At night, the Purple Martins take flight! Each summer the skies over Bomb Island on Lake Murray come to life as the Purple Martins arrive for their summer vacation. It is estimated that more than one million birds venture north for the summer and roost on the island, giving spectators a rare look at one of nature’s true phenomenons. This sanctuary provides the ideal layover for Purple Martins as they make the long journey south to their winter home in South America. This sanctuary remains the largest roosting site in North America.

Time of year? End of June to beginning of August. The number of birds peak in mid-late July.

Time of day? In the evening. The birds funnel in starting about 30-45 minutes before sunset, but will be flying in until dark. From 7:00pm-9:15pm is the best time to be there in mid-July. In the morning, the birds begin leaving the island as soon as there is any light in the sky. Plan to be there from 5:30am-7:00am. It has been recorded that when the birds leave in the morning, it is like an explosion and the local weather radar has said the image is larger than Hurricane Hugo was in 1989.

Where? Bomb Island

Where do they go during the day? They disperse to feed, sometimes traveling up to 100 miles away for food.

How to see them? By boat at Bomb Island located in the middle of gorgeous Lake Murray. Boats are available to rent around Lake Murray or personal tours are being offered. See links below for details.

Call our office to find out how to see The Phenomenon, (803) 781-5940.