Posted by: atowhee | September 1, 2019


By 8Pm tonight there were at least a thousand Vaux’s Swifts swirling about the McMinnville Co-operative Ministries on Second Street.  The building caretaker came out and welcomed us, glad to some somebody to share his admiration for the birds.  We watched them, a feathered cyclone, then decelerate as they let themselves be pulled down into the chimney for the night roosting.  For the final few feet they flutter just enough to prevent free-fall.

Before the descent, a swift-moving maelstrom of tiny birdy blurs:

Then the birds appear to vacuumed into the chimney, two to four per second at the height of the affair.  Between 8:01 and 8:09 nearly all the flock went in to roost:

Here we are at the height of the lowering:VS-DOWN11VS-DOWN12VS-DOWN13VS-DOWN15As each bird slows to a hover that descends slowly they convert from blur to swift-shape.  My wife and I voted it the best nature show of the week for us.   And there is still some tie left before the swifts themselves have left…

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