Half a million Purple Martins have been migrating through Austin as they make their way back and forth from Brazil as part of their regular migratory routine.
Austin – and specifically Highland Mall – is a way station for the birds and their young, letting them fatten up before the long trek. And the swirl of purple and blue has become a popular spectacle – one that some audiences say rivals Austin’s popular bat departure from the Congress Avenue bridge.
While the show in the air may be easy on the eyes, nearby businesses have their reservations – particularly with the mess left behind.
That’s why a group of volunteers, self-proclaimed defenders of the purple bird, have taken up to cleaning unsightly mess the birds leave behind. Volunteers have even went so far as to bring cookies to employees at a nearby Jack In The Box just to keep spirits high.
Right now if you live in Austin, you can head over to Highland Mall to catch the birds – just be sure to wear a hat.