Purple Martin (Progne subis)

Order: Passeriformes | Family: Hirundinidae | IUCN Status: Least Concern

Age: Adult | Sex: Males and Females | Loc. Various Locations

Age: Adult | Sex: Males and Females | Loc. Huacho, Lima

Age: Adult | Sex: Males and Females | Loc. Amazonas, Brazil

Age: Adult | Sex: Males and Females | Loc. Imbabura, Ecuador

Identification & Behavior: ~19 cm (7.4 in). The Male Purple Martin is glossy blue-black. The female has blackish upperparts. The throat, breast, and upper belly are gray grading to pale towards the lower belly and vent. The female has a pale collar around the back and sides of the neck. The juvenile is similar to the female. It forages high above forested areas and other habitat types. It is very similar to the male Southern Martin and very difficult to separate with certainty in the field. The male Southern Martin shows breast feathers fringed with brown. The female Southern Martin has underparts scaled with blackish. Also, see Peruvian Martin.

Status: The Purple Martin is a rare Boreal migrant to the Peruvian Amazon. Little is known about this species seasonality and movements but is expected in Peru during the months of August through April. It also occurs in Co, Ec, Br, and Bo.

Name in Spanish: Martín Purpúreo.

Sub-species: Purple Martin (Progne subis), Linnaeus, 1758.

Meaning of Name: Progne: Gr.Progne or Procne= daughter of King Pandion of Athens and wife to King Tereus of Thrace. subis: L. subis= type of bird that breaks eagles’ eggs, mentioned by the grammarian Nigidius Figulus.

See more of the Family Hirundinidae peru aves

Distribution Map


    • Species range based on: Schulenberg, T. S., D. F. Stotz, and L. Rico. 2006. Distribution maps of the birds of Peru, version 1.0. Environment, Culture & Conservation (ECCo). The Field Museum.  http://fm2.fieldmuseum.org/uw_test/birdsofperu on 03/01/2016.