Migrant birds threaten US concert hall

Migrant birds threaten US concert hall


norman lebrecht

April 11, 2022

From today’s New York Times:

The pandemic has cost the Nashville Symphony $26 million in lost revenue. During the shutdown, the organization temporarily furloughed 132 full-time staff members and more than 300 part-time employees. Since resuming concerts last fall, it has struggled to fill seats as first Delta and then Omicron raged. Through it all, the organization has spent more than $100,000 cleaning up after the purple martins, a figure that far surpasses the donations raised for that purpose by conservation groups.

If the birds come back this year, with the Schermerhorn fully open again, their presence will be catastrophic. No audience wants to enter a symphony hall covered in bird droppings, but closing the building during the purple martins’ next visit would cost another $4 million in lost revenue. This is why Alan D. Valentine, president and chief executive of the Nashville Symphony, calls the birds “an existential threat” to his organization….

Read on here.

Hitchcock, where are you now?


  • Fenway says:

    They need to play the end of the third movement of the pines of Rome. And put up a windmill to take care of the birds.

    • PaulD says:

      My budgie and cockatiel give Pines two-toes up. Seriously, it’s the only time they pay attention to the music on the radio.

  • The View from America says:

    Turn the purple martins from foes into friends by programming Respighi’s “The Birds.” No doubt, they’ll appreciate the gesture.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Billy: ‘Why not shoot the birds?’

    Ernst: ‘Schhh, Billy, people are reading…’

  • Gillian says:

    Don’t forget Daphne du Maurier. Her idea. She wrote the book. Hitchcock nicked it though the film wasn’t bad either.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      “The Birds” was a silly premise, played out by second rate actors and with a cold, wooden leading lady.

  • Robert Holmen says:

    How about a few decoy eagles and owls perched around the roof of the building?

    Or how about some real eagles and owls?