A Continent-wide Chimney Swift Roost Monitoring Project


Owen Sound, ON

I believe I spotted a Chimney Swift flock recently. It was on August 21st at aproxamitley eight twenty in the evening. The chimney is located at the Old Court House in the twelve hundred block of third avenue east in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada. Owen Sound is located at the south end of Georgian Bay which is part of Lake Huron. There were somewhere between twenty and thirty birds circulating around the chimney. The weather was overcast and somewhat cool for this time of the year. I first thought they were swallows but when they started flying down the chimney I figured it out.  Peter Shaw

Hutchinson, MN

We have had swifts living in our chimney all summer long for the 15 years we have lived here, usually a group of 6-8, and they nest and fledge young here, too. Each late summer it becomes a stopover site (my wife calls it a Swift Motel 6) where as many as 200 migrating swifts spend the night for a week or more (I assume they are not the same 200 each night.

So, on Aug. 10, 2007, we had 55 Chimney Swifts overnite at our residential chimney around 8:30 pm CDT.
This is at our Home at 415 Hassan St. Hutchinson, MN 55350 (we live basically in the center of this town of about 14,000), which is about 1 hour west of Minneapolis, MN. That evening was a warm summer nite, probably around 80 degrees, clear skies.   Pete Hoeger

Oxford, CT

My sister gave me this sight because I was telling her about these wonderful birds that I have been watching for 2 summers now. My last siting was July 20th, 2007. On a clear, warm evening around 7:30 I observed groups and groups of birds (I thought were bats) possibly hundreds in all, swarming around the chimney of our elementary school. Then suddenly dropping or diving down into the chimney. This went on for 30 to 40 minutes. I was amazed. Center school is an old brick building located on Route 67 aka Old State Rd. in Oxford, Ct. 06478. I hope this is helpful to you.   Lisa

Galena, KS

393 Chimney Swift
20:15 to 20:35
Aug. 27, 2007
Liberty Elem. School (extreme se corner of KS)
624 E. 8th, Galena KS (Cherokee County)
stone and brick chimney
80 F. and clear sky, full moon.
Observers: Linda Phipps, Lawrence Herbert, Mark H.

Naperville, IL

  • Number of swifts counted at least 100, likely more
  • Time (and time zone) 0800 CDT
  • Date 8/28/2007
  • Location Elmwood School
  • Address: city, state/province 1024 Magnolia Ln, Naperville, IL 60540
  • Broad description of the site, e.g. school, warehouse, residence, Chimney Swift Tower, etc.
  • Elementary School unused chimney about 50 feet tall old incinerator
  • Weather conditions may also be reported. clear and sunny

I noticed this last year and took a good count this time, this is clearly a big community nest. As a chimney sweep we have been seeing more each year.

Westerville, OH

Here is a late report. All through August, we have seen 15 to 20 Swifts about every night from our yard. We have a tower with 5 or 6 Swifts. It is hard to count, but I think we had at least 3 fledglings.   The Kings

Garfield Heights, OH

I hosted a "Swift Night Out" program subtitled "Meet the Flockers" for my park district. Here is my info:
No. of swifts: 70 counted going into the chimneys
Time and Time Zone: 8:20pm EST
Date: August 31st, 2007
Location: St. John's Lutheran Church
Address: 11333 Granger Road; Garfield Heights, OH 44125
Broad description of site: Church and parking lot; focal points were the 2 chimneys sitting right next to each other. St. John's was next door to an elementary school that also housed a chimney; no swifts were observed going into that one.
Weather: Clear; slightly cool HI 60s/LOW 70s
Special Note: I've been using this site (suggested by my Chief Naturalist, Dr. Bob Hinkle) since 2004, and this year had the best showing of swifts. The show they put on was a site to see! Also, at Garfield Park Reservation (beginning location of program), we counted about 30 swifts flying around. None occupied the swift tower that's located there. So all in all, swift total count is 100.

Traci Williams - Naturalist, North Chagrin Nature Center

Bellaire, TX

Our core group of 5 people counted 535 chimney swifts this past Tuesday at Whole Foods on Bellaire. The swifts entered the ventilation shaft from 7:45 to 8:30 pm. During this time there was a light rain fall. We were surprised to see so many swifts out in the rain. For a short period approximately 50 purple martins joined the swifts circling the ventilation shaft. (There are still purple martins at Sharpstown Mall.)

Counting was difficult this past week. Many swifts swooped down in front of the chimney as others entered the chimney, making it difficult to determine the number actually entering to roost. We moved to different spot in the parking lot to see the chimney at a better angle. The overall impression was that there were more swifts last week than previous weeks.

This week is Swift Night Out. Join us Tuesday, Sept. 4th, 7pm at Pershing Middle School for a special Swift Awareness Event! This event is co-sponsored by the Nature Discovery Center, the Houston Audubon Society and Whole Foods Market.

Mary Anne Weber, of the Houston Audubon Society, will give a short talk about Chimney Swifts at Pershing in the parking lot on the northwest side of the new school starting at 7pm. The entrance for this lot is off of Stella Link just south of Bellefontaine.

Then we will walk over to the nearby Whole Foods Market site to count Chimney Swifts as they enter the ventilation chimney in the SW Bell building just off the southwest end of the Whole Foods parking lot. If for any reason you will be arriving after 7:20 pm or so you should go directly to the Whole Foods parking lot on Bellaire Blvd near Wesleyan.  Pam Smolen

Oswego, NY

Every night at 7:45 to 8:00 we watch what we think are chimney swifts, go into a chimney of a vacant church on the corner of east 4th and rt 104. At first we thought they were bats but after watching them night after night and talking to many people we have found out about chimney swifts. It is quite a sight and thought you might like to know. thanks Kathy Frey

This has been a fun project as it is the first time the swifts have used our old abandon boiler chimney as a roosting site. They first arrived on the 8th of August and we have gone up to the roof on many occasions to watch them come to roost. It's quite an experience to be so close to them and yet far enough for letting them do their thing. Last night at 1950 -2015 we counted only four swifts going down the chimney but many more were circling and then flew to the south. However there were quite a few bats flying around at the same time. We'll check again tonight to see if it was our possible presence that dissuaded them from all coming back. Thank you for your work.
  • Number of swifts counted Approx. 200 - 250
  • Time (and time zone) : First event 2000-2045 EDT
  • Date: August 8th 2007
  • Location: Longchamps Condominium Roof circa 1925
  • Address: city, state/province: 185 Macon Avenue
  • Asheville, NC 28804
  • Broad description of the site, e.g. school, warehouse, residence, Chimney Swift Tower, etc.: Longchamps Condominium Roof circa 1925. The building abuts a hillside and is covered in oaks and maples.
  • Weather conditions may also be reported. Clear to widely scattered clouds. Temperature from 75 - 80 degrees F.
Darr Conradson