A Continent-wide Chimney Swift Roost Monitoring Project


Brunswick, ME

I have attached a 2008-09 summary report of Merrymeeting Audubon's survey of swifts in Brunswick Maine. This report will explain why I do not have summary report for Swift Night Out this year.
Gathering data last year has been useful in planning for the timing of the demolition of a chimney at the old Brunswick High School. Because of the data we gathered it was possible for us to delay the demolition of the chimney well past the time when almost all birds had left the chimney last year. During the rest of this year into next year a new school and chimney will arise on the site..

Last year the fall migration of swifts focused on one roosting chimney and five nesting chimneys in the downtown area the center of which is about a mile from the high school. This year on the other hand, early fall migration centered on the high school chimney (the highest number was about 100 on August 1). On August 4 the chimney was demolished in the morning and about 75 swifts were looking for it in the evening, On August 5 it appeared that about 25 swifts roosted on remaining walls but it was not possible to see them actually alight because of restricted access to the site. By August 7 all walls were down and no swifts were seen near the old high school at dusk from that time on.
Meanwhile, in the downtown area last years numbers of up to a dozen were seen all summer. While the highest number in the downtown roosting chimney last year was 121 on August 8 (see last year's Swift Night Out report), the highest number recorded during August this year was about two dozen. None have been seen since August 30.

The weather during the first week of August was fine, seventy degrees F during the day and no appreciable rain.

Current building schedules suggest that we will have a new chimney completed by the first of May 2010 to receive the spring migration. The newsletters and books of the Driftwood Wildlife Association have been extremely helpful in identification of swift behavior, designing a new chimney, and timing the replacement of the old chimney. We hope to have more information next year about how the local response to fundraising for this effort has enabled development of an important educational resource in the Brunswick community.

Thanks again for all the help you have provided.

Chimney Swifts entering the old high school chimney
Brunswick, Maine


May 5 5
May 7 16
May 8 30
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 >210
May 24  >200
May 25 ~200
May 26 ~180
May 27 ~165
May 29 ~120
June 5 ~140
June 7 ~105
June 9 ~75
June 11 ~65
June 13 ~70
June 15 ~50
June 18 ~55
June 24 ~55
July 14 ~60
August 2 0
August 5 1
August 11 3
August 25 0

Including Downtown Chimneys
In August

May 8 20
May 11 ~140
May 13 ~90
May 18 ~100
May 20 ~100
May 21 ~120
May 23 ~125
May 25 ~125
May 26 ~160
May 29 ~400
May 30 ~330
June 3 ~150
June 4 ~90
June 6 ~75
June 8 ~90
June 15 ~55
June 24 ~45
July 10 ~45
July 23 ~50
July 27 ~55
August 1 ~100
August 4  AM chimney demolished
August 4 ~75 place of roosting unknown
August 5 ~25 ? swifts roost on standing wall
August 7 walls no longer standing, no swifts
August 13 starting  May 8, 6-10 swifts have flown in downtown Brunswick which is about a mile from the high school.  Occupied chimneys include 1 roosting (during migration) and 5 nesting chimneys.
August 17 ~12 flying, 9 seen roosting
August 22 ~20 flying, 1 seen  roosting
August 25 8 flying, 4 seen roosting
August 26 ~ 10 and 2 seen roosting
August 27 ~12 flying
August 28 8 flying
August 30 4 flying: the last date seen

Ted Allen

Garland, TX

I missed the Labor Day weekend, but counted tonight, 9/8. We had 6 Swifts enter our residential chimney, 1 more than in August. One other flew in then right out, as if entering the wrong roost. I saw at least 20 in the sky so there are other roosts in our neighborhood. The time was 7:45-8:00 pm, weather clear, almost hot at 90 degrees.

Sandra Gail Dyess

Chagrin Falls, OH

The following is our swift report after "Swift Night Out" program for Cleveland Metroparks/Look About Lodge
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio The Federated Church
76 Bell Street
Chagrin Falls, OH 44022
Date: Sunday, September 6, 2009
Time: 7:30 - 8:15 pm
Weather: Clear with the temperature in the upper 60's, low 70's
We had a total of 16 people observing which would include Barb Holtz, Look About Lodge Manager/Naturalist and myself, Denise Costanzo. At 7:45pm we had a handful of swifts, maybe 50 - 100 in the area of the chimney. As time went on, they seemed to come out of no where. They started going into the chimney in large numbers shortly after 8:00pm. One of the participants was counting and we estimated there were approximately 375 swifts. During the count, we also observed three night hawks nearby.

Denise Costanzo