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Species Code: PRSU
Breeding Range Map
Metadata (Data about data or how the map was made)
The Purple Martin is local and uncommon at various locations in the Puget Trough, Grays Harbor, and Willapa Bay. There are sites in the Columbia River estuary near Astoria (Oregon). Most current nesting sites are over water in hollow wooden pilings, though nests in natural tree cavities are still seen in non-urban areas, e.g., the Fort Lewis and San Juan Island sites. In Bremerton, some birds nest in inactive Navy vessels near the "D" and "E" piers. Up until a few years ago, several pairs nested each year in the Macy's building in downtown Seattle.
Good habitat in core zones included developed areas, agriculture, wetlands, open water, estuaries, open areas, and open forests, locally distributed in the following zones: Sitka Spruce, Western Hemlock, Puget Sound Douglas-fir, Woodland/Prairie Mosaic, and Willamette Valley.
Purple Martin numbers apparently increased soon after the arrival of European settlers (and the subsequent construction of houses), then declined with the arrival of European Starlings. After the widespread establishment of European Starlings in the l950s and l960s, Purple Martin populations declined to fragmented remnants. Where populations remain, many birds are nesting in cavities over water, such as at marinas, the Port of Tacoma, at the Bremerton Navy base, and over the Columbia River. Few terrestrial nest sites remain.
Translated from the Washington Gap Analysis Bird Volume by Uchenna Bright
Text edited by Gussie Litwer
Webpage designed by Dave Lester