Purple Martin Presentations

Purple Martin Colony Photo by Penny Briscoe

Purple Martin Colony
Photo by Penny Briscoe

Whether you are interested in establishing a Purple Martin colony or just want to learn more about this graceful, friendly native bird, this presentation will provide you with information that will expand your interest in and knowledge of the species. The presentation can be adapted in length and content to fit the needs of the audience, but it typically includes a PowerPoint slideshow; a martin feeding video; props to demonstrate ideal housing types, nesting materials, and predator guards; and a free informational booklet prepared by the Purple Martin Conservation Association located in Pennsylvania and affiliated with Cornell University.

Depending on length and audience, other topics may include:

  1. Species background and evolution to human dependency
  2. Purple Martin characteristics
  3. Suitable and safe housing
  4. Attracting and keeping Purple Martins
  5. Colony maintenance for maximum nesting success
  6. Internet Purple Martin chat rooms
  7. Scientific study participation

Male Purple Martin at Gourd
Photo by Penny Briscoe

Purple Martins are the largest of the swallow family and the most in need of human assistance for their survival. This species nests only in human-provided, colony-type housing and the numbers are dwindling significantly, especially in Michigan, due to habitat loss, nest-box decline, and predation. It is both entertaining and rewarding to provide housing for this unique species. Landlords and their guests are entertained throughout the spring and summer with a broad repertoire of cheerful song and chatter and a remarkable display of skills in flight. These birds need us, and after a short time of enjoying their company and becoming peacefully lost in their antics while watching them nest and raise their young, anyone will see first hand why martin enthusiasts across the country are generously providing housing for them. It is a bird species that comes very close to being a “true backyard pet.”

To schedule a presentation, contact Penny Briscoe at (269) 808-2011 or pennyhbriscoe@icloud.com.  To learn more about Purple Martins, go to http://purplemartin.org/main/mgt.html.