Friday, September 3, 2010

Return of the Vaux's...

...swifts. Named "swifts" for good reason. These aerial acrobats zip about the sky snagging insects on the fly and, amazingly, not colliding with each other.
Vaux's swifts getting ready to roost in the chimney.

During spring and fall migration these swifts make a stopover here in Bend, roosting in the Christmas Presence house on Harriman Avenue. It is great fun to sit in the back of the pickup and watch as they birds cruise, swoop, dart, then descend into the chimney to roost.

The other night we counted 75 birds entering the chimney within about 25 minutes. Unfortunately, we had to depart before the show was over; another 25 or so birds were circling. I found out through COBOL (Central Oregon Birders On-Line) that the next night over 225 birds crammed into the chimney. And more may have entered in the early dusk.

Vaux's swifts in Bend, Oregon

Although I haven't been to some of the larger sites in the Willamette Valley, I am starting work on some articles about these creatures. Here are some photos, shot at very high speed, showing these aerialists.

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