Class: Purple Martin Workshop

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Do you want to know more about Purple Martins, how to set up a colony, and be a Purple Martin landlord? Are you an existing landlord wanting to meet other Martin aficionados and learn tips? Have you always wanted to be a citizen scientist, gathering useful data that can help Martin conservation efforts? If so, this class is for you.

The first Purple Martins typically arrive in Austin at the end of January, so this class will give you information you can put to use right away, either at your own colony, or observing Martins at Hornsby Bend or any other existing colony.

This class will focus on the life cycle of Purple Martins and how you can participate as a Purple Martin landlord or helper. You will learn the maintenance routine recommended by the Purple Martin Conservation Association. You will also learn how to record and send in nesting data that is compiled nationally. We will also go outside to do hands-on nest preparation and discussion at the Hornsby Bend colony. Class participants are invited to participate through mid-June as helpers and observers as the class teachers maintain and record the Purple Martin season at Hornsby Bend. Later in the summer, we will invite class members to join us in educating others at the giant Purple Martin roost at Highland Mall.

Course instructors Andy and Julia Balinsky have been the stewards of the Hornsby Bend Purple Martin colony since 2003. They have watched over 3000 Purple Martin babies fledge during that time. They have also spent many evenings watching the Martin pre-migration staging roost in the late summer.

This class will be in-person at the Hornsby Bend Center for Environmental Research. No virtual option is available. Class participants should plan to take notes. You’re welcome to bring your own snacks or lunch.

Tuition for the class is $30 for TAS members and $40 for non-members.


Payment for a class, workshop, or other fee-based event is due at the time of registration. If payment is not received within a week of registration, the registrant may be dropped from the roster. To withdraw from a class, workshop, or other fee-based event, please contact the Travis Audubon office: 512-300-BIRD (2473) or If a registrant withdraws from a class, workshop, or other fee-based event at least seven (7) days before the first session, Travis Audubon will offer a full refund less a $5.00 administrative fee that helps defray our costs. If the registrant withdraws less than seven (7) days before the first session, no refund will be made. If Travis Audubon cancels the class, workshop, or other fee-based event, we will fully refund the tuition.