My Best Nest: A Purple Martin Story
Bird features
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

Copyright Joe Dellinger 2008


A Yellow-Crowned Night Heron eating a crawdad in Brazos Bend State Park, Texas. Its nictitating membrane is pulled across its eye to protect it from the spines of the crawdad.

Male and female Purple Martin
Copyright Joe Dellinger 2008
A pair of Purple Martins. The male on the left has his nictitating membrane drawn. The female on the right does not.

An after-second-year male Purple Martin.
Copyright Joe Dellinger 2008

An after-second-year male Purple Martin showing the distinctive blue color that gives the species its common name in Spanish, Golondrina Azul Americana, or American Blue Swallow.

Mailbox martin house
Copyright Joe Dellinger 2008
Some people make their own martin houses.

Copyright Joe Dellinger 2008

An after-second-year female Purple Martin showing her characteristic dusky white breast feathers.

Martin sunning
Copyright Joe Dellinger 2008

Martins sometimes twist into ridiculous poses while sunning!

Black-belly male Purple Martin
Copyright Joe Dellinger 2008
The upper legs (crurals) of this after-second-year male Purple Martin are white.
Male Purple Martin with bug
Copyright Joe Dellinger 2008

The crurals of this Purple Martin are dark.

A tale of beginnings.