Studying Purple Martins

The Purple Martin is in decline in certain parts of Ontario.  Try googling a particular location and see if you can find a purple martin house or colony. Yes there used to be some martins near a particular city but they have all but gone.

Our monitoring program is ongoing and a very  labor intensive project. You can help us out by monitoring a purple martin site. At each monitoring site, a scientist or a citizen scientist is responsible for all activities at the site. This may include:raising  and lowering the house as needed, checking and recording the progress of the colony, reporting information to the coordinator as required, etc.  Some people also train to be banders and assist at the site.  Their work includes strict adherence to the project’s protocol, safely banding purple martins with a certified bander, ensuring that the data is taken correctly and accurately, submitting reports and the banding data after each session, working with the site hosts, and managing the other volunteers needed to successfully complete a banding session. These high expectations are significant, but OPMA volunteers continue to show strong commitment to the mission of  and the goals of its monitoring program. Perhaps you could assist us by submitting some of the data below or volunteer to be a citizen scientist in Ontario.

This will assist us in achieving some of the following goals:

  1. Identify  migration routes and peak migration dates
  2. Document spring arrival and fall departure dates
  3. Define the northern limits of the breeding range
  4. Locate concentration points of large purple martin flocks
  5. Study the nesting cycle
  6. Report banded martins
  7. Document abnormal/rare Purple martins in Ontario
  8. Collect information on nesting locations, population estimates, reproduction rates and birds returning to the same locality each year

Where applicable please provide specific dates,time,  location (address,PC), county, age/sex of the bird, weather conditions etc. in your response. Email the webmaster (  for any of the following topics below.

  • To report a Purple Martin Colony (Ontario only).

  • To report an unusual Purple Martin (Ontario only) (Melanistic?).
  • To inquire about Purple Martin banding at your location.

  • To inquire about a Purple Martin  program/presentation for your organization.
  • For any inquiry related to Purple Martins.

  • For any report about a large flock of Purple Martins staging on wires, TV antennas in Ontario.

  • For any report related to a large Purple Martin roost in Ontario.