Press Releases

Roseburg Swift Watch returns this spring


ROSEBURG, OR – Witness the spectacle of seasonal bird migration during Roseburg Spring 2022 Swift Watch & World Migratory Bird Day Celebration on Friday evenings in Fir Grove Park.

Roseburg Parks and Recreation is co-sponsoring swift watches on four Friday evenings – April 22, April 29, May 6 and May 13 -- with the Umpqua Valley Audubon Society (UVAS) and federal and state agencies. The Audubon Society invites the public to gather near Umpqua Valley Arts’ Clay Place behind the UVA Center, 1624 W. Harvard Ave., between 6:30 p.m. and sunset (8 to 8:30 p.m.) to see displays by Vaux’s Swifts before the birds drop into the studio’s chimney to roost for the night. An Audubon Society member watches swifts most evenings from mid-April until the end of May.

The evenings also will be used to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day, which is Saturday, May 14. Vaux’s Swifts are just one of the bird species that migrate seasonally in the Americas. Challenges posed by light pollution are the focus of the 2022 World Migratory Bird Day Campaign.

“We’re fortunate to be able to witness this natural spectacle in a beautiful city park that’s accessible and inviting to people of all ages and abilities,” said UVAS President Diana Wales, a Roseburg Parks & Recreation Commission member.

Each night, dozens, hundreds or even thousands of swifts use the chimney to roost during the spring migration northward as far as Canada for nesting this summer. Some birds nest in the Umpqua Valley. Audubon Society members, who say the birds have been using the chimney for decades, will be there to count swifts as part of a West Coast data-collection effort and to serve as interpretive naturalists answering questions. Federal agencies will offer kids’ activities and live bird displays, prehistoric bird displays and other information.

Similar to hummingbirds, Vaux’s Swifts have extremely high metabolisms and are unable to perch on a branch. They fly around with their mouths open to eat as many bugs as they can during daylight. Their natural habitat is old-growth forest, but swifts have lost much natural habitat and even chimneys used for roosting and nesting. Cold weather can be problematic for them, so about sunset, they gather in tight formations and circle around old hollow trees or chimneys, zoom around the top and quickly drop inside to cuddle up next to each other, Wales said.

Organizers urge people to bring a folding chair, camp chair or blanket – or just watch from cars. Local musicians, Swifts Sisters and Friends, will perform Americana music if weather allows. Other musicians are encouraged to bring instruments. Arrive at least half an hour before sunset.

For more information, contact Umpqua Valley Audubon Society at or 541-680-0436.

Posted by RoseburgAdmin