Swift Watch at Chapman Elementary School is one of the greatest migrations happening in Portland for all to see. Every year, Vaux’s Swifts roost in a chimney located in the Northwest District of Portland.
Every night in September, Vaux’s Swifts will arrive at the elementary school in a miraculous mirage as they prepare to roost in the chimney for the night. The birds make a pit stop here during their migration South. One population has been returning to Chapman since the 1980s.
This is one of the largest known roosting sites of migrating Vaux’s Swifts and it is right here in our city. As many as 12,000 birds have been counted by Portland Audubon entering the chimney.
This year, the nightly roosting will look a little different for viewers. For the health and safety of the community, Portland Audubon asks people not to gather at Chapman Elementary School. The school grounds are not open to the public, and the school has requested that people do not congregate at the site.
Instead, you’re invited to Virtual Swift Watch. Hear from the Portland Audubon’s Community Science team, learn more about the swifts and watch their aerial display live from the comfort of your home.
The Virtual Swift Watch will take place on September 15 from 7:15-8:30 p.m. To watch the event, visit Portland Audubon’s Facebook page. I recommend following the page so you get reminders when the event is scheduled to go live.
The Portland Audubon will also continue to do a nightly county of the Vaux’s Swifts, as it has done since 2009.
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