A thriving nesting colony of Purple Martins have been busy on the lakeshore beside the Baie-D’Urfé town hall for many years now, raising young in a nesting unit raised on a tall pole near the water. Their old “condo-building” has been showing its age for a while now and the pole it is mounted on was being eaten away by rust. Five pairs of adults succeeded in raising young in the summer of 2015.

Purple Martin adult male - summer 2015

Purple Martin adult male – summer 2015


Bird Protection Quebec (find out about them at www.pqspb.org) stepped in and offered to donate to the town a new structure that will be good for years to come. Purple Martins, the largest “Swallows” in North America are highly dependent on artificial nesting boxes boxes as the advance of civilisation has removed almost all the natural ones they used to make use of – they show great site fidelity with adults and young returning year after year to the place they were raised to lay their own eggs. They arrive here in the spring, raise their young on the many insects we share the lakeshore with and then in late summer depart for the winter to Mexico and adjacent areas. The species is considered to be vulnerable/endangered today due to loss of habitat and falling numbers of insects for them to feed on.

Here are some photographs of this year’s birds and the erection of the new super-condo by volunteers from BPQ.

The new Purple Martin House donated by Bird Protection Quebec. The green plugs will be removed from the doors after the winter.

The new Purple Martin House donated by Bird Protection Quebec


Hover over the thumbnails below to see the captions and click on any one to see the pictures in a full-size gallery: