Purple Martins flock to downtown Nashville at sunset

Purple Martins flock to downtown Nashville at sunset (Image 1)

Motorists driving near Interstate 24 just north of downtown Nashville around sunset in recent days have hundreds of Purple Martins flocking to the area.

News 2 spoke with state ornithologist Scott Somershoe after the birds were spotted on StormTracker.

According to Somershoe, the Purple Martins return to their “roost” each day after flying hundreds of miles searching for food.

“Well, there's large roosts all over the eastern United States, and this just happens to be one, in the middle of downtown Nashville,” he explained, adding, “You can see Martins coming in from all directions, some really high, some down low.  And a lot of them are swirling around in sort of a “tornado type” behavior.  And then they dive down, thousands at a time to the roost on the side of the interstate.”

The Purple Martins will remain in the Nashville area until they migrate to Brazil for the winter months in early September.

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