My Best Nest: A Purple Martin Story
Purple Martin NestlingsEnemy #1: StarlingEnemy #2: House SparrowMartin HooligansFeeding time!Bird features"My Best Nest," the bookA tale of beginningsBibliographyUseful linksActivities for kidsStudent ExercisesFor librariansAuthor and contributorsBuy the book
Baby purple martins eager for a meal.

These baby Purple Martins are just a few days away from taking their first flight. In the audio (2 minutes long) you can hear adult birds happily singing. The parents of these birds arrive and feed them. At the end, something scares the birds and you hear the babies scuttling back inside for safety as the adults give alarm calls and fly away. Note the special doors. These birds are in North Texas which gets hot in the summertime. The special doors provide extra ventilation while also excluding larger starlings.

Listen to Purple Martins singing.

Copyright Joe Dellinger 2008

After a snack the birds take a siesta while they wait for the next food delivery.

Sleepy baby martins.
Copyright Joe Dellinger 2008

Purple Martins bathing on the wing at Lake Yahola, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Copyright Joe Dellinger 2008
Fledgling Purple Martins at a lake near a pre-migration roost in Tulsa, Oklahoma bathing on the wing. Large numbers of martins gather at some pre-migration roosts; so many that they show up on weather radar.
Fledgling martins at their staging area
Copyright Joe Dellinger 2008
After bathing the martins gather to preen in a nearby tree. Find out where there might be a martin roost near you.