Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The western purple martin is a species of conservation concern throughout the Pacific Northwest. 

To breed, purple martins need moderately decayed snags with nest cavities located away from closed-canopy forest in large open areas. Availability of breeding habitat is believed to be a major limiting factor for western purple martins, but information on their current distribution and selection of nesting habitat is deficient. Oregon State University and USGS researchers studied habitat characteristics surrounding nest snags occupied by purple martins in both privately owned and BLM land in western Oregon. Modeling efforts suggested suitable habitat was rare within the study region because snags were scarce on private industrial forest lands, and large disturbed patches were uncommon on federal lands. Authors suggest a disturbance regime characterized by infrequent but major stand-replacing events, such as fire or timber harvest, is likely the key to maintaining breeding habitat for purple martins in upland forests in western Oregon.  


Sherman, L., Hagar, J.C., 2020, The snag’s the limit- Habitat suitability modeling for the western purple martin in a managed forest landscape: Forest Ecology and Management, v. 480, p. 118689,


If you are unable to access a product or publication online, you can request a copy by sending an email with your contact information and the publication's citation to or call (541) 750-1030. 

Get Our News

These items are in the RSS feed format (Really Simple Syndication) based on categories such as topics, locations, and more. You can install and RSS reader browser extension, software, or use a third-party service to receive immediate news updates depending on the feed that you have added. If you click the feed links below, they may look strange because they are simply XML code. An RSS reader can easily read this code and push out a notification to you when something new is posted to our site.