Vaux swifts swoop over the river

April 29, 2010 § 1 Comment

…and hole up for the night in groovy downtown digs.

Creekfreaks! Friday Audubon will be docents for interested viewers of the Vaux Swifts who LA Times reports are hanging out in an abandoned chimney in downtown LA. They feed on insects above the LA River and then make their dramatic descent into the chimney for the night.  Recent articles note that they used to use other chimneys but those have been disappearing from the city.  The chimneys themselves are an urban adaptation for a bird that would normally use the hollows on old growth trees.  This is one of the largest west coast migrations of swifts, so having a rest stop and our humble LA River here is extremely important for the species!  (And readers, does anyone know if this mean that future downtown LA development would have to consider impacts to migratory birds, if a developer wanted to remove a chimney?)

Here’s Audubons’s announcement for the gathering:

On April 30, join the Audubon Center at Debs Park and the Los Angeles Audubon Society in Downtown LA to witness an urban natural phenomenon: A “swoop” of Vaux’s swifts. Stopping by LA on migration from points south, like Guatemala and southern Mexico, to points north like Canada and Alaska, these visiting swifts will roost in an old chimney in Downtown LA for the next few weeks.

This Friday gather with your fellow Angelinos on the top floor of the parking lot at 440 Broadway. Bring a picnic, binoculars, and something to sit on. Best viewing between 6:30 pm and 8:00 pm If driving, please park below the top level of the parking structure, so that there will be safe viewing from the top level (parking costs $3 on weekdays, $6 weekends). From the Red Line, you can access the parking lot from the Pershing Square Station by walking to Fifth and Broadway.

Staff from the Audubon Center at Debs Park will meet interested participants at the Highland Park Gold Line Station at 6:15 pm on April 30. Please bring your TAP card, or purchase a day pass.

More info here:


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§ One Response to Vaux swifts swoop over the river

  • Erica Hooper says:

    This is so way cool! I had the pleasure of meeting Jeff Chapman (Director of Audubon Center) at the Ballona Wetlands event last night and he told me that it’s quite the sight and the perfect opportunity for Angelenos to gather together. Check out the YouTube clip here:

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