A Continent-wide Chimney Swift Roost Monitoring Project


Baltimore, MD

Here are our counts for Baltimore--all are eastern daylight time. We are observing next Sunday and I'll report our finding then also.   
September 7, 2007 (75 degrees, clear, breezy)
Downtown Baltimore, National Guard Armoury
First in: 7:15pm
Last in: 7:35pm
Count: 60
September 8th, 2007 (80 degrees, clear, breezy)
Hampden, Bookbindery chimney, commercial
First in: 7:21pm
Last in: 7:53pm
Count: 940
Druid Hill Park, Conservatory chimney
First in: 7:20pm
Last in: 7:46pm
Count: 313
September 9th, 2007 (80 degrees, no breeze, gray clouds gathering)
Hampden, Bookbindery chimney, commercial
First in: 7:15pm
Last in: 7:55pm
Count: 846
Hampden, Mill Center chimney, commercial
First in: 7:15pm
Last in: 7:45pm
Count: ~660
Note; Although over 830 went in, large numbers--estimate 20%--kept coming back out the chimney--did they change to Bookbindery chimney? Bookbindery and Mill Center chimneys about 1/2 block apart.
Druid Hill Park, Conservatory chimney
First in: 7:10pm
Last in: 7:48pm
Count: 150
Note: Estimate there were 250 in air at one time, then a Kestral flew by twice scattering swifts. Also viewed about 6 nighthawks.  Joan Cwi


Last night-Sunday, Sept 9, 2007, I started watching chimney on Church/School next door to us at 7;00 pm. It was a very overcast evening. First swift entered at 7:20 pm and last one at 7:40 pm. The total I counted was 191 swifts. This was more than the Aug count-how is that possible? They are awesome little creatures that we have enjoyed watching for years. Take Care--Jeannie Draves

Dowagiac, MI

Number of swifts counted - 520
Time (and time zone) between 7:40-8:16pm EDT
Date 9/8/07
Location -- Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital
Address: city, state/province 420 W High St, Dowagiac MI 49047, USA
Broad description of the site, e.g. school, warehouse, residence, Chimney Swift Tower, etc. -- Hospital - brick chimney, approx 60 ft tall, 10 ft wide.
Weather conditions may also be reported. Rain and humid.
Evelyn Kirkwood, CIT, CIM, CIG  /  Director, St. Joseph County Parks

Oldenburg, IN

Number of swifts counted: 2300
Time (and time zone): 7:30pm EDST
Date: 9-9-2007
Location: St. Francis Convent and Retirement Home (see link below)
Address: Oldenburg, IN 47036
Broad description of the site: 2 very tall chimneys located at the center of the convent.
There are many old style chimneys in Oldenburg and swifts can be seen all season long flying over the town.
Weather conditions may also be reported: Warm, humid, lots of bugs after the rains of a day earlier. With cooler weather coming soon many species of migratory birds were out and about. Nighthawks were also flying over our farm with our summer guests the Chimney Swifts in abundance. The recent rain caused a massive outflow of hatched mayflies for the birds to dine on and build up reserves for their migration.

Georgeanne Wilcox

Front Royal, VA

Hello Driftwood Wildlife Association:
We did our survey of Chimney Swifts in Front Royal, VA, starting August 11, 2007, and ending on September 7. Front Royal is a small town of some 15,000 people located at the north end of Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive, approximately 70 miles west of Washington, DC, in the Eastern time zone.

Since we knew nothing about swift behavior and had no idea where they might be gathering in Front Royal, we started exploring early in the evening on August 11. We drove all over town and thought we had a sure thing when we found perhaps 40-50 swifts flying around a church located on a treeless hill. The swifts were chittering and sometimes diving close to the church chimney. However, as dusk approached, they disappeared. We drove around town to places that had old chimneys and had given up when, as we started to drive out of town, we found them. That night we saw approximately 280 going into a small chimney described below as Site #1. We continued to look for sites over the next few weeks and ultimately found swifts at four buildings (of course, there may be more). Following are reports of what we counted from August 11 through September 7 at those four buildings. We only counted swifts as they dove into the chimneys during the times listed, and we have included data for other dates in addition to the two weekends you asked to have reported.

#1 Old Town Business Center, 11 Water Street - a one-story brick building with a relatively small chimney at the back corner next to a parking lot in a quiet commercial area.
8/11/07, 8:38-8:45 pm, 280 swifts (clear evening, low humidity, Sunset 8:12 pm)
8/14/07, 8:25-8:35 pm, 310 swifts (clear evening, low humidity, mid-70's, Sunset 8:10 pm)
8/28/07, 8:05-8:22 pm, 452 swifts (clear evening, low humidity, Sunset 7:50 pm)
9/2/07, 8:04-8:15 pm, 106 swifts (clear evening, low humidity, low 70's, Sunset 7:43 pm)
9/6/07, 7:45-8:00 pm, we saw approximately 25-30 at any one time flying around, but eventually they all disappeared and none went in the chimney. We don't know where they went.
(hot, hazy, humid evening, low 80's, Sunset 7:36 pm)
#2 Old Front Royal High School, 240 Luray Avenue - old, large brick building set on a hill with a very large, octagonal brick chimney towering into the sky.
8/16/07, 8:04-8:15 pm, 160 swifts (clear, humid, about 80 degrees, Sunset 8:07 pm)
9/6/07, checked site but there were no swifts
9/7/07, checked site but there were no swifts
#3 Old House with two chimneys, 227 South Royal Avenue - a brick house on a heavily traveled two-lane old main street in town.
8/17/07, 8:20-8:30 pm, 48 swifts (warm, clear, 80's, Sunset 8:06 pm)
8/29/07, 8:08 pm, saw only one but we may have been late (hazy, 70's, Sunset 7:49 pm)
9/7/07, 7:50-8:00 pm, 29 swifts in both chimneys, but we may have missed earlier ones (warm, clear, Sunset 7:35 pm)
#4 Large Old House, 35 North Royal Avenue - a very large brick house on a heavily traveled two-lane old main street in town
8/19/07, 8:12-8:22 pm, 15 swifts (cloudy, dark early, warm, Sunset 8:03 pm)
Since we could not be everywhere at once we focused on the sites with the most swifts. Of course, we have no idea whether the swifts at Site #2 shifted over to Site #1 or whether there were any other shifts. We hope to recruit more counters next year.  Sandra and Peter Wilson

Pella, IA

  • Number of swifts counted: ~450
  • Time: (and time zone) 07:45 pm, Central time zone
  • Date: 9-7-07
  • Location: Pella Community Center
  • Address: city, state/province 712 Union St., Pella, IA 50219
  • Broad description of the site, e.g. school, warehouse, residence, Chimney Swift Tower, etc. : large brick chimney in old school (now community center)
  • Weather conditions may also be reported.: clear, calm, and 72 degrees Fahrenheit

Bruce Ehresman