Vaux Swifts Return to Chapman Elementary School chimney in September
It's almost that time of year when our feathered friends the Vaux's Swifts come back to roost in the chimney of Chapman Elementary School, near Wallace Park at NW 26th Ave. and NW Pettygrove St. Their nightly return is a stunning show that attracts hundreds of spectators every sunset through the month of September. The Swifts' flying maneuvers are dazzling, and the action can take a dramatic turn when a bird of prey arrives on the scene.
With 500 to 3500 visitors each night, this can put some stress on the surrounding neighborhood, so if you come to watch the show, please be considerate of those living nearby: keep noise levels down; leash and pick up after your dog; dispose of trash; and remember that alcoholic beverages and smoking are illegal on public school grounds. If you're coming from outside of the area, remember that parking is very limited (and enforced); consider biking or taking public transportation (TriMet lines 15, 77 and the streetcar stop nearby).
The Vaux's Swifts are one of the unique and amazing sights of Portland. For more information about the Swifts, visit the Portland Audubon Society website. Audubon volunteers will be at the Chapman School most evenings to provide information to the public.