Purple Martin Babies!

Purple Martin Nesting Gourds

Martins Collecting Pine Needles for Nest

Bird’s Eye View from Inside Gourd


Five Eggs in Nest

Newly Hatched Babies (Pinkies)

Growing Purple Martin Babies

Older Babies with Pinfeathers

Parents Bring Bugs to Growing Babies

Babies Waiting to be Fed

Hungry Baby with Mouth Wide Open

Rainbow Over Purple Martin Gourds

We have so many purple martin babies!  Did a backyard count here in Florida and the grand total for our nesting colony is 201 purple martins (107 babies, 22 eggs, and 72 adults).  Ages range from eggs to newborn pinkies to older babies with pinfeathers.  Love this time of year!  Learn more from the Purple Martin Conservation Association at:  https://www.purplemartin.org/

UPDATE May 16, 2020:  Lots of babies fledging this week!  Constant activity at the nesting gourds – great time of year!

About Pam
Richard and Pam lived in the San Francisco Bay Area 14 years (1987-1999 and 2008-2011). They lived in Florida 13 years previously, until returning in July 2011 to present. They hope their photography will encourage you to get out and discover nature's beauty in your own backyard, parks, and wild places. Click on any pictures on this blog to see them full size with additional details.

8 Responses to Purple Martin Babies!

  1. SoyBend says:

    Wonderful pictures inside the gourds!

    • Pam says:

      Thanks! It’s the coolest thing – took the pictures with a cell phone and our One360 cam. Birds constantly flying in and out of the gourds today feeding the babies bugs.

  2. That is incredible!! Have you been involved long in the Purple Martin Society? I must ask how you get the photos inside the gourds? Do you lower them from time to time? This is quite a treasure!

    • Pam says:

      Thanks! I’ve been involved with the PMCA for a long time. We lower the gourd rack (it is on a pulley) from time to time to check on the babies. It’s fun for us, but also helps the martins because we can solve any problems we find.
      Purple martins have been habituated to people for hundreds of years, going back to Native Americans hanging natural gourds to attract the birds to eat insects. The bird’s eye view picture was taken with our new One360 camera. We love our purple martins! By July they’ll leave this area, gather in big flocks in South Florida, and then travel back to Brazil for the other half of the year.

      • That’s just incredible. How fascinating for you…. and unfortunate for the birds! The local wetlands where I volunteer has Purple Martin gourds and condos (?). The Naturalist told us they did a study to see which style the birds seem to prefer, and they seemed to like the gourds better. She said something about early use of actual gourds. But where do purple martins nest if there are no man-made homes? They remind me very much of Swifts that nest in clefts in rocky cliffs and such.

        • Pam says:

          Yes I’ve found that martins like gourds best, and preferably relatively close to human dwellings. I have 3 gourd racks, and of the three, the most popular one is right by the driveway! If there are no gourds available, purple martins have been known to nest in natural old unused nesting holes in trees. Out west there are very few purple martins, but of those few there, they have been documented nesting in cavities in saguaros and in trees up in the mountains.

  3. Awesome colony and stunning shots!

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