Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Swifts

Tonight, Amber, Debbie and I met up at Chapman Elementary School to watch the swift migration.  The "Chapman Swifts" are a group of thousands of birds that come to Portland every year in September and nest in the chimney of the school in the NW area.  There are reportedly upwards of 30,000 birds who are a part of this group every year.
Every September you hear people talking about how the "swifts are coming" and family and friends bring picnics and blankets and gather on the school lawn at sunset every evening to watch the bird show.  It really is incredible to see thousands of birds swoop in all at once and swirl around the chimney for about 20 minutes before they finally dive into the chimney for a good night's sleep. The finale of tonight's live performance included a large hawk disturbing the the swifts' well-rehearsed act and actually taking the swift population down a few.  The crowd of people "ooh"ed and "aah"ed throughout the show and applauded at the end.
I was enjoying the peaceful evening... until one of the swifts pooped on my head.  True story.  I guess that's what I get for laughing when a bird pooped on the girl-in-front-of-me's head.  I suppose it's inevitable when you're sitting underneath thousands of birds.
the swifts flying around as the sun sets

the finale - the swifts swooping into the chimney

as pre entertainment, kids bring cardboard boxes and slide down the hill... yes Portland has some odd traditions

1 comment:

  1. That is so cool! No greater show than what nature can put on!