Home sweet home! If you desire to make ready and way to lovely colonial nesters with your own habitat, then look no further. But before you go on a purchase spree, there are many considerations to account for to ensure purple martin nesting is optimal.

Purple Martin Houses & GourdsWhile there are aluminum, metal, wood, and even natural gourd housing to select from, most purple martin experts highly recommend at least 8-12 white plastic gourds that are UV-resistant. Plastic gourds are much easier to clean as most have a clean-out cap that screws on. Also, be sure each gourd has anywhere between a 2-2.25 inch opening for entry and exit. I personally recommend 1.75 inch opening.

If you go with a house, I suggest going with at least 16 rooms at minimum to promote “safety in numbers”, which clustering in large number is common with healthy purple martins.

In addition, it’s best to hang the housing and gourds from a heavy duty rack and telescoping pole cemented into the ground that’s far from trees. Be certain that the pole and rack system are sturdy, rust resistant, and easy to raise and lower with housing and gourds properly installed.

Forgo hanging housing and gourds from trees and buildings when possible due to predator attacks — non-native sparrows and starlings, hawks, owls, squirrels, cats, and snakes. Speaking of predators, don’t forget to install or create your own predator baffle — at least 10” in full diameter and 2 feet tall. For owls and hawks, purchasing or creating a custom owl guard around housing should the trick.

Your soon-to-be colonial nesters will thank you for it daily with a morning song, to say the least, for sound preparation and care during their stay. Below you’ll find quite the assortment of houses and gourds, and accessories to attract and protect purple martin colonies in comfort nesting.