Welcome to Manns Harbor Purple Martin Roost

Why the birds roost here...

Why Do Purple Martins Roost Here?

Abundant insects made available by the vast agricultural fields, national wildlife refuges and wetlands of North Carolina's coastal plain support this large population of pre-migratory martins. They roost under the bridge (only along the western end) on its many support structures, I-beam girders and cables. Finally, martins prefer to roost over water where there are fewer predators to contend with.

Martin's-eye-view of coastal marsh


Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge lands support migrating purple martins.

Moist soil areas of ARNWR showing flooded fields that provide aerial insects for martin diet.



Stands of bottomland hardwood remain flooded and provide abundant insects and deadwood snags for martin to perch upon.


Photos courtesy of the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge