There were probably about 500 people there watching. Families, couples, dogs, kids and babies. As the flock of birds undulated and regrouped, a peregrine falcon sliced through them. They alternately chased it away and swirled to avoid it. The crowd cheered like a sporting event.
The swifts spiraled and circled the drain until it was nearly dark. The last few disappeared into the stack and the crowd burst into applause.
It was a spectacle. Totally worthwhile if you live in Portland. Go see it. I mean, all those birds fit in the chimney! Come ON!
Here’s Heather’s video from last year:
Check out these sources for more information about the phenomenon:
- The film: On the Wing
- Oregon Field Guide segment: Vaux Swift
- Audubon Society of Portland’s Swift Watch
The spectacle continues, approximately, another couple weeks, but go now if you don’t want to miss it. Heather and I are going soon!