Umpqua Valley Audubon Society

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Roseburg Swift Watch & World, Fall Migratory Bird Celebration September, 6th, 13th and 20th 2024

September 20 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

As many of you know, after reliably roosting in the Clay Place chimney in the Fir Grove section of Stewart Park for many years, two years ago the swifts chose to roost in the Douglas County Courthouse chimney in the Roseburg city center.  Unfortunately, last year the courthouse chimney was “capped” so we plan to be at the Clay Place Chimney this fall.

We plan to converge at the Fir Grove section of Stewart Park behind the Umpqua Valley Arts Center off Harvard Avenue on September 6, 13 and 20. This location has ample parking, easy access, lawn, children’s play area and bathrooms. The chimney can be viewed from the parking area. 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 7:20 pm by the middle of the month.  We will be there at 6:30 pm each night.

Swift Watch:

Vaux’s Swifts (pronounced “vawks”) nest only in Western North America, migrating to Central and South America for the winter. 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 of their amazing little bodies dropping into the chimney can be spectacular.

During the migration, 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 growth 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. Only 4 of 11 “old major roost” chimney sites remain available to them in our state.

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 hope to have, as special guests, three Cedar Waxwings who are rescued ambassador birds 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 instruments!

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


September 20
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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