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.