Vaux's Swifts

Vaux’s Swifts entering Clay Place Chimney

Roseburg Fall Swift Watch & World Migratory Bird Celebration 2022 – September 2, 9, & 16!

 Location:   Fir Grove section of Stewart Park behind the Umpqua Valley Arts Center off Harvard Avenue

Dates/Times:   Friday evenings, September 2, 9 & 16 beginning about an hour before sunset.  Vaux’s Swifts generally enter the chimney close to sunset.  In September, sunset will be about 7:50 pm at the beginning of the month and closer to 7:15 pm by the middle of the month.

Swift Watch:  Vaux’s Swifts (pronounced “vawks”) nest only in Western North America, migrating to Central and South America for the winter. Each year, Swifts gather in the chimney adjacent to The Clay Place in the Fir Grove section of Stewart Park off Harvard Avenue behind the Umpqua Valley Arts Center during their spring and fall migration. At sunset during migration, Swifts gather in the dozens, sometimes hundreds or thousands, to communally roost. In urban settings, these roost sites are often in old industrial chimneys. While numbers vary from year to year, the display can be spectacular.

Umpqua Valley Audubon Society members will be available Friday evenings to serve as interpretive naturalists, with information and brochures about Vaux’s Swifts as well as more general information about birding and our natural world.

Throughout the migration, Audubon members will be participating in a west coast wide data collection effort. The Vaux’s Swift’s natural habitat is old grow forest habitat where they rely on large hollow snags for nesting and roosting. We know Swifts have lost much of their natural habitat and the number of chimneys available for roosting and nesting is also on the decline. Little is known about even the most basic habits of Vaux’s Swifts, to say nothing of how many there actually are. Working in conjunction with our partners up and down the west coast, we hope to fill in some of the data gaps.

World Migratory Bird Celebration:  Vaux’s Swifts are just one of many amazing bird species that pass through our area in the spring and fall in migration.  Federal and State agencies will be joining us to celebrate fall bird migration in conjunction with Swift Watch in recognition of World Migratory Bird Day which brings attention to one of the most important and spectacular events in the Americas – bird migration.  Information about migration and bird related activities for kids will be offered.  Plus, we may have as special guests a pair of Cedar Waxwings who are ambassadors for all migratory species.

Weather permitting, the “Swifts Sisters and Friends” may join in the fun with Americana music.  If the weather looks good, bring your instrument!

This event is a partnership of Umpqua Valley Audubon Society and the City of Roseburg Parks & Recreation.

For more information, contact Umpqua Valley Audubon Society at info@umpquaaudubon.org or 541-680-0436.