BETHLEHEM, Pa. - When a song becomes swift action.
A group of Freemansburg Elementary School 4th graders recently took swift action and lobbied local government to help some acrobatic avians.
"They've been around since like the 1800's. They are like family to us because they've been in the city of Bethlehem," said Emma Huertas.
She and 14 of her classmates wrote letters to Bethlehem's mayor and council to make the chimney swift the official bird of Bethlehem. Ryan Benfica recently addressed council to press his point.
"They eat bugs and bugs are really annoying," he said.
2,000 per day per bird, Ryan wrote.
The swifts, which face a steep population decline, recently stole the spotlight after 4th grade teacher Jennie Gilrain led a preservation charge to save the chimney of the old Masonic Temple now being demolished.
The migrating birds rely on chimneys to survive, as they rely on them to roost.
The bird's aerial display is what drew Mariyah George to the cause.
"They all swirl and swirl and more keep coming and they go inside the chimney," she said.
Not only was the chimney saved but their profile is now raised. Council named the chimney swift the city's official bird.
"First off I jumped into the air and I said I finally achieved my goal of helping the chimney swift," Huertas said.
For Gilrain, who initially used the situation in her science class, it's now become a life lesson.
"I hope they remember this moment and your ability to make a difference when engaged at this level of government or any level of government," she said.
Idealism, enthusiasm and courage. The power of youth. Even a bird brain can recognize its importance.