Larry Schwitters, a Vaux’s Swift expert, will offer his insights about the small bat-like birds at an educational talk set for 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 18, at the Dungeness River Nature Center, 1943 W. Hendrickson Road.
Vaux’s Swifts are amazing aerial acrobats that eat mosquitoes and other insects in flight, event organziers say. These aerial insectivores spend most of their time flying and clinging to surfaces, similar to bats. Their population was much larger, but they don’t have as many insects to eat and old-growth dead standing trees for roosting and breeding.
Admission to the presentation is free; the center suggests a donation of $5 per person to support ongoing education programs.
Schwitters will share photographs and speak about Vaux’s Swifts and Audubon’s Vaux’s Happening Project which began in 2007. Studying swifts for several decades, he was instrumental in saving a chimney that is one of only two well-known big-number Vaux’s Swift roost sites in Washington state.
The chimney he helped save, now recognized as a “Partners in Flight Important Bird Area of Global Significance,” quickly expanded into an attempt to locate, raise awareness of, and hopefully preserve the important roost sites used by this species all along their migratory path.
The project has now documented more than 200 roosting sites from the Yukon to Guatemala used by more than 20 million swifts in the last 30 migrations.
For more infomration about Vaux’s Swifts, visit vauxhappening.org or tinyurl.com/SEQvaux.