Vaux's Happening


Vaux's Happening promotes the conservation of migrating Vaux's Swifts by raising awareness of the spectacular roosting events this species displays at a limited number of large trees and old masonry structures on the Pacific Flyway. Since its beginning in the spring of 2008, the project has documented over eight million individual roosting events in the US, Canada and Mexico. It is our hope that public awareness of the importance of these sites will play a positive role in the sites' protection.  

Vaux's Happening has played a significant role in the following accomplishments:

1. The discovery and resulting public awareness of seven roost sites of global significance in Selleck, JBLM, Old Northern State Hospital, McNear Brick in San Francisco, Downtown Los Angeles, and Downtown San Diego.

2. Documenting the importance of the Monroe Wagner roost site to promote the need for its reinforcement rather than demolition.

3. Raising the $100,000 necessary for the Monroe Wagner chimney seismic retrofit.

4. Installation of IP security cameras and microphones in and on the Wagner chimney and a camera in a decommissioned Detroit industrial smokestack for Chimney Swifts.

5. World-wide live streaming of the swift's activity.

6. Production of a one hour DVD SWIFT CHIMNEY ADVENTURES.

7. Monroe's September Return of the Swifts community celebration.

8. Data collection of inside the roost site temperatures at seven different structures which highlight how the masonry sites releases heat to the swifts during the night.

9. "Fixing" the large smokestack at Sedro Woolley's Northern State Hospital, which immediately raised its roosting numbers from barely double digits to thousands, then tens of thousands. 

10. Every evening migration observations at Washington's four major known roost sites, providing evidence that the swifts avoid the large sites on warm evenings.

11. Successfully attaching radio transmitters to seven migrating Vaux’s Swifts and picking up the signals of two five hundred miles away.

11. A Partners in Flight award of Important Bird Areas of Global Significance for the four major known Washington roost sites.

12. Maintaining a quality website.

13. Over eight millions roosting events documented durint the last seventeen migrations displayed in the the website data section.

14. Approximately sixty PowerPoint presentations, including the International Swift Conference in Cambridge, England and the North American Swift Symposium at the North Caroliina Natural History Museum.

15. Vaux's Happening is working with the city of Albany, OR to replace a major roost site that was demolished in June 2016. If proven successful, this could be the prototype for a string of dedicated roost sites constructed along the Pacific Flyway.

Once our species gets up close and personal with another there is a good chance we will learn to care about and have concern for that other species.

The original Goals of Vaux's Happening, 2008.