Saturday, August 27, 2016 ~ 4:30 to 10 p.m.


Live music, nature-themed vendors, good food, fun games and activities for all ages. Enjoy the evening return of these beautiful birds to their cistern home in downtown Jonestown. Guess the number of swifts and win a prize!


Hundreds, if not thousands, of chimney swifts stop off for part of the year in downtown Jonestown, Texas.  They begin arriving in mid-March and stay through the end of September.  During this time, the small birds make a historic cistern in the middle of downtown their home.

After a day spent feasting on insects, the swifts return in the evening to their cistern home en masse, a tornado-like sight that is fascinating to see.

In celebration of this phenomenon, the City of Jonestown hosts Swift Fest, a festival centered around the ‘swift drop.’ It includes fun games and activities for families, nature-themed vendors, live music and culminates at the cistern, where everyone gathers to watch the birds come home for the evening.

Directions:  The City of Jonestown is located 10 minutes west of Cedar Park (approximately 30 minutes northwest of Austin) on F.M. 1431, nine miles west of the intersection of U.S.183 and F.M. 1431.  It is held in the area behind the City of Jonestown offices and at Fireman’s Park.

                                                                INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT CHIMNEY SWIFTS
  • Chimney Swifts do not perch. Instead they use their long claws to cling to the walls of chimneys and other vertical surfaces.
  • The Chimney Swift looks a little strange as it flies. It appears to be beating only one wing at a time.  Studies, however have shown that it actually beats both wings.  The illusion is due to the erratic nature of its flight with all the banks and turns.
  • These birds fly constantly. They are almost always on the wing except when they are at the nest or on the roost at night. They even bathe in flight by flying low over a body of water, touching the water with their chest and then shaking the water from their feathers.
  • A group of swifts are collectively known as a “box,” “flock,” “screaming frenzy” or “swoop” of swifts.