The purple martin (Progne subis) is an uncommon to locally common breeder in scattered parts of BCR 14. It is a colonial nester and uses open areas adjacent to water bodies for feeding. It is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in one or more states in BCR 14.

Habitat Needs

This bird prefers open country near water. It is a colony nester and is almost totally dependent on large multiroomed bird houses set on poles at least 15 feet high. It feeds on flying insects over water or large open areas. It can be easily displaced from the nest boxes by starlings and English sparrows.

Habitat Management Practices

Establish and maintain appropriate nest boxes in open areas near water bodies. Maintain large openings near water by mowing so no part of the opening is left unmowed for more than three years—mow 1/3 annually. Alternatively, mow the entire opening annually or every other year.

Erect and maintain colonial bird houses also near water and in the openings—clean and maintain annually. Discourage starlings and English (house) sparrows from nesting in these bird houses.

Additional Information

Forest Types