Purple Martin Progne subis
The Purple Martin is North America's largest swallow. This beautiful bird has a large head, thick chest, broad - pointed wings and a forked tail.
The male is totally glossy blue-black. The female is bluish black on the back and dingy gray-brown on the chest with a paler dirty gray belly. There is also a gray collar around back of the neck.
The martins will nest in bird houses, a cavity in a tree, a hole in a cactus or a crevice in a cliff or building. The nest is constructed of twigs, mud, grass and plant stems.
Martins spend their winters in South America, in the lowlands east of the Andes.
In the summer martins breed from Alberta to New Brunswick, southward into central Texas and Florida. They can also be found in scattered locations near the Pacific Coast, and in areas of the deserts and mountains of the southwestern United States and Mexico.