Every spring, around April 20, chimney swifts–little, cigar-shaped brownish-black birds– come to my area in the Eastern US. They migrate thousands of miles from their wintering grounds in Central America. I look forward to their arrival; I even have April 20 marked on my calendars with a notation about the birds. Their arrival marks “spring” for me, despite the calendar saying March 20 or 21 is the start of spring for those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere.
I enjoy watching the birds dive and climb in the sky. I know they are really doing that to catch insects, but to me they look as though they are flying for the sheer joy of it.
Chimney swifts, along with bats (which the birds are sometimes confused with) are natural insecticides. They eat hundreds of mosquitoes and other insects every day.
Here is some additional info. about these aerial acrobats: www.allaboutbirds.org.
If you live in the Eastern half of the United States, look out for the chimney swifts’ flight, and know they are doing the job of killing insect pests.
2 responses to “Nature Notes–Coming Event!”
In my part of Ohio, I know spring is on the way when the turkey vultures show up the last week of February or the first week of March. Not as cute or pretty as swifts, but the vultures are a reliable sign.
I’d heard of the turkey vultures’ arrival in Ohio. What they lack in being cute, they make up for in reliability!