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.

Why do we offer martin houses to Purple Martins?

It saddens us to mention this but, while Purple Martins are still abundant birds, their numbers have been falling slowly but steadily for decades. Their breeding range in the north and in Canada’s heartland has almost disappeared, but  the Great Lakes Region continues to hold their populations in greater numbers.  Purple Martin
nesting numbers have decreased significantly since 1970. At one time it was estimated that their population was around 11 million but today it hovers between 7-8 million.

Purple Martins appear to be a part of a widespread decline of aerial insectivores.The decline of Purple Martin populations is likely due to a mix of factors, including a reduced supply of flying insects related to agricultural intensification and pesticide use, greater climatic and weather instability and loss or degradation of migration and winter habitat.   A shortage of  well cared for nest cavities has also contributed to the decline, and we can do something about this.

In 1916, there seemed to be many more purple martins with not so many introduced species. Purple Martins were happy to assume residence in a very short while. The photo above from P.A. Taverner’s selection of garden photographs is a wonderful depiction of the early martin years.



 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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