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Taylor Memorial Arboretum
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Passeriformes > Hirundinidae

Purple Martin

Progne subis

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Identification

POWERED BY MERLIN

Largest swallow in the U.S. Rather long notched tail and long, pointed wings. In the eastern U.S., nests exclusively in nest boxes and martin houses; also uses natural cavities in parts of the western U.S. Adult males are dark overall with a purplish-blue iridescence visible up close. Females are grayer with some patterning on the underparts; immatures have a white belly. Gives a liquid gurgling call. Winters in South America, where identification is complicated by several other extremely similar species of martin.

POWERED BY MERLIN

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Learn more about Purple Martin from…

All About Birds

Your Online Guide To Birds And Bird Watching

Birds of North America

Comprehensive life histories of North American breeding birds

Neotropical Birds

Life histories of all species breeding in Mexico, Central America, and South America