How can you tell if a purple martin is male or female?
Males seem to have darker heads than their female counterparts. Sub adult male martin have a darker head & back and lighter under parts. Gray on the forehead and often have a few dark feathers showing on the breast. Females tend to have more purple on their crown and nape, (shoulders), back and rump than young females.
What is the best color for a purple martin house?
White is the preferred color for purple martin houses. White offers maximum reflection of sunlight, which keeps the interior of the house cool so the birds can flourish and raise their young.
What do Purple Martins symbolize?
It is seen as a symbol of good fortune. The Chinese symbol for swallow features the image of a bird with an open mouth, outspread wings and forked tail. Purple Martins are native songbirds of the swallow family. Among Romans, the bird was linked with Aphrodite, the beautiful goddess of love.
Does the male or female purple martin build the nest?
Nest building can take three-four weeks to complete and both sexes will construct the nest.
What color are female purple martins?
Adult males are iridescent, dark blue-purple overall with brown-black wings and tail. Females and immatures are duller, with variable amounts of gray on the head and chest and a whitish lower belly. Purple Martins fly rapidly with a mix of flapping and gliding.
What is a group of purple martins called?
Purple Martins are colonial nesters. Colony: A breeding aggregation of birds. A martin colony is just a random aggregation of unrelated birds attracted to a common breeding site.
Which direction should purple martin house face?
The good news is that purple martins aren’t picky when it comes to direction; north, south, east, and west are all fine, as long as it’s consistent.
How do you attract purple martins to a new house?
In addition to providing appropriate houses for purple martins, supplying proper nesting materials can help encourage them to take up residence. A nearby pile of small twigs, grass clippings, and leaves is perfect, and a muddy area is also useful as these birds use mud as a binder to hold their nests together.
Do purple martin eat mosquitoes?
Martins eat beetles, flies, dragonflies, mayflies, bees, stink bugs, cicadas, flying ants, damselflies, butterflies, moths, grasshoppers and wasps. Purple martins do not eat huge quantities of mosquitoes. You can buy martin houses or build your own from a kit or from gourds.
What kind of plumage does a purple martins have?
Juveniles cannot be sexed by plumage. The age classes are sometimes described as ASY or After-Second-Year for adults; SY or Second-Year for subadults, and HY for Hatching Year for juveniles. Adult males are the only Purple Martins to have iridescent, purple feathers covering the entire body.
How long does it take for a purple martins to become an adult?
For Purple Martins, it takes two years for both the male and female to acquire their full adult plumage. During the breeding season there are four distinct age/sex classes for Purple Martins. These are adult male, adult female, subadult male, and subadult female. After nestlings fledge, there is a fifth distinguishable age class of juvenile.
How can you tell the gender of a purple martins tail?
Subadult females have a much lighter purple to brownish color on their back feathers. The undertails are all white or light-colored feathers with brown pinstripes down the center. The sex of a hatching year or juvenile bird cannot be determined by sight. Hatching year Purple Martins will have a stubby tail—shorter than the wing feathers.
Where do purple martins nest in the wild?
Habitat Purple Martins are colonial, with dozens of martins nesting in the same spot; they feed in open areas, especially near water. In the East they nest almost exclusively in nest boxes and martin houses; in the West you’ll find them nesting in natural cavities.