Purple Martin Nesting Season 2021

Male Purple Martin Sitting on Eggs
Five Eggs in Nest Lined with Green Pepper Tree Leaves

We’ve had a great year for purple martins! Nesting season is now coming to an end, with only a couple of nests remaining with babies. Here in Florida the season starts in January and ends in June. The total colony count this year was 176 birds including 28 nests (56 adults) containing 120 babies. Very soon the flock will leave, gather with others into roosts, and then migrate back to South America for the rest of the year.

Purple martins are so nice and cheery to have around. We miss them when they are gone!

This 4 1/2 minute video includes camera footage taken from inside one of the nesting gourds. We had never realized that purple martins collect green pepper tree leaves for the nest to act as a natural insect repellent. I have no idea how such tiny babies eat such big dragonflies!

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.

6 Responses to Purple Martin Nesting Season 2021

  1. Totally awesome, Pam!! The babies are incredible and that quiet shot of those lovely eggs in the nest is so tranquil.

  2. I love the photo of the eggs on the beautifully laid green leaves! Your video is fabulous, I learned so much, Pam! The footage of the babies eating those dragonflies whole is truly amazing footage. I kept my eye throughout the video on the little one, and so glad to see it hung in there and finally caught up in size with the other four, yay! 🙂

    • Pam says:

      Thank you so much! I learned so much too! I’m glad you noticed the little one. It was born one day after the others, but hung in there just fine. Its personality was more cautious. Unlike the other fledglings, it came back to the safety of the nesting gourd a few times after it fledged, and even slept there the first couple of nights. Only one nest is left now – I’m going to miss them so much! I’ll have to watch the video again when I need to.

  3. Thank you for this wonderful post with the amazing video. What wondrous process takes place inside these gourds, I feel privileged to have been able to catch a few glimpses of it. Your martins should return in just another month or so. You must be very excited!

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