[midvalleybirds] Vaux's Swift migration chimney monitoring

Molly Monroe monroemolly at hotmail.com
Wed Sep 4 13:36:33 PDT 2019

We found a new (to us) roost site on the corner of 4th and C, just before the onramp to Hwy 34, in the Cascade Body Studio chimney. It has two openings and doesn't seem nearly tall enough for the amount of swifts we watched funnel into it last week. Didn't get a good count but easily over 1,000 birds.

From: birding-bounces at midvalleybirding.org <birding-bounces at midvalleybirding.org> on behalf of Mary Garrard <springazure1 at gmail.com>
Sent: Tuesday, August 20, 2019 9:33 PM
To: corvallis-birding at googlegroups.com <corvallis-birding at googlegroups.com>; mid-valley-nature at googlegroups.com <mid-valley-nature at googlegroups.com>; Midvalley birders <birding at midvalleybirding.org>
Cc: Beverly Clark <clark.bev9 at gmail.com>; Larry Schwitters <leschwitters at me.com>; OBOL at oregonbirds.org <OBOL at oregonbirds.org>
Subject: [midvalleybirds] Vaux's Swift migration chimney monitoring

Hi everyone! Vaux’s Swifts migration seems to have begun. I did my first chimney monitoring this evening.  As you may or may not know, the little birds use many chimneys in Corvallis, so it’s always a treasure hunt to discover where they will be on any given evening. They can be very loyal to one chimney for an entire migration season—often the Whiteside chimney or the Weigand Hall chimney on campus is the location of choice, but some migrations they abruptly switch to using a different one. I know of at least 10 chimneys that have been used in the past.

Tonight I visited Weigand Hall and three others before I found birds at a chimney on a vacant building just to the north of the Mongolian Grill on 1st Street and observed 64 enter the chimney at dusk. Because I stopped there I didn’t get a chance to check the rest of the chimneys.

I highly recommend doing chimney watching. Late summer/early fall evening weather in Corvallis is usually very pleasant, sunsets are beautiful, and watching the birds gather, swirl, and drop into a chimney never ceases to thrill. Tonight’s number was small, but there can be hundreds and hundreds and occasionally thousands.

If you are interested in contributing to science and having a lovely evening at the same time, you are most welcome to join me. If you’ve never done swift counting, it’s super easy and really fun. There’s a website, Vaux’s Happening <https://www.vauxhappening.org/>  maintained  by Larry Schwitters, with a lot of information about these interesting birds and a form that you can use to submit your observations.

Please feel free to contact me if you want to go out some evening and count swifts. It would be good to have several people who can watch at different locations as I can only be in once place at a time. So far, anyway……..

Happy late summer birding!


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