September is the month for Vaux’s Swift migration! These small birds will be gathering in large flocks to roost for the night at the Agate Hall chimney on the UO campus, along with other locations. We will have our “Bon Voyage to the Swifts” gathering on Friday, September 13th, this year. Please come out to join us in watching and marveling at these interesting little birds. Their migration dates begin with sightings as early as late August and continue on into October. You can look for them any evening throughout this time span. Migration depends on the wind and the weather, food availability for the insect-eating swifts, and whether drought or fires are occurring. We never can predict exactly when they will arrive or when they will all move on to the south.
It’s summer and I delight in the antics of fledgling birds. They land on our feeders, but despite the proximity and abundance of food, they beg from their parents, mouths open and wings fluttering. Soon they will be ready for autumn activities, which for many birds involve a migratory journey. Let’s do what we can to keep birds safe along their passage.
Lane County Audubon Society will put on its annual fall swift event outside Agate Hall, 1787 Agate St, Eugene, on Friday September 13th at sunset. The Vaux’s Swifts use the chimney to roost for the night as they gather prior to migration. We could possibly see thousands of birds entering the chimney, but we make no guarantee! It is fun to observe the swifts before they fly off to Central and South America for the winter.
Chad Hoffman or his coworker, Jock Beall, will lead a walk at the Quamash Prairie wetland mitigation site, located approximately 5 miles south of Eugene/Springfield metro area, south of Camas Swale Creek. Details will be posted on the LCAS Facebook page: facebook.com/pages/Lane-County-Audubon-Society/330177413824, and on the website: laneaudubon.org.
We live in a rapidly changing world. As landscapes transform, so too do the patterns of distribution and abundance of the species that inhabit them. Human-assisted dispersal and changes in climate contribute to combinations of species that have never before had to share the same territory. At the same time, some birds that were once common in the Willamette Valley are now rarely found.
On July 20th, participants in the Lane Audubon canoe/kayak Third Saturday bird trip paddled north on Coyote Creek to Fern Ridge Reservoir, departing from the Cantrell Road put-in at 8 am. We had a good morning of birding with really nice weather except for a little head wind early on. Our 9 watercraft (3 canoes and 6 kayaks) held 14 people. The participants’ ages ranged from 4 years to mid-70s, and it was a fun day for all!
Nick Paget will lead a walk at the Bertelson Nature Park, near Wall
Takeaways from our March Program on Birds and Bugs
- Drinking shade grown/organic coffee helps improve habitat for migratory birds
- Eating organic bananas and other tropical fruit supports the production of organic produce in the U.S.
- Keeping cats indoors will save the lives of billions of birds and mammals every year in the U.S.