On Friday, the Audubon Center at Debs Park and the Los Angeles Audubon Society hosted nearly 200 people in the heart of Downtown LA to watch thousands of swifts descend down the chimney at the Chester Williams Building. Crafts were made, binoculars shared, and Peregrine Falcons fed on several swifts. It was an amazing night. Thanks to all who came out.
Enjoying a swifty night downtown! We love the expression on that kid's face!
Saturday night had less people, but more swifts. Observers estimated 14,540 swifts tucked in beginning around 6:40 pm and spanning until 7:15 pm. One birder on the rooftop remarked, “This is a world-class nature experience.” We couldn’t agree more!
The swifts were back in Healdsburg last night, 1,200 to 1,500 by this count. But observers seem to feel that there weren’t as many as they had seen in previous years.
So, the Vaux’s Swifts are being seen in Northern California sites such as Rio Lindo Academy in Healdsburg, but local experts are wondering if the numbers are significantly lower than in recent years. On Sept. 18, however, a group of folks from the Mt. Diablo Audubon Society counted 5,000 to 6,000 birds.
So, the swifts have been hanging out at the McNear Brickyear in San Rafael, as reported by Rusty Scalf on the listservs. He’s been asking people to let him know what they see.
Dave Barry of Santa Rosa posted to the North Bay Birds listserv his sighting of 1,300 Vaux’s Swifts and one Peregrine Falcon.
That’s right! The Los Angeles Audubon Society and the Audubon Center at Debs Park will be out at the Downtown LA roosting site this Friday (9-24) for Birds Over Broadway. Hope to see you there!
Chester Williams Building, 9-20. Photo by Martha Benedict
And we have photos from last night….many birds at the site!
The swifts are on the move – here’s a snapshot of chimney/roost site monitoring reports from this past Monday, Sept 19th along the Vaux Swift Flyway (which in total stretches from Alaska to Baja California):
Old Northern State Hospital, WA 6,803
Monroe Frank Wagner Elementary, WA 3,677
Selleck Old School House, WA 1,572
Eugene, OR 4,000
Rio Lindo, CA 1,900
For a map of major roosting sites, see the Flyway Snapshot
This weekend there was a lot of swift action in Los Angeles. Friday saw nearly 9000 birds, followed by 660 on Saturday. Ups and downs as the birds move in and out of our area on their way south!
Portland Audubon volunteers share the joy of Swift Watching – check out this video: Swifts Draw a Crowd at Chapman School, the Oregonian