photo by Phil Swanson
L 8″ (20 cm).
Song or calls:
Rich, low “chew” notes. Song is a series of rich gurgling notes.
Description: Male is dark, glossy purplish-blue overall, with wings and forked tail duller black. Female and juvenile are glossy purple above and gray below. Typical swallow flight of short glides alternating with rapid flapping.
Habitat: Found in urban, suburban, and rural habitats, usually near water, and always where suitable nesting cavities are available.
Where in Nebraska: Common spring and fall migrant and summer resident across most of Nebraska. Presently Ogallala, Lewellen, and Crescent Lake represent the approximate western limits.
Field Notes: In the eastern and midwestern U.S., multiple-unit Martin houses are often used as nesting sites. In the west, pairs more commonly nest in old woodpecker holes, usually in dead trees.
Fun Facts: Purple Martins gather in large flocks prior to migration. In fact, over 30,000 have been estimated to roost in one area of downtown Omaha, NE.