Action at Old Northern State

Keith Wiggers just put up his very nicely done YouTube of the action at Old Northern State.  Check it out:

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Live Stream is up

We are back live streaming and its funny how much noise 111 swifts (current count as of 5/29) can make.

If our links here don’t seem to work, try, and pick the “Vaux’s Swift” link on the right panel.

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Dr Swift is workin’ on that live feed

Dr Swift went up on the Wagner roof yesterday and drove down to Olympia to get our new inside chimney cam.    He goes up on the Wag roof again today and if we are really lucky we will be live streaming with Infrared (so we can see inside where it’s dark) before the week is over.

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And now we’re rollin…

Volunteer counters Cline and Carr counted 2,870 Vauxys at Frank Wagner last night.  Here’s what they had to say in their observation report:


Thanks you guys for your help here!

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They have arrived!

Great news!  Cindy Easterson welcomed 618 Vaux’s Swifts to our retrofitted, crow proofed, live streaming, five star accommodations at Frank Wagner.  Not that anyone for one moment was ever doubting their return, but it’s great to see them.

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Swift migration has started

The Vaux’s Swifts are on the way!   We have had sightings in California already, and into Oregon…and the first swift was counted going into the chimney at Frank Wagner Elementary School in Monroe on Wednesday evening,  April 18! We hope this single swift has more company very soon.  Welcome back!

Calling all counters (and wannabe counters)!

The intrepid counters at Frank Wagner started their spring migration count on Sunday, April 15th.  If you can help out, please contact us at

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Happy 2012!

Spring seems to be around the corner..  the temperatures are warming up here in Western Washington..  the Flickers are starting to drum..  and soon the Voxies will be back in town.  Stay tuned!

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BTN – Of course we did

Hey, we’re a part of the Audubon family – so OF COURSE we were BirdingtheNet!

We even built some bird nests – but have taken them down now, as the game is over.   Hope you all had fun!

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Big Counts Elsewhere in WA

We’ve been seeing some big numbers of swifts at some other sites here in WA – namely Old Northern State Hospital and Joint Base Lewis-McChord.  Check out those counts here.

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Life of a Swift Counter…

See below for an account of counting the swifts at the defunct chimney stack at the Old Northern State Hospital grounds in Sedro-Woolley.  Gives you a sense of how dramatic the swift roosting experience can be…

  • Tonight (9/27) was both one of the most boring, and, the most exciting at the stack.  I started at 5:05 pm.  Fewer than 20 swifts entered the stack by 6:55 pm (i.e., almost 2 hours later!), although many were swirling around and making false passes at the stack the whole time.  Then in the next 8 minutes at least 6,150 went in.  They were going too fast to count very well.  No hesitation, no breaks, just a solid “tube” of birds.  Then a Merlin kept the remaining group high for three minutes, and grabbed a swift at 7:06.  It took the swifts three minutes after that to come back down to the stack, and they wasted NO time getting in.  They mostly went in in rapid “clumps” of 1-200, until the last 3,200 went in in less than 4 minutes!
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