“It isn’t just birding. It’s more than that—the quiet at dusk, the colors and clouds of the sky at sunset, the “screaming frenzy” of many or few tiny birds converging for the night as they tornado into the chimney. It’s a religious experience.”
Vaux's Swift Survey
Complete 2021 data can be found here:
Vaux's Swift Northward Migration 2021 Statistics
Local Project Co-ordinator Mary Ann Kruse reports that the data for this year are now available. These data were collected by volunteers via the online survey tool, then analyzed & finally posted by Larry Schwitters, the National Audubon Society (NAS) Vaux’s swift coordinator. Should you have further questions re: the data, please contact Larry @ firstname.lastname@example.org 97 observers made 574 observations @ 37 sites finding 33 active;
299,788 Vaux’s swifts were documented going to roost.
"1. We had the most Northbound observations ever, ever.
2. Our almost 300,000 documented wee birds was our third highest total for a spring migration.
3. The average swifts per observation (522) was the 7th best since 2008. Right in the middle."
Vaux's (rhymes with foxes) swifts, a Pacific Coast migrant found west of the Rocky Mountains, migrate through Bend both spring & fall. In spring they are counted migrating north from mid-April to mid-June. During the summer months, nesting residents are seen in small numbers; these summer birds are believed to be immature or aged birds that choose Central Oregon as their northernmost summering grounds. In fall, the swifts are seen migrating south from mid-August to mid-October. Fall roosting counts are historically larger in number due to current year juveniles making their first migration south with adults.
Historically, Vaux’s swifts roosted in old growth snags. With fewer snags available, the swifts have adapted to roosting in chimneys which accommodate their communal roosting behavior. The two roosting chimneys known to have been used in the past five years and are located at:
* Volunteer counters will be found in the north parking lot (on your left when facing the Boys+Girls Club front Wall Street door). Parking is free and available in this parking lot. We arrive ~ 20 minutes prior to sunset and will remain until all the birds have roosted in the chimney. If it is inclement weather—cold, wind, rain, snow, smoke—swifts may enter chimney earlier than sunset. Please take weather into consideration when determining time of arrival. Bring a chair or plan to “tailgate”.
At the start of each migration, COBOL posts will be made once the “preferred roosting chimney” is identified. Every attempt is made to count the duration of migration with online surveys submitted nightly. Nightly surveys are submitted using the simple and user friendly online survey tool ( https://www.vauxhappening.org/contact-us/submit-a-report.htm). Anyone seeing Vaux’s swifts using a different chimney, please let us know and/or become involved by counting the birds and posting the count and location using the online survey tool.
The online surveys are compiled by Larry Schwitters, the National Audubon Society’s (NAS) Pacific coast compiler. All things Vaux’s swifts (including the survey data and other information) may be found at http://www.vauxhappening.org/Vauxs_Happening_Home.html.