A Continent-wide Chimney Swift Roost Monitoring Project


Monroe, NC

9 swifts residence, Monroe, NC 7:40-8:00 9/10/10 clear night with low humidity about 78 degrees
(certainly less than in August)


Elkhart, IA

September 10, 2010
7:45 pm to 8:35 pm EDT
Sundown was 8:01 pm
65, clear and dry. Night time temps had been in the upper 40s.
369 swifts going into the old Strauss pie factory chimney
A fine evening for counting swifts. The evening star Venus was bright in the west close to a one or two day old thin crescent moon. What a pair! They'll be closer tomorrow.

Doris Stickel and David Stokely

Blue Island, IL

Location - Commercial site

Approx. No. 400+
Weather - cool, clear 65-70 degrees
We watch the swifts return to the same chimney each year for the past 10+ years and marvel as they appear to "drop in" during the evening.

Do they return to the same chimney each year - like salmon?  (Ed: 
Typically, yes)

In the evening we can almost set our watch to when they will return to the chimney site.
Also sometimes when they leave the roost on an overcast or rainy morning they return shortly back to the chimney -- is this due to weather?  (Ed: 
When they leave early and return, it is usually an indication of a lack of insect prey related to the weather.)

Fascinating flyers and a delight to watch!

Ron Bloom

Thanks so much for shepherding this project, we're excited to be a
part of it. My neighbors are birders and alerted us three years ago
when we moved into our house that we had chimney swifts roosting
there. So, last night we had a small swift counting party! Here's
our data:

Granville, OH

35 entered the chimney
between 8 and 8:15 pm
315 E. Elm Street, Granville, Ohio 43023, residence (built in 1915)
clear sky, 60s

Best Wishes,
Anna E. Nekola

Laurinburg, NC

I observed 626 chimney swifts at the Armory in Laurinburg North
Carolina on Friday September 10, 2010. Mark Gretch 300 Lanoca Ave. Apt. 24
Laurinburg, North Carolina 28352.

Mark Gretch

Washington, DC

For several years now we have watched a fantastic sight in Washington DC. Off Connecticut Avenue, a mile or so to the north of the National Zoo, there is an old school with a chimney that is, I believe, totally non-functional. The migrating swifts seem to home in on it from all points of the compass. The numbers grow and grow until a huge flock is making a wide circle around the chimney, and slowly they start to peel off and drop down the chimney. It takes perhaps 20 minutes, maybe half an hour, before the last remnants disappear down the chimney at about the time when dusk is giving way to darkness.
Estimating the numbers is difficult. I have watched it many times and often asked other spectators how many they think there are. Most people say--at least a thousand, possibly even two thousand. Certainly the numbers are very large.

We have also seen swifts using the chimney in the Spring migration northwards, but not in the same numbers as in the Fall.  It is an extraordinary sight.

David Cutler

Libertyville, IL

Came across your site after viewing a large group of what I thought were bats or Martins last night. Turns out they were Chimney Swifts. Lots of them.  They fly in a huge circle around a large old brick chimney atop the local Catholic church.  I would estimate there to be three to four hundred of them.  It was at 7:00 pm both last night and tonight.  The church is St. Joseph's Catholic church located at,  221 Park Place
Libertyville, IL 60048-2241

I enjoyed it, hope this helps.


Durham, NC

Swifts have been flying in since last week. Today is September 11, we estimate 500 birds begin gathering each night, anywhere from 630p to 730p. They circle an old chimney stack of the elementary school, George Watts Montessori, across from my house. The school address is 700 Watts St. Durham NC 27701. I have noticed them in the Fall for 3 or 4 years but just got the idea to report this year. Its magical to see them swirling and chattering for the or so before they begin entering the chimney. They circle clockwise a while then change to counter clockwise, sometimes I think I see a figure 8! At some mystical signal the first bird will dive down, then its like a slow tornado, each at their appointed time and not a second before! The rest of them follow until, it seems at the stroke of sunset the last one goes in.

Jo Darby

Nashville, TN

The Delta City Club - chimney on office building
3841 Green Hills Village Dr.
Nashville, TN 37215
7:18-7:30 p.m.
14 Chimney Swifts
observers: George and Margie Koehler, Jan Shaw
partly cloudy, 75 degrees, NE winds at 8mph

Jan Shaw

Milton, LA

11 Sept 2010
2.4 km N of Milton, LA (Lafayette Parish)
25 Chimney Swifts
7:15 pm
chimney of house in subdivision at edge of sugar cane field
90F, sunny, calm, humid

Erik Johnson

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