How to Identify your Martin's

Adult Male

Sub Adult Male
  • Appearing as an ordinary black or gray bird when light hits a full grown adult male is obvious how they get their name. The black areas become brilliant deep purple in color.

  • It take a male 3 years to reach adulthood and acquire their plumage. Male martins molt in to their purple plumage during their second Wintering season in Brazil.

  • Until a male martins second season molt they are often confused to be a mature female. Males seem to have darker heads than their female counterparts.

  • Sub adult male martin have a darker head & back and lighter under parts. Gray on the forehead and often have a few dark feathers showing on the breast

Sub Adult Female

Sub Adult Male

  • Females tend to have more purple on their crown and nape, (shoulders), back and rump than young females.

  • Molt starts in late summer and stops during migration then resumes at winter roost where plumage change occurs.