Thousands Of Birds Land In N.C. After Long Migration From Brazil

Purple Martins are offering quite a show in eastern North Carolina.

Until September, the birds -- some 100-thousand in all -- fly together in the morning for a day of foraging for insects in wetlands, farm fields and backyards.

At sundown, they can be seen on the Croatan Sound Bridge near Roanoke Island. They land shoulder to shoulder on beams and cables beneath the two-lane bridge.

It's one of the largest roosts in the state and a midsummer spectacle for bird-watchers.

Purple martins are migratory birds that spend the winter in Brazil.

But roosting on a busy bridge has a downside. Cars and trucks collide with low-flying birds, killing many. A survey in 2005 indicated at least 12-hundred birds died on the bridge and more were probably tossed into the water.