USA’s beloved Purple Martins return to New Jersey

Erie, PA – A sure sign that spring is just around the corner, the first Purple Martins of the year have been spotted in New Jersey.

The birds were seen March 22 in Franklinville, New Jersey by a Purple Martin enthusiast – one of many in the eastern and central United States who track and report on the annual bird migration on behalf of the Purple Martin Conservation Association. The migration of these unique birds can be reported and tracked through a community science project called the Scout-Arrival Study.

“The first Purple Martin arrivals of the season are always an exciting event,” said Joe Siegrist, president of the Purple Martin Conservation Association. “Tracking the migration is not only fun, it also provides us with valuable information that helps inform our research and strengthen our efforts to ensure that we are doing all we can to maintain the population of these incredible birds.”

Essaim de Martins violets

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“The decline appears to be a combination of a few factors: loss of nesting habitat, competing invasive species, decreasing prey availability, and climate change,” Siegrist said. “Across most of the Purple Swallows’ range, they can no longer nest naturally. Human-provided nesting boxes are the only thing keeping the species alive east of the Rocky Mountains.

Siegrist says the very survival of the species is due in large part to dozens of dedicated conservationists who invest their time, money and hearts in maintaining habitats for the martens.

“Homeowners provide essential shelter for swallows,” Siegrist said. “In return, they are rewarded with a family bond with the birds returning to the same colony year after year like clockwork.”

To follow the migration of Purple Martins and learn more about how you can help secure the future of Purple Martins, visit www.purplemartin.org. Additionally, those interested in learning more about how to attract and care for purple martins can receive a free booklet by contacting the Purple Martin Conservation Association via email. [email protected] or by calling 814-833-7656.

Based in Erie, Pennsylvania, the Purple Martin Conservation Association is an international, tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of the Purple Martin through scientific research, state-of-the-art wildlife management techniques and public education.

The PMCA serves as a centralized source of data collection and information on the species, serving both the scientist and the Purple Martin enthusiast. The PMCA’s mission is to educate martin enthusiasts on proper management techniques for this human-dependent species.


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