What Direction Should A Purple Martin House Face?

December 10, 2021 // 7 minute read

Articles » What Direction Should A Purple Martin House Face?

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Purple martins are some of the most beautiful birds in North America. They’re also very social and use their houses to build nests together. So, what direction should a purple martin house face?

The answer is that it doesn’t really matter how you position your purple martin house. These birds aren’t too picky about where their birdhouses are positioned.

Of course, after buying a purple martin house, you should make sure the area is suitable for these birds.

Below, we’ll provide a lot of helpful information so you can position your purple martin house for success.

Remember That Purple Martins Need Clustered Housing

purple martin birdhouses
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Purple martins need to live in clustered, social groups. They build their nests together and rely on each other for survival during the summer months.

There are some species of birds that will be fine living solo or even as a part-time solitary bird, but not purple martins!

Make Sure There’s Enough Room For The Birds To Flutter Around In Their House

Your purple martin house should have enough room inside so your new tenants can fly around without bumping into walls or ceilings.

Otherwise, you’ll find yourself with one sad bird family moving out after only a few weeks because they don’t feel safe anymore.

You want them to feel secure when walking around in their brand new home, right?

Monitor the Presence of Sparrows and Other Predators

Sparrows and other predators can be quite a nuisance for purple martins, so you need to monitor the presence of these birds.

If they’re living in your area, then it’s important that you take action and remove them before they find their way into your new house.

You don’t want any unwanted guests moving in with or even near your purple martin family.

Think About The Temperature Inside Your Purple Martin House

When choosing where to put this birdhouse, consider whether there are areas nearby that could block sunlight from entering the home during certain times of the day.

This is especially true if you have an east-facing birdhouse because morning sunbeams will enter through the front door while afternoon rays cannot reach the back of the house.

In this case, it might be a good idea to place your purple martin house somewhere else and see if that works better for you and your feathered friends.

Keep an Eye on the Weather and Climate

The temperature and weather are also something you should keep an eye on.

You don’t want your purple martins to be uncomfortable during the summer, so make sure their new house doesn’t face a particularly hot area like a south-facing wall or roofline.

Wintertime can pose problems as well because too much cold might freeze up some of your tenants if they’re not prepared.

Face Your Purple Martin House in an Open Area

purple martin house in open space
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When considering where to place your purple martin house, think about putting it somewhere in an open area.

These birds don’t like being hidden away from the rest of their community and want to be close enough that they can call out or even hear each other chattering if something happens.

From here on out, we’ll talk a little more specifically about how you should position this birdhouse so all these things are taken care of.

Make Sure You’re Purchasing the Right Food

One of the worst things you can do is buy a house for purple martins and not have any food available to them.

Instead, it’s best if you purchase Purple Martin’s favorite food so they start using your birdhouse right away.

Don’t Place It in a Windy Area

If you’re going to put your purple martin house somewhere on a tree, make sure that area is not prone to strong winds.

These birds prefer calm conditions and high gusts might be too much for them no matter how cozy their new home may be.

Don’t Put It In the Middle of Your Yard

One mistake people often make when setting up a purple martin birdhouse is putting it smack dab in the middle of their grassy lawn or garden space.

Instead, choose an outer corner of your yard where there’s already some open room so these birds can fly around easily without feeling cornered by trees, buildings, fences, etc.

Then again, don’t go out of your way just to place your purple martin house in a more open area.

You still want to provide them with some nice shelter and protection from the elements, so keep that in mind when you’re choosing where to position this birdhouse.

Give Your Purple Martins a Great View

It’s important to mention that you should give your purple martins a great view.

You can do this by putting their house somewhere where they’re high enough and have some nice scenery in front of them like trees, hillsides, and any other attractive features.

These birds don’t need an amazing panoramic view, just something pleasant so they won’t get bored or stressed out while sitting around all day long waiting for the next meal.

Make Sure the Purple Martins Can See You

If you’re not sure whether or not your purple martin house is facing in the right direction, ask yourself if the occupants can see you.

This might be tough for them to do at first because they haven’t moved into their new home yet, but once they start nesting and raising young ones there’s a good chance they’ll get used to it quickly enough.

Don’t Let Predators Get Close by Putting Out Some Nest Box Guards

Next, make sure predators are kept away from your purple martins’ nests by putting out some nest box guards around their homes.

It just takes one hungry animal wandering through that area looking for something delicious to eat to ruin an entire season of parenting for these birds so don’t let that happen to you.

Don’t Position Your Purple Martin House Too Close to the Sun in the Summer

One mistake that people often make is putting their purple martin house too close to the sun in the summertime.

This might feel like an ideal place because they’re up high and out of reach from certain predators, but it can also get very hot here which isn’t good for your tenants or any little ones inside those houses.

Don’t Put It Close to a Big Tree Branch Either

Another mistake people make is putting their purple martin houses close to big tree branches.

While these birds like to be high up and in the middle of open space, they still need some shelter from the elements so if there’s a part of your yard with some thick foliage all around it might not be such a great place for this birdhouse.

Don’t Put It on Your Fence or Near Any Other Obstructions Either

If you’re thinking about putting your purple martin house on a fence or near any other obstructions, think again.

These birds prefer open areas and having some solid structures right in front of them can make for a confusing landscape as they search for their next meal from day to day.

Position The Bird House Near Water

Next, you’ll want to position your purple martin house near water.

These birds are excellent swimmers and they love being around rivers, lakes, or ponds.

This is because it makes them feel at home as well as gives them a nice place for bathing after a long day of flying all over the neighborhood looking for food.

Keep Your Bird House Near Predator Guards Too

Finally, make sure you keep your purple martin house near some predator guards.

This isn’t just to protect the birds from hungry mammals but also other things like snakes and larger insects that could get inside their homes and cause a ruckus if they’re not removed quickly enough.

It’s Not Difficult to Place Your Purple Martin House in the Right Direction

As you can see, it’s not too challenging to face your purple martin house in the right direction.

While there is no specific direction you should place this birdhouse in, following these tips can help attract more purple martins to your home.

It’s worth mentioning that these birds are social and they love humans. Accommodating them by following these tips will help you watch them for years to come.

What Direction Should A Purple Martin House Face
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