Purple Martin

Progne subis

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Swallows (Hirundinidae)

Code 4

PUMA

Code 6

PROSUB

ITIS

  • wgba_banner
  • ibird_banner
  • journal_banner
1 2 3

ILLUSTRATION

ask community
Copyright © 2004 - 2014 Mitch Waite Group

PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Purple Martin has a large range, estimated globally at 5,700,000 square kilometers. Native to the Americas and nearby island nations, this bird prefers temperate, subtropical, or tropical forest and shrubland ecosystems as well as inland wetlands and even pastureland and urban areas. The global population of this bird is estimated at 11,000,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Purple Martin is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Purple Martin: Large, vocal swallow with glossy dark purple-blue body and forked tail. It is the largest North American swallow. Black bill, legs and feet. Stong, graceful flight, alternates a few rapid wing beats with long glides. Catches and eats insects in flight and also forages on the ground.


Range and Habitat

Purple Martin: Breeds from British Columbia, central interior Canada, and Nova Scotia southward, but is largely absent from the interior western mountains and Great Basin. It is most common in the Midwest and eastern states. Spends winters in the tropics. Preferred habitats include open woodlands, residential areas, and agricultural lands.

whatbird search for your browser

SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"tee-tee-tee"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Purple Martin was first described in 1758 by Carolus Linnaeus, Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist.
  • Birds in eastern North America now nest almost exclusively in birdhouses, but those in the West use mostly natural cavities.
  • Native Americans hung up empty gourds for these birds to nest in before Europeans arrived in North America.
  • A group of purple martins are collectively known as a "colony" of martins.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Purple Martin

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

.
UnderpartsX
Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X