Purple Martin

Progne subis


Conservation Status

  • Purple martins are fast and skillful fliers. Aerial insectivores – they catch and eat their meals in flight. 
  • Purple martins group together by the tens of thousands to rest, feed, and form social bonds before flying to South America each winter. 
  • Introduced house sparrows and starlings compete with purple martins for nesting cavities. Today, almost all purple martins in the eastern United States nest in man-made gourds and condos. 
  • Prior to the arrival of European settlers on the continent, Native Americans hung gourds for purple martins to roost in.