The Best Time to Put Up a New Martin House


Gardeners love purple martins for their voracious appetites for insects. Bird lovers are often frustrated in their attempts to attract and retain purple martin colonies in their back yards. Erecting a martin-friendly house at the right time will keep them coming back.


  • Determine the approximate arrival date of purple martins in your area. has a scouting report providing dates by state. Arrival dates range from December in Florida to early May in North Dakota.


  • Erect a purple martin house at any time of year. The chances of attracting and maintaining a colony increase if the housing is available during the spring and summer months, at least through August.


  • Situate replacement purple martin housing close to existing structures in which the birds are already nesting and breeding. They are more likely to recognize it as a friendly nesting site next year.

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  • Photo Credit purple martin image by Dwight Davis from
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