Ontario Purple Martin Association
Conservation. Education. Involvement.
Welcome to the homepage of the Ontario Purple Martin Association (l’association Ontario de l’Hirondelle noire) Founded in 2001 as the Essex Purple Martin Association, we are happy to assist purple martin hobbyists and citizen scientists from all of Ontario, Canada as well as other North American affiliates.
OPMA is an affiliate of the Purple Martin Conservation Association
Purple Martins are North America’s largest swallow. They breed throughout the United States and Canada, often returning to the same site each year! Humans have a very interesting and important role in their conservation because Purple Martins nest almost exclusively in apartment-like bird houses that we provide for them. Unfortunately, Purple Martins and countless of other songbird species are suffering from a severe population crash. Let’s help them out during bad weather by monitoring their status.
Over the last couple of years purple martins have been outfitted with geo-locators to track their migratory route from South America. The device has been harnessed around their body and a little antenna may be seen on their backs or if it slides down around their belly. If you locate one of these martins at your colony, please let OPMA know and we will send your information to the study groups who have been involved in this project. We have had a report already in the Ontario region when it became wedged in a starling resistant door. Fortunately, the martin is OK , the geo -locator has been retrieved and hopefully this mishap will indeed shed more light about its journey. Don’t forget to also check to see if your colony has any banded martins. These can easily be spotted with binoculars and the numbers read.
Martin nesting is in full swing , eggs are being laid, and there are already young baby martins in certain locations. Predation is also occurring so please take the necessary steps to protect your colony from raccoons , birds and other animals which favour young martins. By Installing predator guards on poles and on housing units you will be able to thwart nocturnal devastation.