Welland Purple Martins


We live in Niagara Falls ( Chippawa ) along the Welland River and we have a 24 unit house on our dock. We have been getting the Martins every year for 20 yrs. Usualy we have about 8 pairs, this year we have 9. They are just fledging now, there are still a few nests with babies in them, the parents and the rest of the birds leave at night, but are coming back in the morning.

We find usually each year by the 10th of Aug they are gone from the house. We look forward to their arrival in April and May and are very sad when they leave. They are pampered here, we do sit on our dock during the day, we also have 2 umbrellas that we put up on many days, but we stay off the dock once night falls. We find usually they have 3 or 4 young. Several years ago we had one female that had lots of patches of white on it. Now each year there are birds with this same colouring.

Dianne Mooney

Hi Dianne,

Thank you for commenting on your purple martin success over the last two decades. You are lucky to have returning martins to your area and hope that your success continues. I’ve passed through the Chippawa area this summer and was also encouraged to see martins not far from you on the Niagara River. Did you by chance see any martins with bands this summer?

Your patches of white observation is so interesting and to now have martins returning with similar patches might indicate offspring returning to your colony. Keep up the great work with your martins and please share your information. We are interested in knowing how the martins are doing throughout Ontario.

John Balga


PS: Please share any colony photos you may have. May we post your comment on our website?

Oh yes you may post my comments. We have not seen any banded birds. We rescued one from the ground and managed to return him. This was just a few days before they fledged and he left with the rest. Some are still coming back to roost in the evenings.

We are just off the Niagara River along the Welland River. We have seen Martins in this area inland as well. A few miles from the water.

Thanks for your reply.

Dianne Mooney


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