Purple Martins

While I was in Kentucky last weekend, I visited my sister who has a houseful of purple martins. She’s proud of the way they patrol the fields for bugs.


When we went for a walk, the birds were sitting on a telephone line in between their sweeps of the field.


They reminded me of barn swallows, which we have in the summer. They build nests of mud under the eaves of our house. The accumulated droppings from a new family of birds becomes quite a mess. I wish they would live in a house, like my sister’s martins.

According to allaboutbirds.com, a purple martin is a type of swallow. Martins used to live in caves but now have grown accustomed to these multi-story bird houses. I recall coming across an old Popular Mechanics article on building what it called “apartment houses” for purple martins.

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