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Jun 26, 2012

Purple Martins in the Marsh

Photos by BarrytheBirder

This Purple Martin House has been occupied for over 20 years.   It is located on Louis Bierling's front lawn on the west side of Dufferin Street, between Wilhelmena Ave. and Juliana Road, in the community of Ansnorveldt, in the Holland Marsh area of King Township.   Purple Martins (Progne subis) are the largest of the North American Swallows.   They are deep blue in colour but often appear to be black all-over, including the belly.   Roger Tory Peterson's Birds of East and Central North American states that  Purple Martins nest in "...towns, farms, open or semi-open country, often near water...attracted to martin houses, especially with water and large open areas nearby".   The Holland Marsh is certainly a suitable habitat.   Louis Bierling told me that his Purple Martins usually head south in August of each year.
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