The purple martin (Progne subis) is a passerine bird in the swallow family Hirundinidae. It is the largest swallow in North America. Despite its name, the purple martin is not truly purple.
Purple is one of the rarest of all plumage colors, and most birds with violet hues can be difficult to find, but don’t fret - they’re out there! You can find them in your backyard - or on your travels - but you need to know where to look! Here’s another thing to know about purple birds.
Varied Bunting: Medium bunting, mostly purple-blue with red wash on throat, breast, back. Nape and eye-rings are red. Bill is gray and slightly curved down. Wings and tail are purple-blue. Female has brown upperparts with buff underparts.
Male Purple Finches are delicate pink-red on the head and breast, mixing with brown on the back and cloudy white on the belly. Female Purple Finches have no red. They are coarsely streaked below, with strong facial markings including a whitish eyestripe and a dark line down the side of the throat.
Grackle Symbolism and Meaning
For many people, the grackle is a symbol of courage. If you’ve ever met a grackle then it isn’t hard to imagine why this is. Grackles approach life with an audacious attitude and are rarely deterred by the presence of humans in their vicinity. Grackles also frequently symbolize thievery.
Adult males are iridescent, dark blue-purple overall with brown-black wings and tail. Females and immatures are duller, with variable amounts of gray on the head and chest and a whitish lower belly. Purple Martins fly rapidly with a mix of flapping and gliding.
Most Purple Martins that breed in eastern North American probably migrate across the Gulf of Mexico. They form huge roosts (of several hundred thousand birds) in late summer along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida. Others may fly over Mexico and through Central America.
It is seen as a symbol of good fortune. The Chinese symbol for swallow features the image of a bird with an open mouth, outspread wings and forked tail. Purple Martins are native songbirds of the swallow family. Throughout history, many cultures have cherished the swallow.
It can be found in southeastern Canada, through the eastern United States from Maine to Minnesota to Texas, New Mexico, southern Arizona, southern California, and south through Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala. It is also an introduced species in a few locations such as Bermuda and Hawaii.
The eastern bluebird is the most prevalent species of the three bluebirds: The eastern bluebirds, western bluebirds, and mountain bluebirds and can be seen throughout eastern North America. Bluebirds are in the thrush family, who have a melodic tone when they sing, so they come by their vocal talents quite honestly.
Common Grackles are blackbirds that look like they’ve been slightly stretched. They’re taller and longer tailed than a typical blackbird, with a longer, more tapered bill and glossy-iridescent bodies. Grackles walk around lawns and fields on their long legs or gather in noisy groups high in trees, typically evergreens.
Small, nondescript brown bird with a short tail, thin bill, and dark barring on wings and tail with a paler throat.
House finches are a classic red or red-orange like a ripe strawberry, while purple finches are more of a dark pink or rosy hue similar to a raspberry or red wine. Purple finches also have much more extensive red extending on the crown, nape, back, chest, cheeks, and flanks.
This species is common in the North and East, and along the Pacific seaboard, but it is very rare in much of the Rocky Mountains region. Purple Finches feed up in trees and on the ground in open woods.
A finch encounter may also act as a reminder to follow your joy wherever it may take you. Finches flutter through the sky proclaiming their joy through song. Encountering a finch may be a reminder to seek out the paths in your life that fill you with a sense of freedom, opportunity, and happiness.
Interesting Facts About the Grackle
Both crows and Great-tails can recognize individual humans. A Researcher’s Dilemma – Researchers studying both crows and Grackles (in separate studies) noticed that the birds did not use alarm calls when other people were nearby.
Grackles are aggressive birds who will colonize in large flocks. These birds are very noisy, and their gregarious nature is very apparent when observing their roosting and nesting sites.
The gleaming black birds actually play a beneficial role in our society. (Well, besides cleaning up those food crumbs you dropped on the sidewalk.) Grackles, which are a native species in Texas, eat insects, for one.
Adult Barn Swallows have longer and more deeply forked tails than Purple Martins. They also have peachy or creamy underparts, whereas female Purple Martins have dingy underparts.
Other flying insects, such as bees, wasps, beetles, mayflies and flying ants make up the majority of their diet. Purple Martins are highly vulnerable to extended periods of cold and rainy weather that can temporarily reduce the supply of their insect food.
Food: Purple martins eat flying insects, so no bird feeders or type of birdseed will attract them.
Purple martins seem to like people as much as people enjoy having them. Being near houses keeps them safer from predators like snakes and hawks. Colonies will even locate in the middle of towns or business districts. And for some people, being near purple martins just seems to keep them happy.
Purple martins are beneficial birds to have near a home or on a property because they eat insects. These birds feed during daylight, and their diet consists mainly of beetles, moths, dragonflies, butterflies, horseflies, leafhoppers and wasps.