Chaetura Canyon Sanctuary News By Georgean and Paul Kyle

Three major events were held at and for Chaetura Canyon in April and May. The
inaugural Birdathon event was on April 9 and sold out with a waiting list. Guests enjoyed breakfast, a nice walk through the Canyon that included the lower canyon trails, and finally a relaxing lunch on the deck overlooking the Canyon.


Guests await their Chalupa dinner, photo by Paul Kyle.

Our 10th annual Chalupas and Chimney Swift Mexican food buffet was held a bit earlier this year on April 30. This was also a sell out with loads of appetizers, the upper canyon trails open for wandering, followed by a spectacular Mexican food dinner. This was our first year to have a real “sit down” dinner complete with tables and chairs. The swifts put on a good show, but this year they decided to roost in the Castle Tower rather than the one adjacent to the deck. Consequently, the entry count was low. Guests did not seem to mind and had a great time watching the aerial antics of the sanctuary’s namesake. As a special treat, a 3-D Chimney Swift video created by one of our colleagues in North Carolina was presented—complete with 3-D glasses. Gasps and giggles abounded as the swifts seem to fly off of the screen into the dining area. “That one hit me in the forehead!!”


Guests await their Chalupa dinner, photo by Paul Kyle.

On May 15, the Connell family hosted the long-awaited official release of the children’s book Adventures of a Chimney Swift Family at their world-class event venue, The Greenhouse at Driftwood. More than 50 folks attended to purchase signed copies of the book written by Anne Donovan and Kay Hart. Limited edition prints by Georgean created for the book were also popular. More than $900 was raised from the event for the Chaetura Canyon Management Fund. Thanks so much to the Connell family and everyone who attended.

Chimney Swifts made a spectacular showing in mid-April when more than 1000 individuals came to roost and find shelter from a large storm system moving in from the north. The next day they continued on their migration northward leaving only the locals to inhabit the towers. As usual, the main roost fluctuated between 50 to 100
individuals through the end of May. The first eggs were recorded on April 29th and the first hatchlings emerged on May 24th.

This brings us to the Second Saturday Swift Watches: These events are held the 2nd Saturday in June, July, and August. It is a chance for you to visit Chaetura Canyon, enjoy beverages and snacks on the deck, and observe the Chimney Swifts do their thing up close and personal. Reservations are required and space is limited, so contact us ASAP to reserve your space at

Coming the second Saturday in September is our annual fall fundraiser: Mediterranean Feast! It is always a sell-out, so don’t wait too long to get your reservations. Check the Travis Audubon calendar for more info.

We hope to see you in the Canyon soon!