Vaux Swifts "Çhaetura vauxi"

Vaux Swifts "Çhaetura vauxi" Length 5", wingspan 12" and weight 0.6oz. These are first cousins to the chimney swifts of Eastern U.S. and in April/May and September/ October they stop over here during their migration to and from Venezuela.

I see our Vaux Swifts every year because I sing in the choir. Our first practice is in the fall just after Labor Day and I watch them out the window right at dusk as they swirl and then stream into the chimney across the street. Swifts don't perch on limbs or wires, so they are limited to vertical surfaces. They must grasp the bark or bricks while leaning back on their stiff-spined tails for additional support. The birds congregate here in the fall and roost in the chimney just before they migrate to Mexico. There are probably well over a thousand of them.

Just in case you wind up on Jeopardy, a pair of swifts feed an average of 5,344 insects to their nestlings every day.

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