A Nation-wide Chimney Swift Roost Monitoring Project


Vaux's Swift Reports from Larry Schwitters and www.vauxshappening.org

Sumas, WA: Old Customs House: The oldest historic roost site in the state. Both north and southbound observations were made by North Cascades Audubon, coordinated by Joe Meche. There were 13 Observations in the northbound for a total of 6785 Vaux's /chimney interactions. Details and in time photos can be found at vauxshappening.org

Sedro Woolley, WA: Skagit Steel industrial smokestack has hosted hundreds of Vaux's in the past. High count was only 5 birds observed by L.Schwitters on 5/6/08

Sedro Woolley, WA: Old Northern State Hospital steam plant concrete chimney. Observations are difficult due to this being a private property high security area. High count of 1823 Vaux's on Sept 4 by L. Schwitters. Huge pile of swift poop at the bottom of the stack suggests this may be the second most frequently used site in the state. Pictures soon at vauxshappening.org

Monroe, WA: Public School Administration Building has a 4x4 foot brick chimney that had 5,436 Vaux's counted in 14 observations during the northbound migration. Most observations by Curt and Connie Young. This site is in competition with the state's crown jewell of migration roost sites.

Monroe, WA: Wagner Elementary School has a 4x4 foot brick chimney that the school district has considered removing. Extensive and ongoing efforts by Audubon have brought front page attention to the significance of this structure which may be the most often used site during the Vaux's northbound migration in North America, with 50 observations producing a total of 131,000 Vaux's/chimney interactions. As of 9/22 the southbound numbers are approaching 140,000 and thousands are still being counted each day by teams of observers and docents headed by Judy Alles. Seattle Times/King 5 TV story at

Selleck, WA: The Old School House has a 3.5x3.5 foot brick chimney that is probably the state's second most often used Vaux's Migratory roost site that was undocumented before this year. 37 Observations in the northbound produced 31,777 Vaux's/chimney interactions. Southbound migration has totaled 36,2830 in 35 observations, mostly done by L. Schwitters. Video of the swifts entering this chimney at over 50 per second can be viewed at vauxshappening.org

Mulilteo, WA; A residential brick chimney next door to Seattle Audubon Education Chair Paulette Hunter surprised her with 25 Vaux's Swifts which roosted there from May 5-25. One pair nested in the chimney of the next house down the street. There were no sightings in the southbound migration.

Olympia, WA; Various residences in the Capital Way area produced 650 Vaux's entering observed by Whittier Johnson and Sarah Coven during the northbound migration from May 3 to the 12th. Southbound in the area was frustrating with minor numbers.

Olympia, Wa: Two steel towers at the mothballed Tumwater Olympia Brewery hosted 600 Vaux's Swifts on May 12 and 13. Southbound observations were negative. Data and poetry provided by Larry Eickstaedt. Photos and poetry soon at vauxshappenng.org

Tenino, WA: Downtown auto repair facility historic site does not seem to be currently used. Observations by Whittier Johnson and others

Centralia, WA: Downtown train station area. Four observations in May produced a total of 2,039 Vaux's/chimney interactions as reported by Dave Hayden and Lori Salzer. September observations by these same observers plus Terry Sisson totaled 1998. Exact location of the roost site changes.

Camas, WA: Local downtown Tavern. The brick chimney is well used in both the north and southbound migrations with a high count of 3,795 Vaux's Swifts May 13 by Joan Durgin.

Sequim, WA: Fish Hatchery brick chimney. This historic site disappointed in both migrations. Observations by Bob Boekelheide and Margaret Levitan

Klickitat, WA Wildlife Area: Old Ice House Dormitory. This aging structure has a brick chimney in need of repair that has hosted thousands of Vaux's in the past. Refuge Manager Susan Van Leuven could only document 6 Vaux's in all of north and southbound migrations this year. A stunning image of this structure by Wilson Cady will soon be posted on vauxshappening.org

Twisp, WA: Multiple downtown brick sites. Kent Woodruff and Libby Schreiner started early in mid April attempting to track down the Vaux's Swift that have historically used the area. They totaled 35 birds in 9 observations. There were no southbound reports.

Colville, WA: Two Historic Sites. Warren Current led an effort to document the Vaux's Swift roosting locations of Colville. Eleven observations in April-May produced a total of 78 birds, with only small numbers in the southbound. He is still searching for NE Washington's mother load.

Ellensburg, WA: Old Hospital. The local Audubon Chapter led by Jan Demorest totaled 293 Vaux's/chimney interactions in 5 observations during the northbound migration. This structure, constructed in 1918, which is an Audubon preservation concern, hosted 1755 in the southbound.

Wapato, WA: Farmhouse fireplace chimney. Owner reported having 125 or so birds nightly in September and probably more in May.

Walla Walla, WA: The downtown Red Cross Building has been recently used by Vaux's Swifts but none were present on September 13. Observation by Ginger Shoemakes.

Waitsburg, WA: Ginger Shoemakes reports seeing approximately 150 Vaux's Swifts entering a chimney near sunset across the street from the Whoop-Em-Up Cafe on September 16.

Flaming Geyser State Park Area: Argus Farms Silo is a historic site checked by Chris Anderson WDFW on Sept 13 with 0 swifts.

Enumclaw Chalet Theater, an historic site, has been capped according to Trish MacLaren.

The Downtown Arlinington historic sites have been capped - Stan Kostka,

The Sedro Woolley Countryside Chevrolet Dealer historic site was checked in north and southbound with 0 birds. L. Schwitters

Several residences in Seattle's Mount Baker neighborhood, a historic site, were not used in the northbound-Susan Jamison.

A 9/13 check of tiny Entiat, a historic site, produced no birds for Jim Owens.

The following large brick smoke stacks were staked out at least once in the 2008 migration as a part of Vaux's Happening's attempt to locate all the significant Vaux's Swift migratory communal roost sites in Washington State. In all cases the results were negative.

1.5/14: UW Red Square huge ventilation stacks-Chris Anderson WDFG
2 5/11: Seattle Fort Lawton Office Chimney-Chris Anderson WDFG
3. 5/11: Seattle Fort Lawton Horse Cremator-Chris Anderson WDFG
4. 5/4: Snoqualmie Weyerhaeuser huge lone chimney-L. Schwitters
5. 4/19: Renton Head Start School Chimney-Carol Stoner
6. 5/13-9/5: I-5 Swift exit industrial stack-Mike Donahue
7. 4/17-5/3: Mercer Island Burbank Park large power generator chimney and troubled youth home-L. Schwitters
8. 4/27-5/6-9/13: Ellensburg CWU power generator stack-local Audubon J. Demorest, S. Moore, Gerry Sorenson
9. Numerous observations N and S Migrations: Roslyn Swiftwater School-Roger, Diane Deleon
10. 9/13: Stanwood large cement chimney-Michael Willison
11. 9/13: Buckley School decommissioned stack-Trish MacLaren