Home   |   About Us   |   The Grow System   |   Blog   |   Join Us   |   Store   |   Forum Rules

Purple Martins — The Grow Network Community
We may have our differences, but nothing’s more important than family.

- Coco

Purple Martins

smockvsmockv OhioPosts: 44 ✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Endangered Species


I not only recently moved to SW Ohio, I inherited a large Purple Martin colony (48 gourds and several individual houses). I was raised in Oklahoma and have seen people with "martin houses" in their yards; however, I have no experience actively caring for these birds. Apparently, unlike with other species, I am supposed to be very hands-on. Experiences?



  • Melissa SwartzMelissa Swartz Posts: 269 ✭✭✭

    You are very fortunate! My mother-in-law has had Purple Martins for years. The only thing she does is clean out the birdhouses in the fall after they migrate, and she runs off the sparrows that try to nest in the houses before the martins arrive in the spring. Otherwise, she doesn't do anything. They do seem to like people.

  • smockvsmockv OhioPosts: 44 ✭✭✭

    @Melissa Swartz , Thank you so much for the information! 👍️

  • smockvsmockv OhioPosts: 44 ✭✭✭

    Hello All,

    After speaking (via email) with the Purple Martin Conservation Association (purplemartin.org), it seems that I have had an unknown die-off possibly related to my martins staying later than usual before migration. All of the houses and gourds are cleaned and safely tucked away for the winter.

  • pamelamackenziepamelamackenzie Posts: 143 ✭✭✭

    Thanks for posting your experience.

  • smockvsmockv OhioPosts: 44 ✭✭✭

    @pamelamackenzie I am hoping they will come back in the Spring. I will attempt to post their arrival and keep everyone updated on what happens over the course of the Summer. ☺️

  • Marjory WildcraftMarjory Wildcraft ✭✭✭ Posts: 1,133 admin

    Wow! L:ucky you... I tried to get purple martins in my land for years. They eat primarily insects - mosquitoes (although the mosquitoes aren't a huge part of their diet). BU they look amazing when they fly.

  • smockvsmockv OhioPosts: 44 ✭✭✭

    It appears that Spring is upon us; I woke up this morning to the excited twitters of my Purple Martins!!! I put my gourds up 2 days ago, leaving the opening covered... This morning I peeled tape on about 15 gourds, only to have the birds chirp and dive for more open! Does anyone else have Martins arriving? S Central Ohio.

  • I briefly had a Martin house before I left Missouri. The hardest part was keeping the sparrows out. I had to remove the nesting material several times before they found a better place to nest. Loved to watch them fly around the neighbor's pond!

    Good luck!

  • dottile46dottile46 Posts: 436 ✭✭✭

    I saw the quaintest martin house at a farm supply store a few days ago. The sides are clear, like plexiglass, and there's a grooved area on the bottom where you can slide another one in beneath. I guess it is a perpetual condo.

  • smockvsmockv OhioPosts: 44 ✭✭✭

    I nowhave all 5 poles open a total of 48 gourds. I think I have sparrows in one or 2 gourds but that is manageable. I started my weekly nesting checks last week, here's hoping for a good year!

  • DebiBDebiB Posts: 92 ✭✭✭

    You are so lucky! My grandparents had a purple martin colony on their property. They are so much fun to watch

Sign In or Register to comment.