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Swift Watch

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When: Sep 01, 2018 06:00 PM to Sep 30, 2018 08:00 PM

Join us on the lawn most evenings in September at Chapman School for the spectacular display of Vaux's Swifts gathering to roost in the school's chimney.

Vaux's Swifts enter the Chapman chimney - Vern di Pietro

Swift Watch 2018

What: Watch Vaux's Swifts prepare to roost for the night
When: One hour before sunset, each night in September
Where: Chapman Elementary School in northwest Portland

Vaux's Swifts are using the Chapman Elementary School chimney as an evening roost during their fall migration. Grab a seat on the school lawn and in neighboring Wallace Park to watch and listen as the birds gather overhead. On most evenings, Portland Audubon volunteers will be on hand to share information about Vaux's Swifts.

Have a question about Swift Watch? Email us at swiftwatchpdx@gmail.com.

Current Swift Count Totals

Keep track of this year's nightly Swift Count numbers here.


Every year in late August, one of Portland's most spectacular natural events begins: Thousands of Vaux’s Swifts gather in the city as they prepare to migrate to Central America and Venezuela. Migrating swifts often use chimneys as roosts (places to sleep), and they are likely to return to the same roost year after year. One population has been returning to Chapman since the 1980s, and it is one of the largest known roosting sites of migrating Vaux's Swifts.

Swift watching has become a popular activity at Chapman, and on many evenings, more than 2,000 people gather to watch these aerial acrobats.


Free Swift Watch parking is available at Montgomery Park and SELCO Community Credit Union. Do not expect to find on-street parking near the event - please park at Montgomery and SELCO if at all possible.

  • Montgomery Park is located six blocks from Chapman at 2701 NW Vaughn St. Note: from the Chapman area, NW Vaughn cannot be accessed from NW 27th, 28th or 29th Ave.
  •  SELCO Community Credit Union is located at NW 25th and Thurman. Note: The SELCO lot will be available each night any time after 6:00 p.m.

We Need Your Help!

Please be a good neighbor to Chapman-area residents: 1) Do not expect to find on-street parking, so park for free at Montgomery Park and SELCO Community Credit Union or use other transit options. 2) During the event, leash and pick up after dogs. 3) After the event, pick up your trash and do not loiter on school grounds. 4) It is illegal to consume alcoholic beverages or smoke on public school grounds.

Getting There
| Be A Good Neighbor | Swift Natural History | FAQs | Swift Counts
Washington State swift information: Monroe Swifts | Vaux's Happening

Vaux's Swifts enter the Chapman Elementary School chimney - Scott Carpenter
Vaux's Swifts enter the Chapman Elementary School chimney - Scott Carpenter
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