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Richmond festival to go on despite birds' absence

Thursday - 8/22/2013, 11:00am  ET

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Richmond's annual festival celebrating the arrival of thousands of purple martins will be held despite the birds' absence.

The "Gone to the Birds" event is set for Saturday night at the 17th Street Farmers' Market in Shockoe Bottom. It was originally scheduled to take place three weeks ago.

Thousands of purple martins usually fly into area trees during July evenings as they stop over on their migration to Brazil.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch ( reports only a few of the birds have shown up this year before flying off somewhere else.

Center for Conservation Biology biologist Mike Wilson says the purple martins may never come back. He says the reason for the birds' absence remains a mystery.


Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch,

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