So maybe that's how I'll be spending this Saturday, which would be amazing.
I found a great website with information on how to attract purple martins to your area.
This range map shows their migration routes and summer and winter areas. Our area is supposed to start seeing them around April 1, so this is about the right time for the scouts to arrive.
This photo is from Chuck's Purple Martin Page:
And why do we care about purple martins? Well, they eat insects, for one thing. They do NOT eat thousands of mosquitoes every day, but they do eat a few, along with flies and grasshoppers and butterflies and moths. They also drive away predators like crows and hawks.
Purple martins have been friendly with humans in North America since Native Americans discovered that they would nest in hollowed-out gourds. Thus a mutually beneficial relationship developed. If humans spend enough time around purple martin nesting sites, the birds accept them as part of the site and ignore them entirely. In fact, according to Chuck's Purple Martin Page, "the more human activity there is near a martin site, the more martins will show up."