Free Purple Martin House Plans

How To Build a Purple Martin Bird House with Free Plans

History of the first Canadian Martin House

Percy Algernon Taverner , Canadian Ornithologist


P.A. Taverner was born Percy Algernon Fowler in Guelph, Ontario in 1875. After his parents separated and his mother remarried, he took on his mother’s second husband’s surname. Taverner, a self-taught naturalist, was the first ornithologist at the National Museum of Canada, now the Canadian Museum of Nature, from 1912 to 1942. He also helped to establish the Point Pelee National Park and a number of bird sanctuaries across Canada, including Bonaventure Island.

He is the original designer and engineer of the now called Taverner Purple Martin House which has been modified in both wood and aluminum to suit today’s housing standards. Have a look at his bio., his original plans and some of the articles and books which he authored. He was well ahead of his time in both his martin observations and suggestions.

His biography:

In 1919, he wrote an article called “Bird-houses and Their Occupants”, that was printed in the early 1919 edition of a publication called The Ottawa Naturalist.
The article is available for online viewing, via the non-profit
Here is the beginning:

A photo of his house design (complete with Martins flying around)

The start of the Purple Martin section of the article:

The original blueprints of his Martin house design:

Note that vertical raising/lowering of martin housing with window sash weights as well as  easy compartment access,  and House Sparrow and Starling control with a door slide were considered, and addressed, by P.A. Taverner and his design, approximately 50 years before the aluminum house came on the market.

Photo # 4424, 1918: courtesy of the Ottawa Museum of Nature

P. A. Taverner’s second attempt at building a purple martin house for his garden turned out just as his plans were designed. Since he was a fine architect as well as an ornithologist, he seemed to know what was best for the purple martin. His thinking about his design was ahead of its time: a house that can be lowered; a house that could trap invasive species; a house that could be monitored. He was truly a martin house builder ahead of his time!

The Double Taverner

The Double Taverner 32 compartment unit is an adaptation of Taverner’s original house without the tall peaks. The Single Taverner 16 room unit is available below to download.

Canadian Double Taverner Purple Martin HouseFREE Electronic book (32 rooms)
Canadian Double Taverner Insert…FREE Electronic book









Double Taverner completed by Doug, London, Ontario.

The Single Taverner Martin House

 The adapted original 16 compartment condo is available for download below. It includes: Starling Resistant Doors, Easy Raising and Lowering with a winch, and adaptable nest trays.

This vintage New Free Plan requires time to download…..(condo et nichoir de Taverner pour les hirondelles noires )  L’hirondelle noire aime vivre en colonie.

Taverner Under Construction

Roof ridge

Roof Mouldings


Post Top and Cable Detail Possibilities

Cable is attached to shaft  underneath the house and secured to a clip which is secured to the shaft. 

Cable has been conveniently cut and hidden into decorative wing.

Single Taverner Trim Detail

Andre Dion Martin House Plan Made in France

I came across this variation of the Taverner House built in France but could not contact the fabricator…… Here are some pictures of the build: Click on the photos to enlarge them.