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April 11, 2007

Happy Spring! Dean Margie Paris announces the return of the swifts

Swifts, swallows and spring!  

Photo by Serena Davidson
Dear Friends,
Over the next few weeks, Vaux swifts will engage in their spectacular spring roost in the Agate Hall chimney.
Watch for them at dusk – small, dark birds circling above the chimney and eventually entering. The Lane County Audubon Society will be present with information at dusk (beginning at about 7 PM) this Friday and next  (April 13 and 20)  in the Agate Hall north parking lot.
Also back – in greater numbers so far than the swifts – are our Violet-green Swallows (Tachycineta thalassina “quick mooving, sea-colored swallow”)
These beautiful birds swoop and chitter around our building feeding on airborne insects. By the first or second week in May, they’ll begin constructing their nests in our eaves. 
They love using bird feathers to line their nests, and you may see me in the courtyard in a month or so with a bag full of feathers (purchased at a craft store). These, tossed into the air, are quickly snatched up by swallows on the wing. Try this with kids – it’s magical.

Enjoy our beautiful Oregon spring!

Margaret L. Paris

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