Monday 28 September 2015

Chimney Swifts


     I got an unexpected childhood memory back last evening as I was walking from my mom's house over to my sister's.  As I stepped out into to the yard, I my eye caught a lot of movement in the sky.  At first I thought the fast dark objects were bats, but soon realized they were birds, about 40 of them.  When I saw that they were flying around in a circle, some long unused brain cells kicked in and it suddenly struck me they were chimney swifts.
     Many an evening as a child, my siblings, parents, and grandparents would sit ourselves down on the steps of my grandparent's house at dusk and watch Chimney Swifts dart and glide around in a circle, then one by one, individuals made the decision that they had had enough and fluttered down into the tall brick chimney on the greenhouse work shed.  It was inside the chimney that they would spend the night clinging to the sooty walls.  In case you are wondering, they fly to the tropics during the winter when the chimneys are chugging out heat and smoke. 
    During the intervening 55 years I assumed that the Chimney Swifts were dying out as the brick chimneys disappeared, so I was truly surprised and pleased to see them circling and spending the night in my mom's chimney.  According to my bird app their population is healthy. 

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