Welcome to the Ontario Purple Martin Association (OPMA)

L’Association ontarienne de l’Hirondelle noire (pourpre)

Conservation –   Education – Involvement

The Ontario Purple Martin Association (l’Association ontarienne de l’Hirondelle noire (pourpree))  was founded in 2001 as the Essex Purple Martin Association to  assist purple martin hobbyists and citizen scientists from all of Ontario, Canada as well as other North American affiliates.


Purple Martins are on their journey north to Ontario and it won’t be long before they are here. Last year, the early martins arrived at the end of March when the weather had warmed up. However, by April 6th, 2016 many martins were in trouble and were unable to fend for themselves as the winds shifted to the North. Often landlords don’t even realize that they have martins because their housing is not opened or in the worse case scenario not even up and ready for their arrival.

How Can The OPMA Help?

Be Ready-Have some readily available food ready for your early arrivals…..crickets, meal worms and a good supply of eggs are great choices. Some of our members feed crickets and dried meal worms to their birds. In a pinch, scrambled eggs, mashed into little pieces will also help. Martins can be trained during these difficult times to take supplemental food when they are stressed by weather and haven’t eaten for several days despite the fact that they are aerial insectivores.

Meal Worms

Newhaven Mealworms – George and Alicia Oakley – 519-925-2571
Melancthon, ON,  L9V 3S7

10,000 for $40 plus shipping – Minimum order 10,000.

You will go through them quickly if the colony of martins is large.

Look Around– When your martins arrive, they often will spend a lot of time moving from compartment to compartment. But when bad weather occurs, they seem to disappear. Take action, lower your housing and see if your martins are crowded in one compartment. Communal roosting is an action that birds will do to retain their body heat. Sometimes 6-12 martins will fill up a cavity and die as the entrance to the cavity is blocked by dead martins. This behaviour leads to significant colony losses as a result of this type of roosting. Last Spring was a killer for communal roosting!

Give us a Call– If you are experiencing any of the above this Spring and require advice, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and dial an executive member.


The first Purple Martin arrived at Holiday Beach on Sunday, April 2, 2017.



 Nature Canada Purple Martin Project – find out more by clicking on the project link.

 Please click on the link below for the Nature Canada/Ontario Purple Martin Association Colony Site Survey and return it to martinman@hotmail.com.

Ontario Purple Martin Colony Survey 

 Thank you in advance for your kind support!



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