hill III JR. Nest-Depth Preference in Pipe-Nesting Northern Rough-Winged Swallows (Profundidad de Nido Preferida por Stelgidopteryx ruficollis). Journal of Field Ornithology. 1988 Oct 1:334-6.


PMCA sponsored publications

Williams HM, Dittmar K, Smith Pagano S. A parasite reduction conservation intervention does not improve fledging success or most condition metrics for Purple Martins. The Condor. 2020 Sep 12.

Williams HM, DeLeon RL. Using artificial intelligence classification of videos to examine the environmental, evolutionary and physiological constraints on provisioning behavior. Journal of Avian Biology. 2020 Jun.

Williams HM, Dittmar K. Expanding our view of Bartonella and its hosts: Bartonella in nest ectoparasites and their migratory avian hosts. Parasites & Vectors. 2020 Dec;13(1):1-9.

Williams, HM, DeLeon, RL. Deep Learning Analysis of Nest Camera Video Recordings Reveals Temperature-sensitive Incubation Behavior in the Purple Martin (Progne subis). Behavioral Ecology Sociobiology. 2020;74(7).

Williams HM, Matott LS, DeLeon RL. Automated Deep Learning Analysis of Purple Martin Videos Depicting Incubation and Provisioning. InProceedings of the Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing on Rise of the Machines (learning) 2019 Jul 28 (p. 64). ACM.

McClenaghan, Beverly, Erica Nol, and Kevin CR Kerr. DNA metabarcoding reveals the broad and flexible diet of a declining aerial insectivore. The Auk: Ornithological Advances. 2019; 136(1) uky003.

Sherman LM. Habitat Associations and Diet Composition of Western Purple Martins in Western Oregon. 2019.

Lesna I, Sabelis MW, van Niekerk TG, Komdeur J. Laboratory tests for controlling poultry red mites (Dermanyssus gallinae) with predatory mites in small ‘laying hen’cages. Experimental and Applied Acarology. 2012 Dec 1;58(4):371-83.

Sebastian M. Determinants and Developmental Consequences of Organic Contaminant Uptake in Nestling Insectivorous Birds. 2011.

Stanley AA, Graham AM, Wagner RH, Morton ES, Schug MD. Characterization of 10 polymorphic microsatellite markers for the purple martin, Progne subis. Conservation genetics resources. 2011 Jul 1;3(3):577-9.

Baker AJ, Greenslade AD, Darling LM, Finlay JC. High genetic diversity in the blue-listed British Columbia population of the purple martin maintained by multiple sources of immigrants. Conservation Genetics. 2008;9(3):495-505.

R. Neuman C, J. Safran R, J. Lovette I. Male tail streamer length does not predict apparent or genetic reproductive success in North American barn swallows Hirundo rustica erythrogaster. Journal of Avian Biology. 2007;38(1):28-36.

Safran RJ. Settlement patterns of female barn swallows Hirundo rustica across different group sizes: access to colorful males or favored nests? Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 2007;61(9):1359-68.

Safran RJ. Nest-site selection in the barn swallow, Hirundo rustica: What predicts seasonal reproductive success? Canadian Journal of Zoology. 2006;84(11):1533-9.

Safran RJ, Neuman CR, McGraw K, Lovette I. Dynamic paternity allocation as a function of male plumage color in barn swallows. Science. 2005;309(5744):2210-2.

Jo Safran R. Adaptive site selection rules and variation in group size of barn swallows: individual decisions predict population patterns. The American Naturalist. 2004 Jun 9;164(2):121-31.

Safran RJ, McGraw KJ. Plumage coloration, not length or symmetry of tail-streamers, is a sexually selected trait in North American barn swallows. Behavioral Ecology. 2004;15(3):455-61.

Williams BD, editor Purple martins in oak woodlands. In: Standiford, Richard B, et al, tech editor Proceedings of the Fifth Symposium on Oak Woodlands: Oaks in California's Challenging Landscape Gen Tech Rep PSW-GTR-184, Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, US Department of Agriculture: 323-334; 2002.

Davis JA, Brown CR. Costs of coloniality and the effect of colony size on reproductive success in purple martins. Condor. 1999:737-45.