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The Breathtaking Migration of Swallows… Here in CT!

Posted on September 14, 2017

Each fall, hundreds of thousands of tree swallows migrate from the Connecticut area to the Carolinas and Gulf Coast. According to the Connecticut Audubon Society, the Connecticut River is one of the best places to see this amazing activity.

Swallow Cruise

Tree Swallows have deep-blue iridescent backs and clean, white fronts. They are interesting to watch as they chase flying insects in an acrobatic way, twisting and turning. When they are in a large group, the result is mesmerizing and awe-inspiring as they swarm in the form of funnel clouds in a huge mass.

Tree Swallow

At around sunset in August and into September, large groups of swallows come to roost for the night on the Connecticut shoreline, having flown from their summer nesting grounds up to fifty miles away. They roost together to keep safe from aerial predators and small mammals such as the fox. The Swallows descend into the reeds on the shallows of the river and marshes on Goose Island which is on the East side of the Connecticut River.

Essex Steam Train & Riverboat’s Becky Thatcher offers sunset cruises every Friday and Saturday evening through September so that viewers can have a front row seat to watch the magnificent Swallow migration. This is an ideal event for birdwatchers, nature enthusiasts, educators, and anyone looking for beauty in the world around us. Valley Railroad President, Kevin Dodd, feels that it is so special that this stunning migration happens right on our doorstep, and he and his staff love giving people the opportunity to experience the Swallows in such a close setting on the water.

Reserve your seat today.

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