Gourds are a unique style of housing but a favorite among purple martins. Gourd birdhouses mimic the shape and structure of actual gourds. Purple martin gourd houses are much smaller than the conventional style birdhouse and typically can only be occupied by one martin family at a time.
Purple Martins are monogamous birds where the male and female will work together to supply their home with all the twigs, grass, and mud necessary to make their gourd a home. Providing purple martins with larger gourds will make breeding easier on these birds and they will have tendency to raise more young.
Although it may seem like purple martins are finicky about their homes, even though we can relate, most gourds are suitable for purple martins. Whether they are all natural, wooden (untreated), plastic, or aluminum, your new backyard neighbors can turn any one into a home. However, it is important to note that purple martins prefer white colored gourds because the color reflects the heat and keeps their home cool during the summer heat.
Purple martin gourds have many benefits for these birds. The small size deters most predators from entering such a close-knit area. Gourds do not have porches surrounding their homes therefore making it more difficult to prevent premature fledging.
Purple martin gourds are not just favorites of the purple martins but landlords like them too. Gourds are easy to clean and very durable. When purple martins begin to migrate for the winter, gourds should be cleaned, taken down and stored until next season. Before storing them it is important to give the home a thorough cleaning and occasionally they will need a fresh coat of white paint before the next season.
Purple martin gourds should be placed in wide-open areas free from trees, homes, and shrubs thus making it more challenging for predators. Make sure the poles are high enough to be seen and easily accessible for you to move up and down to occasionally check on the home.
Purple martin gourds bring a unique aesthetic and appeal to your backyard. Purchasing one will just be the beginning of welcoming a purple martin colony in your backyard. These birds will bring a smile to your face and their songs will bring serenity and enjoyment for you and your family every year right in your own backyard.