Purple Martin Colony

Posted on Jan 3, 2019 in News



The Adams Family Purple Martin Colony at North Park

North Park is happy to host the Adams Family Purple Martin colony.  Krista Adams has been providing housing for Purple Martins for almost 20 years.  She grew up in New Orleans, LA and has fond memories of visiting her grandparent’s camp in Grand Isle, LA and sitting on the porch with her grandfather, Frank Boimare, Jr., watching Purple Martins flying around the Purple Martin house he built.  This Purple Martin site is in honor of his memory. 

Purple Martins (Progne subis) are the largest member of the swallow family in North America.  They are native songbirds that migrate to the United States every Spring from South America to nest and raise their young.  East of the Rocky Mountains, Purple Martins nest almost exclusively in human-supplied housing. They are dependent on us for their survival. That’s what makes them so special!  They are one of America’s most loved songbirds.

The 2019 season is the fourth year that the Adams family has been hosting Purple Martins at North Park near the walking path.  In the past three years, the site has grown from one active nest in 2016 to 30 active nests in 2018.  The walking path area offers the perfect location for housing.  It provides a wide open area from trees which gives the martins a great space for their flight paths and the ponds provide a great water source and plentiful insects for the martins to eat. 

The family performs weekly nest checks each season and records their findings.  In 2018, they recorded 30 nesting pairs. These pairs were successful in fledging 122 new Purple Martins. That’s a total of 182 Purple Martins at North Park!  For the 2019 season, another housing unit has been added thanks to a generous donation from Robert Jernigan of North Louisiana. With this addition, the site will offer a total of 52 housing units for the Purple Martins!  

Krista and her family are anticipating the Purple Martins to arrive from the Amazon basin in early February and will be keeping a close eye on the colony to ensure they have a successful nesting season. 

The Adams family will host a Purple Martin day at North Park in the Spring.  The public will be invited to come out and learn about Purple Martins and get an up close view of active nests.  In the meantime, Krista recommends anyone wanting to learn more about Purple Martins to visit the Purple Martin Conservation Association’s website at www.purplemartin.org

Krista wants to help others to be successful martin landlords and welcomes anyone to contact her at louisianapurplemartins@gmail.com or 225-931-4177.    

The Parks and Recreation of Denham Springs thanks Krista and her husband, Michael Adams, for hosting this Purple Martin colony at North Park!  It’s truly a joint conservation effort to help America’s most beloved songbirds. 


Note:  The Adams Purple Martin colony has been moved for the 2019 season and can be found to the right of the walking path near the power lines.  Since native songbirds are protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Krista hopes this new location will keep the birds safe while being viewed from a short distance. 


Important Links: 

Migratory Bird Treaty Act

Purple Martin Conservation Association

2019 Purple Martin Scout Arrival Study

2019 Martinwatch Nest Data Sheet