As the largest of the Swallow family, Purple Martins are very social birds. Take it from Skimmer the Tree Swallow who explains to Johnny Chuck:
“I like a home by myself, such as I’ve got here, but Twitter loves company. He likes to live in an apartment house with a lot of his own kind. That is why he always looks for one of those houses with a lot of rooms in it, such as Farmer Brown’s boy has put up on the top of that tall pole out in his backyard. He pays for all the trouble Farmer Brown’s boy took to put that house up. If there is anybody who catches more flies and winged insects than Twitter, I don’t know who it is.” The Burgess Bird Book for Children
Here in the Chicagoland area, there is a really fun Cook County Forest Preserve called River Trail Nature Center in Northbrook, IL, which has colony housing that you can go and see. They also have an amazing bird exhibit inside and some larger birds of prey to see outside.
Allaboutbirds.org mentions that Native Americans hung up dried, empty gourds for Purple Martins to nest in long before European settlers arrived in North America. Isn’t that amazing? We also found out about The Purple Martin Conservation Association as we researched more about Twitter.
Here are all of the things we noted in our Burgess Writing section for Twitter:
Twitter is really a handsome bird when you look at his blue-black feathers and the sun catches him just right to become iridescent. And now we know how useful he is as well!
Until next time, keep birding <3 Kate