Thursday, September 24, 2009

Swift Night Out This Friday

Seventh Annual Swift Night Out: An Event for the Birds

Gather on the O. Henry side of the Grove Arcade

Friday, Sept. 25 (rain date Saturday Sept. 26)

7-8 p.m.

Looks like a good year for watching the swifts -- as of yesterday, the big colony in the Grove Arcade chimney is thousands strong. Cross your fingers for a dry evening!

From a press release:

Chimney Swifts Swarm Downtown,

Swift Night Out Invites Asheville to Watch

Asheville, NC (Sept. 21, 2009) An all-ages nature and community event, Swift Night Out on Friday, Sept. 25 marks the peak of downtown’s evening avian aerial show as thousands of birds swarm the sky above the Grove Arcade -- and all of Asheville is invited to watch.

A swirling mass of up to 5000 birds flies in sweeping circles…it’s not Animal Planet or National Geographic, it’s downtown Asheville, where chimney swifts flock every year by the thousands before their long migration south to Peru.

Every year swifts gather in chimneys all over Asheville, and the Grove Arcade is commonly home one of the largest colonies in town. Forming huge, moving patterns in the sky every evening at dusk, the swifts circle their home chimney as a group thousands strong before flying in for the night.

Swifts are a protected species. Their habitat (hollow trees and chimneys), which is not protected, is declining, so the swifts are too. A decline in swifts means an increase in summertime pest insects, as swifts eat mosquitoes and gnats.

Swift Night Out 2009 is sponsored by Asheville PARC, the Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society and Natural Selections gift store on Battery Park Avenue.

Watch a video of local swifts here:

Join the Asheville community swift watch here to learn more about watching swifts and spotting colonies:

1 comment:

Jennifer Saylor said...

A thousand million public apologies for misreading Bill Rhodes' permission and not crediting him. Oh Bill, ever so sorry!

Bill Rhodes photography:

Nice people credit works properly, and journalism students should definitely know better. :0(