Purple Martins




Purple-Martins-4The gorgeous Purple Martins have returned to their summer home near the river. I saw a little bit of nest-building material being collected but mostly the swallows were zipping about catching insects when I made these photographs.

Purple-Martin-Nesting-BoxI love their songs and when you hear an entire community of them vocalizing together – especially once the young are hatched – it’s really quite a wonderful auditory experience. I’ll try to make a little recording at some point but there is a soundbite link below if you’re interested.

Click here to listen: Purple Martin Vocalizations (Soundclip from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.) Imagine perhaps 100 birds making those sounds…

Purple-Martins-5It’s been so beautiful outside it’s been hard to stay indoors!

[The image with three birds is a composite (layered) image showing various flight acrobatics.]

Β© Karen McRae, 2014

56 thoughts on “Purple Martins

  1. So cute and small. Never seen or heard them before. Thanks for that link. Fun listening to them.

      1. Swallows. Ahh! I’ll have to find out if they’re in my area. I only know pigeons, sparrows and mourning doves. πŸ™‚ Oh and I’ve seen a blue jay (I think) and hawk. Now you’ve introduced me to purple martins, I’ll be on the look out. πŸ™‚

  2. Great capture of the sense of movement. I wish we had purple martins around here. We do have a nesting pair bluebirds in the backyard so I can’t really complain.

  3. I’ve never heard of purple Martins. How beautiful and you make them especially so with your extraordinary ways …! Summer looks nice , nearly summer. πŸ™‚

  4. I love these images, especially the three birds in flight. You really captured the sense of motion, and the idea of the lightness of little birds.

  5. Your composite is really interesting for making the birds appear sociable – it’s as if they are striving to be together (and they obviously have a lot to say for themselves). These are great shots, Karen – really beautiful.

  6. So glad you’re having a great spring – the martins in flight are just beautiful. The chirps and murmurs are somehow a comforting sound, aren’t they? Have you heard Brant murmuring to one another? Different sounds but there’s a similar companionable feeling – very much a whole made up of all these individuals, none of which needs to be “on top.”

  7. Purple Martins is such a beautiful name and made even more beautiful by these motion picture images. The sound recording is dazzling. Such an striking contrast, their house and them sitting, with images of them in flight.

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