The Purple Martin is the largest North American swallow. They have speed and agility in flight, and when approaching their housing, they tuck their winds and will dive from the sky at great speeds.
Purple Martins spend the non-breeding season in Brazil then migrate to North America to nest. East of the Rockies they are totally dependent on human-supplied housing. West of the Rockies and in the deserts they largely nest in their ancestral ways, in abandoned woodpecker nest cavities. In the Pacific northwest, Martins are beginning to use gourds and clusters of single-unit boxes for nesting.
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