Hello. 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.

Learning 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.