Apartment Dwellers

The purple martin knows what it likes in a home.

By: Rick Burkman
Purple Martin photo by Victor Pavlicic

Regular contributor Rick Burkman started watching birds at a young age 50 years ago. Many years later he began a professional writing career and has written for bird magazines, regional magazines, and newspapers. He currently serves on the planning team and communications committee for the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II, and conducts regular feld surveys for breeding birds.

When the snows of winter start melting, thousands of landlords carefully clean, restore, buy, or build apartments and condominiums. Some dwellings are rustic and some are exquisite, but they all share spots of prime real estate on top of tall poles or hanging on high wires about 20 feet above the ground. They are awaiting the arrival of the spring’s first purple martins (Progne subis).


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