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Purple Martins in Nashville

Look Up! Purple Martins Delight Downtown Nashville

Rare purple martins are dazzling birders and bystanders near Nashville’s tourist district each night for the next week or two. Biologists estimate 150,000 have chosen to temporarily roost on the plaza outside the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. And the symphony very nearly ran them off as a nuisance until they realized they were playing host to protected migratory songbirds.

Looking overhead as the martins descend into the trees at sunset is mesmerizing.

“Oh my gosh, this is amazing. We’re just enveloped right now,” avid birder Ed Schneider says as the birds swoop around him and pepper the sky.

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