(L to R:) Elani, Josh, and Orion Johns on Orcas Island

Elani and Orion drew pictures and took research notes

Looking for a do-at-home project that would benefit local wildlife and be a good learning opportunity during these days of homeschooling, SJPT volunteer Josh Johns, along with his daughter Elani and son Orion, decided to take a closer look at Purple Martins.

They did research, made drawings, and constructed special nest boxes that have been installed at selected sites on Preservation Trust preserve lands in the islands.

Researchers are studying Purple Martin colonies in the San Juans, hoping to learn more about these wonderful members of the swallow family and how we can help them thrive. A big thanks to Josh and family for your efforts and inspiration!

Here are a few links to help you get started in learning more about Purple Martins:

Seattle Audubon BirdWeb

NestWatch from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

If you feel inspired to create one of these bird houses yourself, please click on the button below to view the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) recommended design.

Purple Martin Nest Box Design