It’s no secret I’ve enjoyed the Wichita purple martin show near the Via Christi medical complex on St. Francis for several years. It seemed so special to be in such a setting and have 40,000 or so of the birds swirling about overhead, then pouring themselves into a tiny line of trees under the glow of street lights.
Well, I just found out I’m going to be making a road trip next year, to see a much better purple martin show in downtown Tulsa. I’d read online that it is not uncommon for 250,000 of the great little birds to gather there.
Mark Schuyler, a local dentist who I’ve spend some great times with at the Wichita roost, went to Tulsa last week and estimated their flights at closer to 400,000 birds. Even my limited math skills shows thats 10-times better than the best show I’ve seen in Wichita. Another person at the same event, an Oklahoman, assured me there were at least 300,000 birds at the Tulsa roost.
Schuyler was kind enough to SHARE SOME FINE VIDEO of what he and his family saw last week. When you click this link, you should go to a page that shows you three other videos “Docshu” shot that same evening.
As well as numbers,the Tulsa birds seem to be openly embraced by local businesses, unlike Via Christi which altered much of the bird’s habitat this summer.
In Oklahoma, a downtown hotel allows parking on the top floor of their parking garage, which puts viewers directly in the bird’s flight patterns as they descend into the trees below. The Audubon people in Tulsa offer educational evenings for the public, and keep martin updates on their website. They also have link so viewers can express their appreciation for the birds to the Tulsa mayor’s office.
While the birds will probably be around another week or so in Tulsa, our schedules won’t allow us time to go down for a viewing this year.
But I’m danged sure seeing a road trip a few hours to the south and east coming in August, 2014.