Date: 7/21/20 3:04 am
From: Robert O'Brien <baro...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Not too Swift - A Minisaga (kinda long)
Not Too Swift, The Sequel:
The Previous happened Tuesday, July 16, The next day there was twittering
in the chimney. a good sign that the released young'uns were back in the
The following day, Thursday I went to take my usual post-lunch power(?)
nap. I went to sleep to the sound of twittering, feeding swifts coming
from the nearby fireplace. When I awoke 30 minutes later, the house was
silent, save for the faint flutter of swift wings in the
dining room. This guy flew into an adjacent room when I caught it, in a
fluttering position, at a window. See attached images
I figured that by now they knew the lay of the land and released it on the

Nap time, the next day, Friday; but although I laid down on the couch by
the fireplace, I wasn't sleepy. Twittering for a while, then
This was getting out of hand. Released the 5th interloper on the
driveway. But what was going on??? Some of these had to be re-releases.
I finally got smart and went up on the hill behind the house where I had a
good view of the chimney. After about 10 minutes I saw the familiar Kama
Kazi, vertical dive of a swift into the Chimney. Was this an adult for
feeding or the baby I had released a few minutes ago. Time would tell. I
knew from experience that a feeding parent would re-emerge after 2-3
minutes. Nothing emerged. So, it seems that this was the one I had just

I went into the house telling my wife the ongoing situation. She said
"I'll just leave the front door open so you don't have to be involved."
But, when I went into the house and listened, no more twittering(?) and
that was it for the season.
So much fun I think I'll hold off on the plywood platform below the nest
for another year. And take better notes next year.
So it seems one thing was learned. Even after achieving flying abilities
and experiencing the wider world aloft, the young swifts spend several days
returning to the nest. And being fed there by the parents.

Bob OBrien Carver OR

On Thu, Jul 16, 2020 at 1:04 PM Robert O'Brien <baro...> wrote:

> Over the last week or so we've been hearing the annual twittering of baby
> Vaux Swifts in our Chimney. Getting louder, day by day.
> I'd been thinking I should open the glass doors on the fireplace so any
> that came down could escape into the house and be discovered, rather than
> dying inside.
> Like a lot of things I hadn't gotten around to it. I thought of it again
> as I lay down for an afternoon nap on the couch. Maybe I'll open them when
> I get up?
> A few minutes later......flutter-flutter--thud. Yep, you guessed it. One
> had crashed and burned into the fireplace. At least I was there to hear it.
> The swift seemed clearly to be an adult, based especially on the adult
> shape of the bill. And the apparently fully-grown tail with its spikes.
> See images below.
> I wonder how they manage to fall down the chimney. It's happened quite a
> few times over recent years (Including the Chimney Swift a few years back,
> but that one was not nesting.)
> The swift was especially docile once I grabbed from the fireplace. It's
> little claws were strong in grasping my hand. Even after opening my hand
> outside
> on the driveway it continued just to rest there, later opening its bill as
> if overheated. Eventually it fluttered away, not the strong flight we
> normally see, but real
> fluttering. This should have been a tip-off. It wasn't an adult.
> That night, in bed and listening to the radio, at some point I thought I
> heard fluttering. But the radio is old, with static and I wasn't sure. A
> few minutes later
> I heard it again. Or did I? So I turned off the radio. Nothing. But
> then, minutes later I heard it again. I turned on the light and searched
> around where I thought
> I had heard it. Nothing. So I turned off the light and went back to
> bed. Then I heard it again. This time I found it, behind some things on
> the top of a dresser.
> It was 11PM so there was nothing to do but put it into a small, dark
> container and wait til morning. By then I figured these were babies not
> quite ready to fledge.
> In the morning I decided that if it came out of the chimney it would be
> best to release it on the chimney so it might recognize its surroundings.
> So I climbed up on the roof. Opened my hand and away it fluttered. Like
> the first one. At last that would be the end of it.
> But it wasn't. Eating lunch in the dining room I glanced at one of the
> windows. There on the windowsill was a 3rd one. Completely quiet & still,
> on the sill.
> I took that one up to the chimney and released it also. Like the others
> it flew upward,circling and avoiding the trees.
> I fear for their long term survival as it's not clear the parents would be
> involved at this point. Good luck to the little guys.
> Bob OBrien Carver OR

Join us on Facebook!