[Tweeters] Black Swifts, Olympics; nest site?

Gary Smith gsmith at smithandstark.com
Mon Aug 23 21:42:38 PDT 2010

When in the Olympics last week I saw four Black Swifts. (Dark all over and
relatively large; relatively long, narrow wings; the wing beats appearing to
be intermittent and irregular, almost casual, etc.) What I'd like to raise
is whether there might be a nest in the vicinity, and I ask this especially
because I saw them on the east side of the Olympics, where range maps don't
indicate known nesting.

The reason I even know to ask is that upon returning to "civilization" I
noticed on Tweeters Ian Paulsen's link to the Black Swift monograph, and
upon going through it, came to appreciate both how much remains to be known
about these "coolest birds" and the role Tweeters' own Larry Schwitters has
played in researching their nesting.

I saw the Black Swifts above the edge of the cliff at Upper Lena Lake facing
east over the Lena Creek drainage. The time was early morning, not too long
after sunrise. There are several waterfalls on that creek, and right there
is the sound of a lot of rushing water, like a waterfall, and pretty hard to
access, I'd say. I think that with some determined brush-beating a person
might be able to get into position to look more closely. None of this
registered as possibly significant until I perused the monograph, but in any
case, since I had a passel of Boy Scouts to look after and many miles to
take them further into the high country, this was my only opportunity to
observe these birds.

If any of you would like to contact me to discuss further, I'd be happy to

Great birding to you all.

Gary T. Smith

Alki Point

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