Vaux's swifts migrate through the west coast while on their way to Central and South America every summer.
In Western Oregon, they stop to roost in old hollow snags and chimneys every evening in September. People bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets to watch the spectacle of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of tiny black birds swirling around a chimney until diving in, all the while dodging preying hawks.
But the trees and chimneys favored by the birds are getting harder to find these days, and the birds' numbers are dropping.
People familiar with Vaux's swifts join us for a discussion of the birds' prospects. Guests are Diana Wales from the Umpqua Valley Audubon Society, Larry Schwitters from vauxhappening.org, and Karen Hussey of the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy.