Mexico/San Luis Potosi: Cave of Swallows – One Million Birds

When we got to the Cave of Swallows before the sunrise, we expected the birds to fly out with the first rays of light. After a dozen flew out, it seemed like this was it and the show wouldn’t happen (they don’t fly out every day, and when the weather is not cooperating, they just stay indoors). The sun came up and illuminated the cave entrance and then the amazing nature spectacle began. There are over a million of birds – swifts and not swallows (so the cave’s name is actually incorrect). The white-collared swifts (Streptoprocne zonaris) live all inside the cave and along the walls in nest and come out to feed in the beginning of the day and return at dusk. The flying out is spectacular – a tornado of birds spirals and twists inside the cave before emerging out, the sound of the flapping wings and whistling air is quite strong. They gain altitude by flying in a spiral and then rush out at full speed. It took over an hour for all of the birds to come out and we watched every second of it from different vantage points.