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Photo by Kathy Laine

Martin Houses

Photo by Carole Bradley


About the Festival


The festival grows every year, with more informational booths and vendors than ever before. Attendance has grown as well, because there is nothing like witnessing the majesty of this natural occurrence. Come experience this amazing event with friends, families, children and adults. Watch as thousands of these swallow-like birds fill the sky around twilight and then plummet into the roost at sunset (VIDEO). Many Shockoe Bottom restaurants have discounts and even serve special purple drinks, just for the occasion.



In Recent Years…

This roost was originally discovered by Bobby Lammey, Earl Koontz, and Jimmy Fitzgerald in 2006. Concerns surrounding the removal of the roost trees brought about a conservation effort that resulted in the first festival in 2008. Hundreds come each year to see this inspiring natural event, which starts around mid-July and continues until late August each year. The "Gone To The Birds" Festival came about as a result of the conservation efforts of a few concerned individuals and eventually the support of several key organizations. Past participants have included: Purple Martin Conservation Association, Richmond Audubon Society, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, National Audubon Society, Virginia Society of Ornithology, Virginia Master Naturalists, Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS), Carl Zeiss Optics, Coastal Virginia Bird Observatory and more.



"Gone To The Birds" T-shirts are available at the event or CONTACT us directly. T-shirt is $10.00





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