The purple martin is the largest swallow in North America. Males are all dark, glossy blue-black; females and immatures duller above and grayish below. The purple martin is an extremely popular and well-known bird due to its willingness to nest in structures provided by humans. Polytypic. Length 7.5".
Adult male: all glossy blue-black above and below, wings and tail dusky black, distinctly notched tail. In hand, small concealed white tuft on sides of rump and sides of body are visible. Adult female: duller above than male, with more scattered patches of blue-black above. Grayish collar on hind neck. Throat, breast, and flanks dusky brown, paler on center of belly. Undertail coverts grayish with dusky centers. Immature: similar to adult female; young