SPECIES

Purple Martin Progne subis Scientific name definitions

Charles R. Brown, Daniel A. Airola, and Scott Tarof
Version: 2.0 — Published September 10, 2021

About the Author(s)

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Introduction

When Charles R. Brown was 11 years old, his father erected a Purple Martin house in their Texas backyard, under the mistaken impression that martins control mosquitoes. Brown's fascination with martins began when two pairs occupied that 6-room house, and that interest expanded into a research program that lasted 13 years. While in high school and college, Brown published more than 30 papers on martins, the first in The Auk when he was 15. His interest in martins propelled him into graduate research on the behavioral ecology of Cliff Swallows, which has continued for 40 years. Brown received a B.A. from Austin College in Sherman, Texas in 1981, where his senior honors thesis was on martin vocalizations, and a Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1985. A faculty member at Yale University from 1985 to 1993, Brown is currently a professor of biology at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma. His research interests now focus mostly on Cliff Swallows (www.cliffswallow.org). His research on the social behavior of the Cliff Swallow led to him receiving the Elliot Coues Award from the American Ornithologists' Union in 2009 and the Exemplar Award from the Animal Behavior Society in 2011. Email: charles-brown@utulsa.edu.

Daniel A. Airola is a Certified Wildlife Biologist and member of the Western Purple Martin Working Group. He has conducted research and prepared conservation plans for birds, other wildlife, and their habitats in California for nearly 40 years. He began studies on Purple Martins in Sacramento, California in the early 1990s and since 2002 has consistently monitored that population and conducted conservation management of this declining remnant of a once-widespread Central Valley species. In 2020, Airola summarized comprehensive martin studies in Life Under the Fast Lane: Ecology and Conservation of the Bridge-nesting Purple Martin in Urban Sacramento (www.cvbirds.org/). He also has monitored martin populations and developed nest box programs elsewhere in northern California. His other conservation-related research topics include breeding Tricolored Blackbirds, migrating Swainson's Hawks, Yellow-billed Magpies, and the value of oaks to migratory songbirds in urban forests. Email: d.airola@sbcglobal.net.

Scott Tarof's scholarly research interests are in animal behaviour and wildlife ecology. At York University he worked fulltime for five years as a researcher and contract faculty member. He was instrumental in pioneering a multi-disciplinary research program on migration and genetic mate choice in songbirds. Scott is also passionate about teaching and learning, having taught 22 university courses to thousands of students in Canada and the United States. He has been working fulltime at Earth Rangers, a non-profit conservation education organization, as the Science Advisor, in addition to teaching at York University part-time. Scott is responsible for contributing scientific content to Earth Rangers' diverse portfolio of environmental education programming, Bring Back the Wild conservation research, and presenting public lectures on environmental science advocacy. Email: STarof@earthrangers.com.

Recommended Citation

Brown, C. R., D. A. Airola, and S. Tarof (2021). Purple Martin (Progne subis), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (P. G. Rodewald, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.purmar.02