Purple Martins nest almost exclusively in man-made houses and gourds. Martins are colony nesters, acrobatic flyers, insect eaters and very social in nature. They are the largest member of the swallow family. The male is a dark, glossy purplish-blue color while the female is gray. A martin typically lays 4 - 5 eggs and uses fresh green leaves as nest material.
Delmarva Nesting Foundation's Purple Martin Club fledged over 1500 purple martins during the 2013 season. Members enjoy installation of their system in the Spring, monitoring and maintenance during the season, take down, cleaning and storage of the system over the Winter. Club members enjoyed 95% success in attracting birds and no loss due to the crafty black snake!
Purple Martin houses mounted on a pulley system are easier to monitor and maintain. Systems should have starling resistant holes, perches, and predator guards. Black snakes love to climb up these poles!