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Thousands of migrating Purple Martins swarm in Stafford

by Tiffany Craig / KHOU 11 News

Posted on August 1, 2011 at 7:37 AM

STAFFORD, Texas --  Thousands of Purple Martins are taking up temporary residence at the Fountains Shopping Center, just off Highway 59 South.

The migration was noticed by someone as the birds took off one morning. You can even see the birds on weather radar.

Atilio Serrano saw the bird watchers and came out to see what the fuss was about.

"It’s amazing," says Serrano. "This is the first time that I see this."

Mary Anne Weber with the Houston Audubon says the birds are headed to Brazil for the winter.

"You know it’s like getting your travel directions before going on a big trip," says Serrano. "They gather by the thousands."

The most exciting part happens just after 8 p.m. when all the birds fly to the oak trees in the front of the shopping center to roost.

"The noise is really incredible of them all coming in," says Weber. "They swoop down over your head. It’s hard to describe but it’s an experience everyone should experience."

The birds are expected to stick around for another week or two.