Because you live in Portland, you are surrounded by folks whose idea of a good time is gazing at Vaux's swifts—a species of dark, tiny-bodied aerialists that like to roost in hollow spaces—as they gracefully funnel into an elementary school chimney each sunset in September. Their numbers vary; sometimes you'll see 5,000, and in mid-September, up to 15,000, as they migrate to Mexico and Central America. Their evening ritual is nothing short of poetic, a visual display that would make Mary Oliver weep. Therefore, arrive early and anticipate fighting for parking. (If you're as lucky as I was last week, you might also witness a Cooper's hawk tucked to one side of the chimney, awaiting a teensy swift snack.)
by Lindsay Costello
If you have questions about Vaux’s Swifts or the Swift Watch program, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s a video of them funneling in at dusk. And here’s a video of them funneling back out in the morning.
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