Monroe’s Swifts Night Out event is this Saturday

MONROE — On Saturday, Aug. 20, the annual Swifts Night Out event at Frank Wagner Elementary School, 639 W. Main St., returns in-person after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
From 4 p.m. to dusk, anyone with an interest in the spectacle can enjoy an evening on the lawn to watch Vaux’s swift birds descend into their evening chimney roost at the school.
While waiting for the swifts to appear around sunset, there will be children’s activities, vendor booths, and a presentation available in the Wagner Center auditorium.
A swirl of birds diving into Frank Wagner Elementary’s chimney is a sight for people, but the chimney acts as a critical migratory stopover for the swifts More than 20,000 swifts zoom into the chimney on the busiest nights.
They dive into the chimney tailfirst for the night, and exit in the morning to continue their migratory journey.
Vaux’s Swifts roost in hollowed out old growth trees; however, with fewer old growth trees available, they have taken to roosting in man-made chimneys.
The 80-year-old Wagner chimney is seen as one of Washington state’s four most important roosting spots for swifts.
Swifts Night Out is a free community event and the Vaux’s Swift became the official bird of Monroe in 2016.