The Tree Swallow roost at Vacherie is the subject of much discussion for birders in Louisiana lately. A naturally occuring phenomenon -- thousands and thousands...and thousands... of swallows descend upon a certain sugar cane field near Vacherie, LA just over the Miss River levee for the night. At first, there are a few. And then, about 30 minutes before dark, there are an astounding number. The light goes quickly, but as you look out over the fields they appear to be literally rain down into the cane. Great flocks undulate over the cane and then suddenly disappear. It's quite a sight. Even the sound is something -- twitter and chatter of thousands of birds, but somehow still delicate and fragile.
The sight is most difficult to capture as it literally occurs after sunset. This was my first attempt -- I do want to try again. The camera work leaves something to be desired as I was fooling with 2 video cams and a still cam all at the same time. The video is long, but do watch at least until the 7th minute...impressive numbers of birds!
For more information about the tree swallow roost phenomenon, read the article written by Michael Seymour (biologist, LA Wildlife and Fisheries).
See a larger version of this video by clicking on the link to go to Vimeo website.