Helpful Hints for Martin Landlords
Range & Migration Map: The breeding range of the Purple Martin is shown in gray. Horizontal lines mark average arrival dates of older martins at established colony sites. Yearling martins, the age-group that typically colonize new breeding sites, don't begin arriving until 4-6 weeks after these dates, and continue arriving for an additional 4-6 weeks in the north, 10-12 weeks in the south. This means martins can be attracted to new housing through mid-May in the south, mid-June in the north. New hobbyists should not open housing until 4-6 weeks after the dates shown here. Opening earlier at new sites will result in the attraction of nonnative, nest-site competitors (House Sparrows and European Starlings), instead of martins. West of the Rocky Mountains, Purple Martins have different nesting habits. In the southwest martins nest only in old woodpecker cavities. In the Pacific Northwest, martins use gourds and single boxes, but not multiple-room houses.
Join the Purple Martin Conservation Association: The information you'll receive in the Purple Martin Update, the PMCA's quarterly membership magazine, will greatly increase your knowledge and enjoyment of Purple Martins. Memberships can be puchased online or over phone. If you would like to examine an issue before you join, please call to purchase a back issue. Your tax deductible donations support the PMCA's research, conservation, and education programs.
Participate in PMCA Research Programs: The PMCA needs your help in collecting information on martin arrival dates and breeding success. Colony Registration forms and Project Martinwatch forms are available on request. First Arrival ("scout") dates can be noted on a postcard and mailed to the PMCA or submitted online. We appreciate your help!