Chimney swift migration

Chimney swifts swarm downtown
8th annual 'Swift Night Out' Fri., Sept. 25, at 7 p.m.
*ALL ASHEVILLIANS, ALL AGES ARE INVITED TO WATCH  thousands of birds swarm the sky above the Grove Arcade this Fri. evening from 7 to 8 p.m. (or on Sat. if it rains tonight) | Enjoy a swirling mass of 5,000 birds as they fly in sweeping circles in Downtown Asheville. It's the chimney swifts' flock that visits Asheville every year before migrating to Peru. | Swift Night Out 2009 is designed to celebrate the height of this natural spectacle; it's sponsored by Asheville PARC, the Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society and Natural Selection gift store on Battery Park Avenue.

TO VIEW A YOUTUBE VIDEO ABOUT THE SWIFTS IN ASHEVILLE, Click Here>

MORE ABOUT THE SEPT. 25 EVENT...

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 scouts" are needed to check on the birds through September -- just a quick peep around 7 or 8 p.m. to be sure hawks haven't chased them to another downtown chimney. Organizers have generous help from local birders, but we welcome more to regularly check on the Grove Arcade swifts and other colonies around town.

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

Seventh Annual Swift Night Out: An Event for the Birds
Friday, Sept. 25 (rain date Saturday Sept. 26)
7-8 p.m. Gather on the O. Henry side of the Grove Arcade, downtown Asheville.

Editor's Note: Special thanks to Jennifer Saylor for reminding Ashevillians to get out and watch this chimney swift wonder.

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