|Purple martins on a nesting box.|
These days martins are simply loved because they depend on us. Although martins in the western United States do still nest in natural cavities, thousands of years of cohabitation with humans in the east have conditioned the species to require artificial housing for their survival.
But before you decide you want to become a martin colony “landlord”, understand that it’s not as easy as simply putting up a birdhouse. In order for a purple martin colony to nest on your property the house must have specific dimensions and be surrounded with plenty of open space. You also will have to commit to doing regular nest checks to keep the house free of predators and invasive species such as common starlings. It may sound like a lot of work, but if you provide a good home for your martins the same colony will return to the house each spring for many years to come.
|Purple martin colony with an uninvited visitor|
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