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Purple Martin

From Opus

MalePhoto by HelenB Houston, Texas, USA
Photo by HelenB
Houston, Texas, USA
Progne subis


[edit] Identification

7-8 1/2" (18-22 cm).
The adult male is a dark steel-blue.
Females and Juveniles are duller, with grey underparts. It takes 2 years for these birds to attain full adult breeding plumage. This can make it difficult to identify the birds.

[edit] Flight

First Summer malePhoto by Stanley JonesMcAllen Nature Center, McAllen, Hidalgo County, Texas, USA, April 2017
First Summer male
Photo by Stanley Jones
McAllen Nature Center, McAllen, Hidalgo County, Texas, USA, April 2017

Overhead is similar in shape to the European Starling, but flight more buoyant and gliding.

[edit] Distribution

Breeds from British Columbia, central interior Canada, and Nova Scotia, south to Mexico, but absent from interior western mountains and Great Basin..

Winters in tropics. Migrates south to Brazil. Common in the state of São Paulo.

Accidental vagrant to the UK and to Argentina.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

Photo by HughvCollege Park, Maryland, May 2016
Photo by Hughv
College Park, Maryland, May 2016

This is a polytypic species[1] consisting of three subspecies[1]:

[edit] Habitat

Forest edges, open woodlands, residential areas, and agricultural land. Often near water.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Their diet consists almost entirely of air-borne insects, particularly ants, wasps and bees.

[edit] Breeding

Their nest is made of grass and plant material placed in a tree cavity. The clutch consists of 4-5 white eggs.

They readily use nest boxes.

[edit] Vocalisation

The call is tchew-wew, or pew pew.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved August 2017)
  3. Wikipedia

[edit] External Links


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