A Nation-wide Chimney Swift Roost Monitoring Project


La Crosse, WI

Location: Aquinas High School at corner of Cass St. and 11th St. in La Crosse, WI.
Date: Sept. 13, 2008
Weather: overcast with temperatures in the mid 60's farenheit
Observation time period: from 7:00 p.m. to 7:35 p.m.

Only one chimney swift was seen flying south over the building. No swifts were observed entering the chimney. Since this chimney has had a colony of chimney swifts for the past several years, I am not sure if the birds have been physically excluded from the brick chimney this year or if they already migrated out of the area.

Mary Strasser

Conway, SC

09-14-2008 136+/- CHSW in a residential chimney in Conway, SC 29527. They started entering at 1935 hrs EDT and the last was in at 1951 hrs EDT.

09-15-2008 83+/- at same location, started entering at 1930 hrs, all in at 1947 hrs.

Overall, fall migration is pretty sad on SC's coast this fall.

Gary Phillips

Galena and Delaware, OH

Friday, September 12, 2008, as I did on August 8, I watched the two-story chimney at the Galena United Methodist Church building at 109 Harrison Street in Galena, Delaware County, Ohio. I arrived at 19:15 expecting swifts to turn in early since the sky was completely overcast with a temperature hovering around 76 degrees.

I was not disappointed. The first swift entered the chimney at 19:17. It took eleven more minutes before the tenth bird dropped in for the night. The last of 1970 swifts disappeared at 20:00. One hundred-fifty birds had entered the chimney before sunset.

Saturday, September 13. For this observation, I drove to the west side of Delaware to watch swifts enter a three-story brick chimney at the Carlisle Elementary School, 746 West Central Avenue. The chimney is six bricks square. The sky was mostly clear and temperatures were in the low eighties. Between 19:48 and 20:16, 1130 swifts entered their roost.

Sunday, September 14. This was a wild swift night out. I set up my chair next to the parking lot at Tim Horton's Restaurant to watch the north chimney at the Ohio National Guard Armory, 79 West William Street in Delaware. Central Ohio was experiencing very high winds due to Hurricane Ike's last stand as a remnant tropical storm. There was no rain, no lightning, just wind. When I made this observation, there were 45 mph gusts as announced on the news. I had to chase my hat once. Gusts of 75 mph were recorded earlier in the day. Fast-moving clouds and temperatures in the low eighties set the stage for swifts struggling to enter their roost.

When I arrived on site at 19:11, about fifty swifts were flying among the buildings in the neighborhood, sometimes as low as my head. I think the struggling birds were seeking shelter from direct winds. Swifts made many passes around and over the chimney until they found themselves within range of a landing during, then they needed a temporary lull between blasting wind currents to reach their goal.
Between 19:17 and 19:55, 190 swifts entered the Armory's chimney. My respect for this species grew as I watched their many maneuvers. I think veteran pilots from our own species would have been awed by their display.

Dick Tuttle

Athens, TX

I counted 103 chimney swifts from 8:25-8:40 on 8-8-08. They nest in the brick chimney of our home. Weather was clear & about 80 degrees. We live on Lake Athens, just east of Athens, TX.

Sara Carlson

Lynchburg, VA

Three observations were made in the Lynchburg, VA area. They are:

19 Chimney Swifts observed on September 12, 2008 (time unknown) at 1620 Dogwood Lane, Lynchburg, VA 24503 ( a residence) observed by Norma Jean Rist

1800 Chimney Swifts observed on September 13, 2008 from 7 - 8 PM at Randolph College, 2500 Rivermont Ave, Lynchburg, VA 24503 observed by Rexanne Bruno

10 Chimney Swifts observed on Sep 14, 2008 from 7:30-8:30 PM across the street from 1503 Grace Street, Lynchburg, VA 24504 (I think the location is a commercial building but not sure) observed by Larry Farmer

Rexanne Bruno

Gainesville, FL

A couple of us have found and are monitoring a good sized roost of Chimney Swifts in Gainesville FL. On Friday 9/12/08 we counted 257 between 7:58 and 8:09 Eastern time. It was a clear, still, and muggy night probably around 85 degrees.

The birds enter a tall yet very slender brick chimney on top of a 2-story old brick Church (not sure of name) at the SE corner of NW 5th St and NW 4th Ave.

Very fun to watch. We'll keep tabs on it and give the rest of the data soon, but this was the only count made with in "A Swift Night Out"

Gina Zimmerman

Homer, LA

September 12, 2008 459 Swifts counted Homer High School Homer, LA A good night for counting. Had football game with bright lights, cheers and good band for back ground sounds. (Homer won their game.)
Cloudy and warm

September 13, 2008 Hurricane Ike came our way and would have been rather difficult to count in pouring rain and wind.

September 14, 2008 123 Swifts counted at Mason Lodge Homer, LA Cloudy and warm .

M.E Lewis

Parma, OH

Swift count from Parma, Ohio 44134. Cuyahoga County.
Date: 9/16/08
Time: between 7:47 and 7:55
Count (estimate) 190 swifts
Location: Good Shepherd United Methodist Church on State Rd. and Albertly Avenue
weather: ~65 F and partly cloudy, calm.

Ron Shadrach

Edinburg, TX

Driving through my neighborhood this evening, I witnessed chimney swifts coming in to roost. I have seen and heard them every evening for months and finally have found their roost just one street from my house.

Number counted: approximately 50-75
Time: 7:50 pm, central time zone
Date: September 16, 2008
Description: residential chimney
Weather conditions: mid-70's, partly cloudy, very slight breeze

Veronica G.