This fall, nature enthusiasts from across the Southland will flock to the top floor of Joe’s Auto Park, a downtown parking structure, to watch a rare spectacle in the sky overhead. At dusk, thousands of migrating Vaux’s Swifts – small, cigar-shaped birds with crescent wings – will cloud around the chimney of the Chester Williams Building. When a couple of birds finally take the plunge, the rest of the flock literally pours down the chimney and disappears for the night. This “swoop” of swifts is a rare treat, even rarer still in the urban environment of Downtown Los Angeles .
Anyone interested in seeing the wonders of nature in an urban environment are welcome, and it’s free of charge, except of course if you park in the structure, which will cost you $3. Viewers are encouraged to bring a picnic, binoculars if you have them, and something to sit on.
Joe’s Auto Park is located at 440 Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. Parking is $3. From the Red Line, exit at Pershing Square Station.