Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2010 07:32:15 -0400
Sender: Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Carole Ludwig <carolelud@AOL.COM>
Subject: Swift Night Out
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On Sept. 10 the nine members of the Oconee Rivers Audubon Society met behind the Bottleworks on Prince Ave. in Athens to enjoy the spectacle of Chimney Swifts entering the roost. This is an annual event for us, and we do try to get an accurate count that is reported, but the attraction for me is the sheer fun and excitement. A little after seven the birds start gathering , a few at a time, and fly randomly a little to the west of their target chimney. As the sky darkens, they fly closer to the chimney and form a counter-clockwise vortex. As they swirl a few will drop close to the opening, but not enter. About 7:30 one or two will fly close, back-peddle to slow their forward motion and drop vertically into the chimney. None perch before entering. Entry gradually becomes more intense, and often one bird will start a line of 5 or 6 making the plunge. It's all over in about 15 min. Then we tally and average the counts . Our average was 312, a little over a third of our 2009 count of 822. Carole Ludwig, Oconee County
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