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Merlin Bird ID

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    Purple Martin Identification

    The Four Keys to ID

    • Size & Shape

      Purple Martins are very large, broad-chested swallows. They have stout, slightly hooked bills, short, forked tails, and long, tapered wings.

      Relative Size

      Smaller than an American Robin; larger than a Tree Swallow.

      Relative Sizebetween sparrow and robinbetween sparrow and robin
      Measurements
      • Both Sexes
        • Length: 7.5-7.9 in (19-20 cm)
        • Weight: 1.6-2.1 oz (45-60 g)
        • Wingspan: 15.3-16.1 in (39-41 cm)

    Regional Differences

    Female Purple Martins in the West show more extensive white on their underparts than do eastern birds.