Swift Swifts

Last night, we had some Vaux’s Swifts spend some time in the field just beyond our home.

My goodness, these are fast birds.  Did Swifts earn their name from their fast flight?  We couldn’t keep up with them as they zoomed around the field.

At first, we thought they were swallows but could tell quickly they were flying faster and lower than the swallows normally do over our little field.  Their wingbeats are different, their wings shaped differently and they didn’t seem to have tails.

This was the first sighting of Vaux’s Swifts I have seen so close to our home.  They entertained us for an hour or so until we eventually came inside.

I’ve read about Vaux’s Swifts for years. Large numbers of them roost in a school chimney in southwest Portland and viewing events are scheduled late summer each year. It’s something I’ve always wanted to go to but haven’t yet.

A co-worker showed me video of Vaux’s Swifts that roost at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Sherwood recently. After viewing his video a month or two ago, I remember learning that  Vaux’s is prounouncd Voks. For years, whenever I read anything about this bird, the way I pronounced it in my head was Vaux. I’m trying to re-train myself to think Voks.

Swift Swifts make for bad pictures but we did the best we could.

Swift Swifts

Blurry Swift

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One Response to Swift Swifts

  1. Shelly! You must go see the swifts at Chapman school this September! It is so much fun! Watch the Audubon site for details. You can go any evening, take a picnic dinner and a blanket and enjoy the show. It is one of those wonders of nature. I was out walking my dog the other night and heard about a dozen of them and watched a few fly into a neighbor’s chimney to roost for the night. They are neat birds!

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