Purple Martins

I can’t imagine going to Seabeck to photograph the Bald Eagles and Great Blue Herons without stopping to photograph the Purple Martins that hang out by the now-closed Barbie’s Restaurant. Unfortunately, these Purple Martins depend on artificial plastic gourds, but the Seabeck colony seems to continue to flourish.

Purple Martins are larger than the Tree Swallows and Barn Swallows I am used to seeing. The male is quite striking,

though the painter in me would probably call it a “Blue Martin” because I have a hard time seeing purple in that plumage.

The female shows even less “purple.”

The first time I saw a female I couldn’t even identify it as a Purple Martin.

I didn’t see any babies yet, but many of the males

and the females seemed focused on nest-building.