Monday, September 28, 2015

Swift Watch


We make an annual tradition of going to Swift Watch, when thousands of Portlanders gather to watch thousands of Vaux's swifts enter the chimney of the Chapman school to roost for the night.  It happens every evening in September. This time we were lucky to bring Jasper's grandparents which made it rather special.

If you want to learn more, local libraries have "On the Wing", a documentary about these very swifts and the amazing story of how their chimney was saved.  They have also been known to frequent the chimney of the St. Johns Theater in North Portland, and in several chimneys in downtown Oregon City including Reformation Church. They can be seen exiting the chimneys at dawn, and they also return in spring as they migrate north. Chapman School has by far the largest numbers of swifts in the area, and they have had significant problems with visitors, particularly with trash left behind. So they are not encouraging people to show up at other times. Of course, if you go, you'll know to be a good neighbor!  This is one of our most favorite Portland traditions and it's just so wonderful to see the birds attract such a crowd of admirers.  

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