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Watching the Vaux’s Swifts

You know those magical moments in life that really stand out in your memory? The ones that aren’t really that special, but still made a mark? Back in September, Jimmy and I walked over to Chapman Elementary to watch the Vaux’s Swifts as they were preparing for their roost that evening. The air was hinting that Autumn was around the corner, and the 30 minutes we spent at the park really resonate in my heart!

The school is about a mile from our apartment … when we arrived, the park around the school was buzzing with so much excitement. The swifts have been roosting in this chimney since the 1980’s, and during the month of September, thousands of people come by each night to watch them.

Watching thousands of birds swirl together, like a school of fish, was incredible … there are a few pesky falcons that fly in to snag the little birds, but the swifts all group together & chase the falcons away. The entire crowd gasps together as the falcon flies in, and then cheers when the tiny birds chase it away. The little swifts come down from the sky in large groups, make a tornado shape & fly into the chimney. When that group is done, the next group starts their formation …

After about 25 minutes, we watched the last group fly into the chimney. Again, it was just incredible … I am so thankful to live in a town like Portland. A town that values the environment … a town that allows me to see things I would have otherwise never seen. Can’t wait unti next year to watch it all over again!!


Images made by Jim & Ravyn // Taken with Canon s100 // Processed with VSCO Film

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