Documentation of Purple Martin

Observer Information

Reporter:  Cathy Sheeter  2245 S Waco St,   Aurora, CO  80013
Other Observers: 

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Purple Martin
First Date/Time:  5/15/2019 9:16:00 AM
Last Date/Time:  9/15/2019 1:00:00 AM
Duration (total time in view):  5 minutes
County:  Adams
Specific Location:  Barr Lake State Park
Number:  1
Age:  Adult
Sex:  Female
Plumage:  Breeding

Description of the Bird

I observed this bird sitting in a small dead tree for several minutes.  It was a large swallow type bird, with quite a heavy, slightly decurved bill.  This bird appeared puffed up and more or less exhausted.  It hardly moved and often seemed to doze off while I observed and photographed it.  The bird was darker on top, with dark head and paler grayish belly.  After about 5 minutes of observation the bird flew off. 

Similar Species Discussion

No other regularly occuring swallows in Colorado have the heavy, hooked bill of Purple Martin.  I did lightly look into other vagrant martin species, such as Brown-chested and Gray-chested, but the plumage traits seem most consistant with the more expected Purple Martin, and really nothing seemed off for a PUrple Martin, so I didn't spend a whole lot of time examining other options.

Resources Used

Sibley's and various online searches about some of the Central American species.  

Previous Experience

I lived for 3 years in New Jersey where Purple Martin is common and regularly occuring species.  I have seen Gray-chested Martin in Guatemala on one occasion.



Materials Available

Photographer: Cathy Sheeter

Photos |


Date Documentation Submitted

9/15/2019 9:27:00 AM
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Location Map

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