What Do Purple Martins Use for Nesting?

What Do Purple Martins Use for Nesting?
The purple martin is a member of the swallow family; it is the largest in terms of size in the United States. The purple martin is a social bird. It nests in colonies when it can, especially in the eastern half of the nation, where it depends on humans for help.
 

Geography

In the western U.S., the purple martin nests in abandoned tree cavities, such as old woodpecker holes or in opening formed in cliffs.

 
 

Significance

The species in the eastern U.S. utilizes the hundreds of thousands of compartmentalized bird houses that landowners provide to attract the purple martin to their properties.

Materials

The female martin will choose what box to construct the nest in and then proceed to build it out of such items as feathers, twigs, paper, strips of bark and straw.

Function

The male's contribution to the nest will be in the form of some green leaves, which are believed to provide a degree of moisture to the nest once the eggs are laid.

Types

Purple martin houses come in different shapes and sizes, are made up of such materials as wood and aluminum, and can be mounted on long telescoping poles to keep the house well off the ground.

History

Purple martins will also build a nest in a hollowed out gourd, a practice which was first started by the Native Americans.

 

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