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Best Purple Martin Houses

Updated on December 17, 2014

How to attract a Martin Colony into your Backyard!

Care to know more about purple martins? This page shows you how to set up a colony of martins, right in your own backyard and features a selection of wonderful martin houses that will have them flocking to your garden. Included you will find interesting information on martins and tips on how you can watch them in their nests.

Martins naturally nest in colonies, close to each other so setting up for nesting them you will need a birdhouse that caters for more than one pair. Once you start you will find every nest year there will be even more martins looking for a home, so be prepared.

Image credit courtesy of Amazon and available below.

Buy the best bird house for Purple Martins - Backyard Birding

Heath 18 Room Aluminum Purple Martin House (Model AH-18D)
Heath 18 Room Aluminum Purple Martin House (Model AH-18D)

This is a really delux version of a bird house. Designed for purple martins, there are 18 available roosting rooms for a colony to start. You can add on additional units as your colony gets bigger.


S & K PBH-12 12-Family Martin House

Heath Outdoor Products AH-24D 24 Room Martin House

S & K BN-16 16-Family Martin Barn

How to attractive Purple Finches - Backyard Birding

You will find purple finches in most coastal regions and they are frequent backyard visitors if you put out food for them. They especially love millet and black sunflower seeds. Our sister pages show you the best Finch Feeders, but if you want, you can also have them nest in your garden.

  • Buy sturdy nesting boxes. Finches live in colonies so one of the ones illustrated here are ideal.
  • Set them up at least 6 foot off the ground. They can nest up to 60 feet in nature so the higher the better. The high poles you can buy are ideal - it keeps them away from predators.
  • Buy a nesting box made of wood - it duplicates their natural preference and don't be tempted to treat or paint the wood - the chemicals could also be harmful to the birds.
  • Ensure the box you buy is protected from predators such as magpies, starlings and squirrels.
  • Purple finches are more likely to nest in your boxes if there is a ready supply of food and water nearby. You need to keep feeders and water bowls clean and well stocked. Bird decide on where to build nests where they will be able to find food for their chicks. They don't want to expend extra energy hunting out food.
  • If you want to watch them in the nest set up a bird cam before they start building the nest and do not disturb it again for any reason. If you open the box while there are eggs the adults will abandon them.

Attractive Martin Houses - Attract Martins to your Backyard

Watching purple martins nesting - click on the video you want to watch

10 Interesting facts about Purple Martins

  1. Purple martins belong to the swallow family - Progne subis
  2. They are native to America breeding in eastern USA.
  3. They are the largest of the swallow family measuring between 7 and 8 inches long.
  4. You already know - they breed in colonies and prefer nesting in hollows and cavities.
  5. What you may not know - is that practically all purple martins now nest in nesting boxes provided by human hosts. There are few or none nesting where they have to find their own nesting sites. This is one case where human intervention has prevented extinction. The introduction of the European starling had a profound effect on purple martin numbers.
  6. Non breeding purple martins migrate thousands of miles to winder in the Amazon basin in South America.
  7. In the breeding season the male arrives first and scopes out possible nest sites - when he has done that both male and female will visit each site and pick out the best one.
  8. They have only 1 brood per year of 3-4 chicks. The female does most but not all of the brooding.
  9. Like all swallows, purple martins are agile flyers and hunt on the wing, taking insects in the air. They don't eat grains or seeds.
  10. A very rough estimation is that in 2012 1 million Americans provided nesting houses for purple martins. Are you one of them?

Home Bazaar Clubhouse Birdhouse For Purple Martins

Birds Choice Waters Edge 3 Floor-6 Room Suites Purple Martin House with Crescent Holes

Heath Outdoor Products AH-12SR 12/6 Room Convertible Aluminum Martin House

Bird Abode Supergourds

Super Gourd-Round Holes

Purple Martin Housing

S & K Multigourd Birdhouse, Model# BO9

Heath Starling Resistant Purple Martin Gourd

2-Pc. Plastic, Natural 8 Pack

Birdhouse Spy Cam Hawk Eye Birdwatching Camera

Hawk Eye Nature Cam

Mini Wireless Color Camera with Microphone

What do you think of these bird houses?

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