First purple martins of the year spotted in West Virginia

West Virginia

Purple Martins Courtesy Photo: theadvocate.com

ELEANOR, W.Va. (AP) — The first purple martins of the year have been spotted in West Virginia.

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports the birds were seen on March 21 in Eleanor by a purple martin enthusiast. The Purple Martin Conservation Association says their arrival in West Virginia show the birds are making steady progress northward since making landfall in Florida two days before Christmas.

North America’s largest species of swallow winters in the rainforests of Brazil before making an up-to-7,000-mile migration north into the eastern United States and Canada. They are helped along by birders who put up multi-compartment nesting boxes, helping make up for the destruction of their natural nesting sites. 

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