A Nation-wide Chimney Swift Roost Monitoring Project


Brunswick, ME

In addition to the report on Swift Night Out below, I have attached a summary report of Merrymeeting Audubon's summer survey of swifts in Brunswick Maine. The survey was done in preparation for rebuilding a chimney at the site of a former High School which will be demolished and replaced by an Elementary School during the next couple of years. That chimney is about 60 feet high with an external measurement of 5 feet square. It is built into the west wall of the school. Your books and newsletters have been very helpful in thinking out the type of chimney we should build to replace it.
Note that the numbers of swifts which roosted in that building throughout the months of May, June, and July dropped to ~2-4 during August. What do you think of my conjecture that those remaining in the roost were the nesting birds (and young?)? Most roosting was downtown in August about half a mile (as the swift flies) from the High School. All swifts left Brunswick by August 28 and have not been seen by any of our group since (every night I am in my back yard over which they fly).

September 6
Number of swifts counted

Time (and time zone)
7:45 - 8:15 EDT
August 8, 2008 Location
downtown in a town of `20,000 people Address: city, state/province
137 Maine Street, Brunswick, Maine Broad description of the site, e.g. school, warehouse, residence, Chimney Swift Tower, etc.
Bank is in a small parking lot. Chimney is at the back of the building at the edge of the lot. A row of 40 foot-tall trees edges the lot. The chimney extends about 6 feet above the roof and stands about 30 feet tall. Weather conditions may also be reported.
weather was fine - clear and 70 F.

Chimney Swifts in Brunswick, Maine - Summer 2008

Approximate Numbers Entering Chimneys (Roosting (R)) or Flying (Feeding (F))
Note:  On most evenings more were flying in the vicinity than were actually seen entering the chimney.  During May, June, and July about a dozen swifts were flying over downtown (see roosting information below).

High School Notes Downtown Notes
May 5 5
May 7 16
May 8 30
May 9   5 First seen F over Maine St
May 10 15
May 15 47
May 16 25
May 17 34
May 18 11
May 19 11
May 20 150
May 21 250
May 22 207
May 24 200
May 25 200
May 26 180
May 27 165
May 29 120
June 5 140
June 7 105
June 9 76
June 10   2 R in Bank 1 Chimney,+6 F
June 11 63
June 13 71
June 15 49
June 18 55
June 21   1 R in Bank 1 Chimney, +5 F
June 24 54

July 14 60
August 2 0 Weather was fine
August 3   72 R in Bank 2 Chimney
August 4    63 R Bank 2
1 R Bank 1
August 5 1  80 R Bank 2
August 8   121 R Bank 2
August 9   66 R Bank 2
August 10   34 R Bank 2
August 11 3
August 16   0 Bank 2
   3 House Chimney 1
August 19   7 House Chimney 1
August 20   2 House Chimney 1
August 21   10 F over Maine Street
August 22   0 F
August 23   2 F over Maine Street
August 25 0 + 1 F
August 26   0 Note 1 below

Note 1  During the month of August few or no Swifts were roosting at the High School chimney.  All major sightings of feeding Swifts for August occurred in an approximately 20 block downtown area.  After August 16 the roosting sites of most of the dozen or so birds is not known, and  two chimneys were regularly used: Bank 1 and House Chimney 1 (House Chimney 1 may have been used over a longer period of time.)  No birds roosted in Bank 2 after August 16.

Ted Allen

Shorewood, WI

Number of swifts counted: 185
Time (and time zone): 7:25 PM, central
Date: Sunday, September 7, 2008
Address: city, state/province: Corner of Maryland and Capitol in
Shorewood, Wisconsin
Broad description of the site, e.g. school, warehouse, residence,
Chimney Swift Tower, etc.:
- School - Inactive incinerator on St Robert's school
Weather conditions may also be reported.
- clear, calm, about 68 degrees Fahrenheit

There were about nine of us including a children's book author who is writing a non-fiction book about chimney swifts. 

Paul Hunter

Moscow, ID

We have had roosting (and nesting) Vaux's Swifts in two commercial chimneys in downtown Moscow, Idaho 83843.
Our swift numbers have jumped from ~150 to 455 from June to September. Nights are becoming quite cool and dark around 7:30 now. So they should be leaving soon.

Terry Gray, the President of the local Palouse Audubon Society, has been reporting these numbers in Ebird.
Next Fall we hope to advertise in the newspaper and our local societal newsletter our 'Evening with the Swifts: Vaux's Happening?' events. We hope to educate the locals about these and other special little birds in the area. We plan to meet at the known chimney roosts and then walk over to our meeting hall for a presentation on the swifts.

Thanks so much for promoting these little guys. I moved here from Baton Rouge, LA where we had 4-6 Vaux's show up in the late summer, but I miss the cute Chimney Swifts!

Sarah de la Rue

Whitefish Bay, WI

Number of Swifts counted: 290
Time: 1st Swift entered at 7:10pm; last at 7:32pm
Date: September 7, 2008
Location: 334 E. Silver Spring Dr. Whitefish Bay, WI 53217
Site: Fox Bay Theater Building
Weather: clear and mild

Judith Huf