Chalon-sur-Saône.  Espace des Arts welcomes a colony of rare birds

Chalon-sur-Saône. Espace des Arts welcomes a colony of rare birds

Since last spring, the white-bellied swift has been using the walls of Arts Square to sleep. This is the second time it has been spotted in Chalons, and is classified on the red list, in the past 15 years. Good news for biodiversity.


Gregory Jacob
Today at 12:27

You have to have an eye to spot it. Nestled between two pieces of concrete, firmly fixed to the walls, the colony of about forty white birds cannot be seen directly, on the Place des Arts de Chalons. On the other hand, they can be heard regularly emitting some screams. That’s how they were spotted. First by the Arts Center staff, starting last spring. But to find out who exactly was hiding there, specialists were needed. It was Jean-Marc Frolet, regional general delegate of the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO), who was alerted. “I saw some wandering around the building. I came back the next day and found them.” The local purchasing office also received phone calls reporting his presence. It was a few days ago.

Rapid movements in cracks are not easy to notice. Photography by Gregory Jacob


The white-bellied swift is considered the fastest flying bird. Photography by Gregory Jacob


Espace des Arts has quickly become a residence. Photography by Gregory Jacob


Early in the morning, the swift flies out to go hunting all day. Photography by Gregory Jacob


Why is it rare?

So volunteers and staff went to see what was happening at the site. “We have a hypothesis that it is a night dormitory,” he continues. “They leave in the morning.” But by looking carefully along the walls of the Espace des Arts, you can see traces of the nest. Is it sleeping or nesting? The answer is next spring when it returns after its migration. But seeing The collection of individuals is a real surprise. “We discovered that the white-bellied swift had been nesting in the towers of Brice Saint-Jean since 2011. Since then, we have not seen anything else,” said Alexis Revillon, an LPO employee. Such is the rarity of this The discovery and its importance.

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A bird sleeps in flight

Finding a place to land is rare, very rare. “Once the young are mature, they spend between 600 and 900 days in flight. “They sleep in flight,” the specialist says. So finding a place to huddle is inherently complicated. After that, the couple lays one egg per year, and maturation only occurs After 5 years. So it is long. “If there is a dormitory, it is because the swifts lack space in the first nesting place,” he explains. “So the species is expanding. Very good news for biodiversity.”

The fastest birds

The white-bellied swift is easy to spot. It’s a fighter plane. “It is the fastest flapping flyer in the world. It can fly at 200 km/h. Sometimes it travels hundreds of kilometers to feed. It eats insects,” he explains. A fan of the tiger mosquito, for example. It is the largest of the speakers. It reaches Our area is in March and leaves in October.So it is ending the summer season for now.

During the month of October, the Bird Protection Association counts migratory birds on Mount Fuli in Bouziron. Volunteers and staff are available 7 days a week throughout the morning. Anyone can join them.

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