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How to Attract Purple Martins

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how to attract purple martin

Purple martins are known for their ability to sing and playful style, which makes your backyard alive and lovely. But what makes this bird special is its ability to reduce insects in your place since they eat flying insects.

But how to attract purple martins in your place? These birds provide so many benefits once they visit your place. But there are certain things that you can do to attract these birds in your backyard, which we have listed below.


Where Do Purple Martins Live

If you want to know how to attract martins, you need to know first where they live. Purple martins usually live in grasslands, meadows, lakes, ponds, dams, and flooded areas where they can forage for their food. Purple martins can also live in urban areas like parks, gardens, farms, and cropland.

In the United States, you will probably see purple martins in huge roosts in the gulf coast states such as Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi. If you are living in these states or nearby, there is a higher chance that you can attract these birds using some tips we have listed below:

Purple Martins Likes to Eat Insects

If you want to attract purple martins. You need to make sure that your backyard comes with enough food for them. In general, purple martins are insectivores which means they like to eat insects in their meal.

So, if you want to make sure that there are enough insects in your backyard, you need to avoid using insecticides or pesticides in your place. If you are worried about the insects, there is no need to since the birds will take care of them once they are in your backyard.

Purple martins also like to devour crushed eggshells in their meal. This food is an excellent calcium supplement for them. So, if you can arrange to provide these crushed eggshells somewhere in your backyard that is readily accessible to them, you might entice them to come into your place.

Lastly, fine gravel is an occasional food for these birds, which they use to help in their digestion. If you can find a way to put fine gravel in a secluded place in your garden, it might help lure them over to come to your place.

Having a Large and Open Water Source Can Help

how to attract martin

Unfortunately, purple martins do not drink in birdbaths. But still, they like to drink and bath during the flight, which means they still need water. What they want is a vast open-source of water.

So, if you have an open water source near your places, like a large pond, lake, or stream, that can help attract them. Otherwise, you can put a large water feature in your place if the place has enough space for it.

If you want to put up this water feature, you need to have an elongated design. This feature will allow the bird to do its fly-by style of drinking. But still, the most ideal water source is the natural lakes and ponds.

Purple Martins Likes Artificial Bird Houses

If you like to attract these birds, you need to provide the shelter they like. They do not want to stay in bushes and dense plants due to the fear of predators. Purple martins like to stay in artificial houses. So, having these birdhouses in the backyard can lure them into coming to your place.

But you must build and locate them in accordance to their liking. Purple martins like the bird house installed in tall and open areas. Purple martins prefer bird hoses that are located on top using very tall poles in wide-open spaces.

Since they come in numbers, using condo-type bird houses set up similarly can increase the interest of the birds. Another option is to put hollow gourds around the house to make a complete village for them.

By combining birdhouses and gourds, you will let the birds use the shelter for the whole family. But when setting up these birdhouses, they should be at least 10 to 20 feet away from the ground. In addition, it should also be 40 feet away from trees, houses, or other buildings taller than the bird’s houses.

Purple Martins Nesting Requirements

If you have already set up multi condo-type birdhouses and gourds, this should be enough for the birds to have a proper nesting place. Since they are colonial nesters, building many birdhouses and gourds in your backyard with multiple compartments will definitely meet their nesting needs.

Also, these birds are naturally attracted to bird houses painted in a while since it is cooler and refreshing, which they like. But then again, you must place them away from taller trees and buildings to have enough space for them to feed their babies.

Lastly, these birdhouses must be removed during the fall to prevent other species from using them. Once they migrate, interlopers and house sparrows can take over in their houses and prevent them from returning. So, it is essential to only set up their houses during the time when they settle down in your backyard.


How to attract purple martins? Providing lots of houses for their flock is an effective way to lure them into the backyard. You will also need to let insects thrive in your area to serve as food for the birds. Meanwhile, a sizable open water source will also help with their bathing and drinking needs.

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