For three decades and counting, droves of social-friendly migratory martins, sometimes referred to and confused for swallows or swifts, have long established the greater Austin metro as their pre-migration location to nest and breed.

A few years prior to 2020, nearly half a million or so martins simply vanished from the Austin Community College parking lot (formerly the site of Highland Mall) without a trace or sign as to where they might be or what caused their untimely departure.

Don’t know about you, but for half a million or so birds to simply vanish is one of the greatest, yet mysterious magic tricks on the face of the earth.

Nevertheless, purple martins have ventured all over the greater Austin metro during late June all the way to early September, most heading back south towards warmer weather in Brazil, Bolivia, and Argentina.  

They’ve claimed a number of trees, crepe myrtles, and shrubs as their place to roost, having been seen by the hundreds of thousands at Capital Plaza as well as Embassy Suites and Texas Land and Cattle near IH35  and HWY US290.

But as of late, purple martin roosts can be spotted further north.  Matter of fact, they’ve completely left Austin behind in favor of Round Rock’s La Frontera Village close to Hobby Lobby, Firebowl Cafe, and Chipotle Mexican Grill — near Tollroad 45 and IH35, west side of IH35.

From about 8 pm to 9:30 pm every night, Round Rock’s beloved “birds of the night” take flight  for a spectacular aerial show of swooping, swirling, whirling and more.  At times, it’s an adrenaline-rushed experience of excited dizziness in the best way.  

In fact, every Friday and Saturday night, the Travis Audubon host’s their annual Purple Martin Parties.  Unfortunately, due to COVID, they’ve had to cancel their 2020 Purple Martin Parties. 

Nevertheless, who knows how long these purple martins will call Round Rock as their choice of roost.  Regardless of how long or short, the purple martins certainly do not disappoint by any stretch of the imagination.

From young to old, whether a family night out, date night, or just a group of friends hanging out for the night, seeing the purple martins do the very thing they were made to do in the air will certainly make for good memories.