The festival is all about the birds and watching their tornado-like return to their roost at dusk. An official census of the birds coming in to roost is done by Travis Audubon but festival-goers can try to do their own count. When the last bird drops into the cistern, the official festival count is registered and announced.
Friends of Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge hosts The Swift Drop, a contest for festival attendees to try and guess how many birds drop into the cistern that evening. Donated prizes are awarded to the top participants with the closest guesses, and can be picked up that evening at the Friends booth.
See a video of the swift drop HERE!
Here are official census counts from past years:
|Year||Official Bird Count|