A Continent-wide Chimney Swift Roost Monitoring Project


Galena, OH

Three evenings of great weather and huge flocks of Chimney Swifts dazzled veteran and new swift-watchers alike as hundreds of swifts entered their roosting site to leave no doubt that their fall migration to eastern Peru and the Amazon Basin has begun. The free, after-supper entertainment took place above a large, two-story brick chimney, that measures 78 by 48 inches and stands at the northwestern corner of the United Methodist Church in the small village of Galena in eastern Delaware County, Ohio. Swift-watchers stood in a large parking lot at the Big Walnut Schools Administration Building and looked north to see swifts circling to descend into their roost for the night. The chattering birds had been hunting flying insects from above the wooded Big and Little Walnut Creeks that flank the small village to create Hoover Reservoir, another great source of sustenance for birds seeking flying prey. Swift-watchers were alerted to the Swift Night Out activity through a post in Frank Germann's blog, www.osprey.rabbitquick.com, and an article in the Delaware Gazette. Good communication made good times possible. Here are the statistics for three observations:

Friday, 10 August 2007.
84 degrees F. with clear skies.
1600 swifts entered the chimney between 20:25 - 21:03.
Twelve swift-watchers were in attendance.

Saturday, 11 August 2007.
78 degrees F. with clear skies.
1860 swifts entered the chimney between 20:14 - 21:04.
Seven swift-watchers enjoyed the show.

Sunday, 12 August 2007.
82 degrees F. with some clouds.
1890 swifts entered the chimney between 19:58 - 21:02.
Twenty swift-watchers enjoyed the birds, and like the previous two evenings, everyone enjoyed the company of fellow swift-watchers.

I will report my observations as I visit other chimneys in Delaware County until the swift migration concludes sometime after the first week in October. The next A Swift Night Out promoted by the Driftwood Wildlife Association of Austin, Texas is scheduled for September 14, 15, 16. Check with their website
at www.chimneyswifts.org for information, updates and reports from across North America, and check with Frank's blog for local announcements and sightings.  Swift on, Dick Tuttle

Holland, MI

This August the Swifts have , so far, abandoned the roosting site they have used all last year - at 5 E. 8th St.  40-50 birds came at dusk, examined the site and then flew off.On Aug. 11, they were discovered at a warehouse at the corner of 13th St. and Van Raalte Ave. in Holland. I will continue to watch both locations.  Here is the count on SNO this August:

8/10 40-50 flying, didn't roost 5 E. 8th St.  80', 4'sq. brick on Apt. bldg.

8/11 345 9:00-9:12 pm Cor. 13th @ VanRaalte  70', 3'sq. brick on Warehouse

8/12 360 9:00-9:19 Ditto

These numbers compare favorably with the 2008 SNO stats.  Dave Benedict

Muscatine, IA

Number of swifts: estimated 60 to 70
Time (and time zone) 08:25 to dark CST Date Aug 11, 2007
Location: Hershey Ave
Address: city, state/province
Broad description of the site, e.g. school, warehouse, residence, Chimney Swift Tower, etc: Brick apartment house on south side of town.
Weather conditions may also be reported. Clear / Hot

St. Adolphe, MB, Canada

The following information is for your Swift Night Out census:
* 3 Chimney Swifts roosted
* Sunday, August 12, 2007
* 8:24 - 9:24 PM; sunset at 8:56 CST
* Club Amical
* 344 Main St.,
* 2 story clapboard building with 2 old brick chimneys; built 1914; used as Municipal Office then as a social club/nursery school; estimated as 4000 to 6000 sq. ft. * 85% cloud cover; 22 C; wind = 1 on the Beaufort Scale

There are 2 chimneys at this location, both totally sealed at the bottom for 21 years, that have been used by Swifts. In the spring, the maximum number of birds roosting in the North chimney was 5. Then a pair nested successfully in the chimney; only two attending adults were roosting at this time. When the young fledged two weeks ago, the North chimney was never occupied again as a roost. All the current roosting birds are using the South chimney which is about 20' due south of the North chimney. The family
group numbered 5 Swifts at the time of fledging. We haven't been able to account for all the roosting birds in the St. Adolphe airspace at this time. I think that Mike Quigley has contacted you about our dilemma.

One residential chimney, where a nest is underway, is being monitored by the home owners. Two Swifts continue to roost at the local Parish church (which is a block north of Club Amical) - this is likely a failed nest attempt because 2 adult Swifts went down the chimney and into the church, where they were trapped for about 4-5 days. Father Michaud released the birds when they finally clung onto a chair back with fatigue. Unfortunately, these sites could not be monitored simultaneously for this census. We'll try for Sept.

Best of luck on this terrific initiative, Barb Stewart

Skaneateles, NY

Number: 103
Time/Zone: 8:15 to 8:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Saving
Date: August 11, 2007
Location: Skaneateles, New York
Site Description: Square brick chimney on top of the H. Palmer Simmons Electrical Substation. (Chimney approx. 80' tall.) Substation is across the street from Skaneateles Lake and adjacent to a sizable outlet creek, which runs under the road. Because Skaneateles is a Finger Lakes well-known tourist attraction, considerable pedestrian and vehicular activity surrounds the site.
Weather: Clear, warm.

Emlenton, PA

Location: Crawford Building, Venango Co. 16373
Number counted: 650
Date: August 12, 2007
Time: 8:00-9:00 EST - 99% entered the chimney between 8:47 and 8:58
Weather: Overcast
Observers: Gary Edwards, Jim Wilson

Ft. Walton Beach, FL

We are excited to report our count for Swift Night Out, Aug 07!  We counted all 3 nights (20, 24, 20) but to simplify, we will report only one of the nights.

Saturday, Aug. 11-- 24 chimney swifts came to roost!
Residential chimney
Between 7:35 and 8pm CDT
It was about 85 degrees and clearing, after a pop-up thunderstorm.

We are also happy to report that a family of chimney swift babies were raised in our chimney once again this summer.

Robin and Bob Horne