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GAP Analysis Predicted Distribution Map

Purple Martin (Progne subis)

Species Code: PRSU

This is an "at risk" species

Click to enlarge Range map

= Core Habitat
= Marginal Habitat

Breeding Range Map
The green area shows the predicted habitats for breeding only. The habitats were identified using 1991 satellite imagery, Breeding Bird Atlas (BBA), other datasets and experts throughout the state, as part of the Washington Gap Analysis Project. Habitats used during non-breeding months and migratory rest-stops were not mapped.

Metadata (Data about data or how the map was made)

Click to enlarge distribution map

Other maps & Information:
  • Breeding Bird Atlas
  • NatureMapping observations
    during breeding season
  • NatureMapping observations
    throughout the year

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