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Naturalists Plan To Watch Thousands Of Birds 'Over'lea

The Natural History Society of Maryland has planned a meetup to watch migrating chimney swifts Thursday night.

Thursday night presents a unique opportunity for birdwatching.

The Natural History Society of Maryland in Overlea is hosting a "swift-watching party" between 6 and 7 p.m. Oct. 11. Attendees will have a chance to see thousands of chimney swifts as they migrate to warmer climes in South America for the winter.

"Come watch over 1000 birds fly above Overlea on October 11!!! The Natural History Society of Maryland is hosting an informal party on Thursday evening at 6 p.m. to watch the large number of chimney swifts that are roosting across the street from our building at 6908 Belair Road. These are migratory birds on their way to South America," wrote society volunteer and board member Amy Young in an email.

According to the group's page on meetup.com, the birds have been observed across the street from the society's Belair Road headquarters.

The full text of the event created on meetup.com follows:  

Last week we noticed that chimney swifts were roosting in the chimney of a building across the street from our parking lot. There were over a thousand birds swirling around, gathering mass before following the lead down the chimney for the night.

After a few days of observation, we learned they start amassing sometime after 5:00pm, and head down the chimney between 6:20 and 7:00pm. It’s a great excuse to have a swift-watching party!So if you have time on Thursday, stop by between 6:00 and 7:00. If you would like, bring something to eat, something to drink, and a pair of binoculars.

We will supply chairs, a bathroom, and a view of a natural wonder.

This is an informal meetup, so bring your swift migration knowledge and share it with the group. Also, there is no guarantee that they will be around – I heard that it is nearing the end of their time in Baltimore, but it’s worth taking a chance. Hope to see you there!

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