The annual Swifts Night Out event at the Frank Wagner Elementary School in Monroe will return in-person Friday, Aug. 20 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
From 4 p.m. until dusk, nature lovers, community groups, families and anyone with an interest in the spectacular can enjoy an evening on the lawn to watch the Vaux’s Swifts descend into their evening chimney roost at the school. While waiting for the swifts to appear around sunset, there will be children’s activities, vendor booths, and a presentation available in the Wagner Center auditorium.
Vaux’s Swifts roost in hollowed out old-growth trees; however, with fewer old-growth trees available, they have taken to roosting in man-made chimneys. In 2007, the Pilchuck, Seattle and Eastside Audubon chapters worked together to save the old brick chimney at Frank Wagner Elementary School from demolition. The chimney is a critical migratory stopover for the swifts, hosting more than 20,000 swifts on its busiest nights. As a result, the chimney is designated as a globally Important Bird Area and the Vaux’s Swift is the official bird of Monroe.
Pilchuck Audubon Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving Snohomish County and Camano Island. Its mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems focusing on birds and other wildlife for the benefit of the earth’s biological diversity. For more information, visit www.pilchuckaudubon.org