Ouray's special bird: the black swift
By Sue Hirshman with
I always knew that Ouray was a special place, and when I discovered the Black Swift it became even more special. This species is one of the last North American birds described to science, in 1857. Nearly a half-century passed before the first nest was found in 1901. Could they be called the most elusive bird on earth? One of the reasons it took so long to learn about this bird is where they hide their nests and young. In most areas of the west and northwest mountains the nests are in caves, in and around waterfalls where one has to hike, bush-whack, and then rappel down sheer cliffs in canyons. No easy job!
In one exception, “Box Canyon” is known as Colorado’s largest nesting colony and the most accessible viewing opportunity, which has gained world attention as an Important Birding Area.