Selleck Old Schoolhouse


The Old School House has a 3.5 x 3.5 foot brick chimney that is probably the state's second most often used Vaux's migratory roost site that was undocumented before 2008.  In that year, 37 observations in the northbound migration produced 31,777 Vaux's/chimney interactions.  Southbound migration in 2008 totaled 36,289 in 30 observations, mostly done by L. Schwitters.  Video of the swifts entering this chimney at over 50 per second can be viewed elsewhere on this website.

The Selleck site was extremely well covered in the northbound 2009 migration with no missed days and a 30,155 swift roosting total.  The Project Coordinator describes his Kodak moment concerning the low counts this migration, that took place here on May 11, 09:

”We keep making excuses for our little feathered friends.  They were early.  They are late.  They are going in at strange times.  Our numbers are only about a quarter of what they were last year.  One explanation, that we don't want to believe, is that the Vaux's had a massive die off this year on their wintering grounds.

I'm so worried about this that I actually feel like throwing up, and went from 4:45 to 8:45 at Selleck last night, desperate for big numbers.  At 5:45 PM there were Vaux's all over the place.  The birds were right in front of a nasty looking, NE moving, dark cloud, flying from just off the deck to more than a 1,000 feet up.  There were as many swifts with me in Selleck as I've ever seen in one view.  As the Selleck total was only 2,435, a lot of the swifts must have kept moving north.  Most of the day’s count was in the chimney before 6:15.  We experienced a long moment of joy and relief here tonight, but I'll still worried.”