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Nestcam Allows Viewers To Track Growing Purple Martin Family

The 2019 Purple Martin Conservation Association’s MartinTV NestCam has gone live, streaming 24/7 coverage of a pair of Purple Martins as they prepare for the arrival of several nestlings expected to hatch around June 22.

The pair recently completed their annual migration northward from Brazil to set up a leaf-lined nest inside an elevated artificial gourd located near the PMCA’s headquarters in Erie Pa. Currently, the mother, nicknamed Jolene, is tending to seven eggs laid between June 1 and 7.

“The NestCam offers a great way for people to learn more about these amazing birds while also generating support for the PMCA’s mission to protect Purple Martins,” says Joe Siegrist, President, Purple Martin Conservation Association. “Due to habitat loss and pressure from invasive species, martins east of the Rocky Mountains today only nest in man-made housing. It’s vital to educate martin enthusiasts in the proper techniques for managing this human-dependent species."

This is the fourth year that the NestCam has streamed live via a camera purchased through a grant from the Tom Ridge Environmental Center Foundation. Over the past two years, the NestCam has averaged more than 1 million views.

Last year, bird lovers and others watched a Purple Martin pair raise three nestling that flew off on their own on June 29. The NestCam chronicled the 2018 martins enduring considerable adversity, as some of the birds and eggs fell victim to predator attacks.

“When it comes to nature, there’s no set script,” Siegrist says. “At times it can be tough to watch, but we believe there are lessons to be learned from witnessing both the triumphs and challenges that Purple Martins face while raising their young.”

This year’s nesting marks a homecoming for Jolene, as a band on her leg affirms that she was born in 2016 in the gourd rack where she is currently nesting. Last year, she successfully fledged five young at the location.

To follow this year’s progress you can find a link to the NestCam by visiting In addition, people interested in learning more about how to attract and care for Purple Martins can receive a free booklet by contacting the Purple Martin Conservation Association by emailing or calling 814-833-7656.

Based in Erie, Pa. the Purple Martin Conservation Association is an international tax exempt, nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of the Purple Martin through scientific research, state of the art wildlife management techniques and public education.

The PMCA serves as a centralized data-gathering and information source on the species, serving both the scientist and Purple Martin enthusiast. The PMCA’s mission is educating martin enthusiasts in the proper techniques for managing this human-dependent species.