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Western Purple Martin Foundation

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Adult male Western Purple Martin in Nanoose. Photo by Samuelle Simard-Provençal. 

   

We are dedicated to the recovery and conservation of Western Purple Martin populations on the West Coast of North America.

  

Mission Statement

Our Mission

  • To restore and conserve the Western Purple Martin populations along the West Coast of North America.
  • To return BC Purple Martins to natural nesting sites in open forest and near freshwater habitats.
  • To eliminate the human intervention currently required for BC Purple Martin survival.
  

Latest News

  2020 BC Purple Martin Breeding Season  (August 2020)
  • This year has been unusual, in more than one respect. With the poor weather in most of May and June, the Purple Martins were quite delayed in their nesting efforts.
  • Periods of cool and wet weather results in lack of flying insects for food and thus results in delayed or failed nesting attempts.
  • By July, the weather improved, and the Purple Martins were able to concentrate their nesting efforts all at once.

Past news

2015 Breeding Season

Approximately ~1,150 nesting pairs, a record >90 colonies extending west to Bamfield and north to Port McNeill in Johnstone Strait, a record ~4,400 nestlings fledged (3.8 young/pair), and a record ~2,800 nestlings banded. With this high productivity, the population forecast models indicate a further substantial population increase next year to 1,300-1,400 pairs which should mean more full colonies and more martins nesting at inland sites, as planned.

2016 Breeding Season

There were ~1,200 pairs, up slightly from ~1,150 last year, but quite a bit less than the 1,300+ we forecast. This was at least partly due to early season adult losses. There were 95-98 active colony sites of which only ~65 were monitored directly and reported. There were ~2900 nestlings fledged, down from the 3800 fledged last year and 1755 were banded (vs ~2800 banded last year). This number is not adjusted for post-banding mortalities. Average production for the Strait of Georgia area was about 2.4 -2.5 young/pair. With this production there will likely be an overall population return of 1200-1300 pairs in 2017 or there may be a small decline.

2017 Breeding Season

There were ~1,200 pairs, about the same as last year and as forecast. There were 95-98 active colony sites of which only ~65 were monitored directly and reported. An estimate of ~2900 nestlings fledged, about the same as last year. Average production for the Strait of Georgia area was about 2.5 -2.9 young/pair. With this production there will likely be an overall population return of 1200-1300 pairs in 2018 or there may be a small decline, depending on winter mortalities and next year’s spring weather.

2018 Breeding Season

There were ~1,200 pairs, about the same as 2017 and as forecast. An estimate of ~2900 nestlings fledged, about the same as 2017. Average production for the Strait of Georgia area was about 2.5 -2.9 young/pair. With this production there will likely be an overall population return of 1200-1300 pairs in 2019 or there may be a small decline, depending on winter mortalities and next year’s spring weather. Of the 100 active colony sites, only ~65 were monitored directly and reported.

2019 Breeding Season

Stay tuned - not written up yet. 


Contact Information:

5331 Hammond Bay Rd.
Nanaimo BC
V9T 5M9

Phone/Fax: 1-250-758-2922
e-mail: click here

 
Website funded in part by the Ladysmith Maritime Society
Original website design by Danielle Morrison
Page last modified August 2020