By Robin Doughty, Rob Fergus
The Purple Martin is a widely admired bird across much of North America. As the largest and most northerly member of the Western Hemisphere s swallow genus Progne, this summer visitor breeds naturally in a variety of habitats throughout much of the United States and Canada. Centuries ago, however, Native Americans established a special relationship with the martins by providing gourds as artificial nesting boxes, opportunities to which the martins responded. This practice has continued to the present as human advocates, hosts, and landlords provide numerous nest chambers to attract these elegant, graceful, boisterous, useful, and greatly appreciated summer birds into a wide range of rural, suburban, and even urban environments. The Purple Martin provides an overview of the life of Purple Martins and the current status of the bird throughout its range. In particular, the book explores both long-established and innovative efforts being made by citizen scientists and landlords, dedicated people from all walks of life, to better understand, manage, protect, and support healthy and growing populations of the bird, especially in North America.