I am James R. Hill, III, (aka “Jamie”) owner of Bird Abodes and
manufacturer of the SuperGourd. I am both a bird bander and an ornithologist, and have been conducting research on Purple Martins for over 35 years.
(Download my Résumé)
I am also Founder and
Executive Director Emeritus of the
Purple Martin Conservation
Association, a 27-year-old, non-profit organization whose mission is
to help both the Purple Martin and the one million martin hobbyists
estimated to be in North America today.
My fascination with Purple Martins began in the early 1960s, when I
was just a child trying to impress my friends. I would drag them
along on covert and mischievous missions to the summer youth camp
across the road from my house, where there was a thriving colony of
martins in three wooden houses, atop three metal poles. I would grab
the poles and shake them, causing the birds inside the houses to fly
out in a panic. This gave me pleasure for some strange reason.
In a twist of karmic fate, I grew up devoting most of my
professional career to helping this bird I harassed so badly in my
youth. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Biology at the Edinboro
University of PA, where I took a course in ornithology.
about birds was life altering. I knew I wanted to become an
ornithologist. So I went on to Penn State University and earned a
Master’s Degree in Ecology and Wildlife Management, studying the
Barn Swallow. While researching the Barn Swallow, I learned that its
close cousin, the Purple Martin, was decreasing in numbers in many
areas of the continent, so in 1981, I put up my first martin house
at my family’s campground on Edinboro Lake in Pennsylvania, where a
thriving colony exists to this day. In 1987, I founded the Purple
Martin Conservation Association. In 1998, I designed the
“SuperGourd” and started Bird Abodes.
I have designed, or helped design, many of the items sold at this
web site. I am proud of the quality of the products we offer and of
our great, personal service. These are the best martin products on
the market today.