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Vaux's Swift (Chaetura vauxi)

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Vaux's Swift Roost

The largest known swift roost in the world - over 30,000 Vaux's Swifts - can be seen each September in Portland, Oregon, in a chimney at Chapman Elementary School. Portland Audubon hosts a Swift Watch. Learn more about this program and be sure to see a video of the swifts swirling down the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Vaux's Swift Roost in Monroe

In late summer and early fall, migrating Vaux's Swifts seek nighttime shelter in chimneys in the West, Chimney Swifts in the East. A gathering of swifts waits until dusk to descend into a chimney. The swifts enter in a continuous swirl. Each swift drops into the opening with wings raised, feet... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Swifts Roost in Chimneys

What could bring crowds of people out after sunset on a September evening to stare at  ... a chimney? Swifts, of course! Scores of swifts form a funnel-shaped cloud above the right kind of chimney, then they begin their descent. First one, then a few more, then dozens, then hundreds swirl... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  backyard sanctuary, ecology, migration

Swallow or Swift?

At a glance, swallows and swifts, both graceful fliers, look much alike. But swifts — like this Chimney Swift — have longer, slimmer wings and short bodies, enabling them to glide for long periods. Their glides are punctuated by rapid, stiff bursts of wing-beats. Swallows, on the other hand, flex... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birding, birdwatching, flight
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