I saw the Vaux’s Swifts at Chapman Elementary School in NW Portland last night. Thousands of little birds fly into the school’s chimney shortly after sunset in late-August to late-September.

In the hours before sunset, a bunch of people gather on a hill next to the school. As the sun sets behind the hills, the little birds assemble in the air above NW Portland. The swifts make formations above the school’s chimney before funneling into the chimney.

There was a predator bird the night we went. The predator bird waited on the chimney while the swifts were assembling. After a while, the thousands of swifts chased it off, and the human crowd cheered. As the birds began to funnel into the chimney, the predator bird briefly returned! When most of the birds were in the chimney, the human crowd applauded.

Below I have a video of the predator arriving!

Since we were near NW 23rd, we grabbed some dessert at Papa Haydn while we were waiting for the sun to set. I had a Lavender Lemonade macaron!

Macaron and crowds

More information about the Vaux’s Swifts at Chapman Elementary School event is on this website.