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Downtown Mystery Solved: Suckers Are Swifts

The well-documented, bat-like creatures flying around downtown at dusk are not bats, but Vaux's Swifts (Chaetura vauxi), says Kimball Garrett, who works in the ornithology section at LA's Natural History Museum. "They migrate through the Los Angeles region in spring and fall (right now they're going to Mexico)--the big peak is late September to the middle of October--and there can be spectacular concentrations (in some years up to 10,000+ birds) in the downtown area when they find suitable nighttime roosting sites there," he tells us. "They usually roost in chimneys of tall building shafts." Thanks, but let's talk about bats! Are there bats downtown? "I don't think so, I've seen a few, but generally bats don't do well in heavily urban areas, there's not a lot of feeding for them." We're disappointed.
· Curbed Video: Downtown's Bat-Like Creatures [Curbed LA]