Purple Martins Flock to Virginia in Summer Ritual

It's that time again! Each summer, tens of thousands of purple martins make a pit stop in Richmond, Va., on their way to South America. The Associated Press reports that at dusk every night, the birds swoop down into a row of Bradford pear trees in a bustling part of the entertainment district.

The people of downtown Richmond once resented the birds for pooping all over their city, but times have changed. Now a full-fledged festival called "Gone to the Birds" honors the purple martins' visit. Restaurants offer special discounts, guides lead educational tours and bartenders even pour "Purple Martinis" for the annual flock of bird-watchers!

Check out this cool video from the Richmond Times-Dispatch about this summer's migration.


Join the Conversation

Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!