I saw my first Vaux’s Swifts of the season today. A pair high up over the houses in our neighborhood. Circling, gliding, changing direction with a wing flip, soaring after a rapid set of wing-beats (seems like three to five each time). They are marvels of flight efficiency, tiny bodies, long wings, feet that are slightly better than ornament hooks, little tail, streamlined for low wind resistance, smooth for little friction. They have two modes, hanging on a wall or inside a tree trunk…or flying. No perching, no hopping, no walking–like bats and nighthawks their evolution has designed them for the air.
As far as I know McMinnville does not have any central gathering chimney for this species. Each pair finds its nesting nook. Oregon does have a string of swift chimneys from Portland to Eugene to Roseburg.
Michelbook & 13th Street, Yamhill, Oregon, US
Apr 18, 2017. 11 species
Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) X
Vaux’s Swift (Chaetura vauxi) 2
Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna) 1
Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) X
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) 1
Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus) 1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) X
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) X
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s) (Setophaga coronata auduboni) 1
Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) 1
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) X