A Continent-wide Chimney Swift Roost Monitoring Project


Houston, TX

This is the last few weeks of chimney swifts this year! They will be gone by the end of October.

On Tuesday evening, 9/29, we counted 24 at Pershing, 27 at Whole Foods, and 105 at Russ Pitman Park.

It is amazing that Russ Pitman Park has had so many swifts the last several weeks! One night last week they had 140 swifts! It is fun to watch the swifts at Russ Pitman. The tower was built by Boy Scouts and is abut 14 ft tall. The swifts swoop down over your head as they enter the tower. You can get a very close look at the swifts. The swifts enter this tower earlier than some of the other towers. It is darker due to the tree cover. So arrive about 7 pm.

On Wednesday evening there were 111 swifts at St Paul's. I almost thought there would not be any swifts - they arrived at the chimney right at dark.

I went to the sugar mill on Friday evening, 10/2. I counted just under 2000 swifts. The numbers are slightly less than they had been, but it is still a spectacular sight!

Sunset is about 7:00 pm Tuesday evening. If you would like to watch the swifts this week it will be about 7:00 - 7:10 pm when we meet. Note, details for all these sites is at www.houstonaudubon.org.

Pam Smolen

Dayton, TX

Two folks counted 178 chimney swifts tonight as they went to roost in theold rice dryer in Dayton. We wonder if they may be gone with the front that is suppose to pass through here tomorrow night? Again tonight only 1 went in hole #1, 4 went in hole #2 and 173 went in hole #3. Last fall the last Thursday we had swifts to count was Oct. 16.

Barbara Tilton
Lower Trinity Valley Bird Club
Liberty County

Elkhart, IN

October 8, 2009
6:15 pm EDT
Sundown was about 7:15 pm
about 60, overcast, sprinkling rain
many, hundreds, possibly 500 swifts circling the church on the southwest corner of South Main and Indiana Avenue.
Way past time for resident swifts, we think these were migrating birds.
There had not been any swifts seen in the usual places for several weeks.
This was a surprise for us. We could not wait to count or find where they were roosting.

Doris Stickel and David Stokely

Holt, MO

We had been having 60, 80 and 100 Swifts at night, the just 3 when it got real cold. Last night, I couldn't believe my eyes! At almost dark, there were 60, 80 or MORE Swifts going into the west tower! We thought they had started to migrate, but here they were in force!
It is 32 degrees at 6:45 am and I have the cam on to see if they are ok in the tower. There's a frost warning too. Can you believe this??
It must be migrating Swifts that came in last night. It was in the 20's during the night. unbelievable.

Joyce Rosson

Houston, TX

This is the last week or two for chimney swifts this year! This next week will be interesting after Friday's cold front.

On Tuesday, 10/6, we counted 17 at Pershing, 15 at Whole Foods, and 125 at Russ Pitman. Russ Pitman continues to have a lot of swifts!

On Wednesday, 10/7, I counted 117 at St Paul's.

Mary Ann and I went to Sugar Land on Friday. It was cloudy, rainy, windy, and cold! The swifts were already going in when we arrived at 6:40 pm. We counted 217, but we have no idea of the true total.

This past week the swifts entered about 7:10 pm on clear nights with sunset about 7 pm. This week we will meet about 6:50 pm - earlier if it is cloudy. Details on locations can be found at www.houstonaudubon.org.

If you are thinking of joining us, Russ Pitman Park on Newcastle is the best choice right now. Since the tower is about 14 ft tall the swifts swoop over your head. Great views without binoculars!

Pam Smolen

Holland, MI

The last day of roosting at Holland, MI was 10/08/09.
First and last days for the last seven years are as follows:
Year First Last
2003 10/13
2004 9/11
2005 5/5 9/13
2006 5/4 10/09
2007 5/3 9/23
2008 4/28 10/15
2009 4/29 10/07

Dave Benedict

Highland Village, TX

About 5:30 tonight I counted at least 25 Chimney Swifts over the parking lot near White Rock Lake @ Abrams and Mockingbird in Dallas, Dallas County.


Savannah, GA

Oct. 13, 2009
Surprised again this evening to see swifts calling and circling high above the neighborhood. Saw roughly 30 to 40 flying grouped more closely, flying much lower and more directionally before dark. I don't know where they eventually roosted. Just thought that the date of the sighting would be of interest.

Peter Schreck

West Milton, OH

I hope it is not too late to share information collected from Swift Night Out in August and September.
August 9th at 8:30 pm 242 Chimney Swifts were counted entering a school chimney located in West Milton, OH. Conditions of that evening were very humid with temps around 81 degrees F.

September 13th at 8:00 pm 484 Chimney Swifts were counted at the same location. The conditions of that evening were cool and clear with temps around 73 degrees F.

Our staff always enjoys the time of year when Swift Night Out comes around.

I greatly appreciate all of the information you have been able to provide me and my organization and licensed wildlife rehabilitators.

Becky Crow
Curator of Wildlife
Brukner Nature Center