A Continent-wide Chimney Swift Roost Monitoring Project


September 6

Winston-Salem, NC:   
At least 10,000 in the area of 4th Street between Trade and Cherry Streets, downtown on evening of 9/5. Roost appeared to be somewhere on south side of 4th Street. Too dark to see where they actually went down.

Austin, TX:  We only had 2 swifts enter our swift house tonight. Please add to the count.  The location is 9401 Meadowheath Dr. Austin, TX.

Austin, TX:  This chimney swift roost is in the southwest corner of the building at 1108 Lavaca, in downtown Austin.  On Sept. 6, 2003, ninety-three swifts entered the chimney between 7:59 pm and 8:16 pm CDT.  Weather: clear sky, temp. mid-80's F, wind NE 5-10 mph; moon 84% full.

I began watching at 7:45 pm. Sunset officially at 7:48.
7:59 first swift entered; others several minutes later.
8:10 84 swifts had entered.
8:11 88 swifts
8:13 90
8:14 92
8:16 93
8:20 I stopped watching.

Madison, WI:   95 chimney swifts / 7:30 PM central daylight time
Location at The American Club hotel chimney at Highland Dr. Kohler, WI
53044 / clear with slight southerly breeze.

Wayne, MI:  435+
8:10 - 8:26 P.M. Eastern Time.
First United Methodist Church.
3 Town Square
Masonry Chimney of the Original Church Structure.
Clear Skies
Temperature: 70'
Winds 0 -5 MPH

Conway, SC:  CHSW = 360+/-

Time = 1928 - 2001 (EDT)

Date = 09-06-2003

Location = 17S-UTM (NAD83) Northing 0679196, Easting 3745002

Structure = residential chimney

Conditions = 68F, heavy cloud cover, light mist

Notes = for the past two weeks, numbers range from 233 - 430. this eve some birds would enter chimney, then exit; this behavior not previously observed (made counting somewhat more challenging.) during mid days (when able to observe) groups of 3 - 5 birds foraging over area would enter structure, then exit; possibly "scouts?"

Pfafftown, NC:   Tonight (9/7) I went to Vienna Elementary School on Chickasha Rd. and counted about 8,000 swifts entering the school chimney. They already had started down when we arrived at 8:00 p.m., but they must have just begun because the dive lasted until nearly 8:15 and I counted 1,000 more than I saw there a week ago.  The school is about 5 miles WNW of downtown Winston-Salem.

Saint Joseph, MO   The site was the same one that I reported on in August. The roost site was the 70 foot high chimney on Huffman Memorial Methodist Church at 28th and Renick, Saint Joseph, Missouri, 64507.

I observed the site on September 6th and September 7th. The weather was fair, mostly clear, no wind. Temperature in the 70's degree F. Times are Central Standard Time.

September 6,
760 swifts, First swift in at 7:51 PM, Last swift in at 8:11 (took 20 min.)
September 7,
835 swifts, First swift in at 7:45 PM, Last swift in at 8:07 (took 22 min.)

Austin, TX:  Chimney Swift towers at Chaetura Canyon Chimney Swift Observatory (24" x 24" x 20' wooden).  North Tower - 6 birds. South Tower  -  160 birds.

Muskogee, OK:   
brick incinerator stack, 25 ft. high at 316 Court St., Muskogee, OK. Estimated count was 1500. I knew that thousands of chimney swifts had been roosting in the old smokestack at Beacon St. for years and years, but I didn't know about the one on Court St. until this year.

Johnson City, TX:   
Chimney Swift Tower

Location : GPS coordinates 30 degrees 14.827 minutes north 98 degrees 15.251 minutes west
1146 ft. at base of tower

101 Whitley St. 78636

7:45- 2 in / 7:55- 1 in  / 8:00- 2 in / 8:05- 1 in / 8:10- 1 in

WHAT!!! SEVEN?? 7?!
Shocking. I figured with all the swooping and not going in they were
doing- I must have counted a couple of them as going in when they
did not. Still pretty exciting though.

Sept. 7th. Two pairs of eyes to watch- no error tonight!

7:35 swifts making lots of passes and diving at the tower / 7:48- 1 in / 7:54- 1 in / 7:58 / 1 in 1 out and 2 in
8:01- 1 in / 8:02- 2 straight in

7 total!!  Wonder if the swoopers and divers are in unfamiliar territory? The ones going straight in the part of the original group?

Eureka, MO:   ... counted Swifts on Saturday evening September 6th 2003. 50 Swifts went in an old 1800's Farmhouse with a rock Chimney. Augustine Road 63025

Fredonia, WI :  Wanted to report to you the results of my monitoring of a Chimney Swift roost site in my neighborhood. I reported on this roost last year also.
The site:
Neuen's Lumber
Fredonia, WI 53021
A large chimney on the grounds of the lumber company.
9/6 470 Chimney Swifts
Observed between 7:15pm and 7:50pm
9/7 560 Chimney Swifts
Observed between 7:15pm and 7:50pm
Weather was perfect. Winds calm. Skies clear. Temperatures in the 70's.
I never tire of watching this phenomenon! Absolutely awesome.

September 7

Winston-Salem, NC:  Hi Everyone!  Checked out another two roosting sites over the weekend with the
following results:

Location: Corner of Seventh and Liberty, Downtown
Count: 400+ Chimney Swifts descended this square brick chimney on this  multi-story building
Time: Last one went down at 8:05 pm EST
The birds did not seem to be affected by the band music blasting on the
street only about a block away.

Winston-Salem, NC:  Location: Kernersville Elementary School, Kernersville, NC
Count: 1026 Chimney Swifts counted descending into this school chimney
Time: First one went in 8:00 pm; Last one descended at 8:11 pm EST

Happy Swift Watching!

Austin, TX: 
We counted 1160 Chimney Swifts dropping into the old chimney at O. Henry Middle School in Austin this evening. This was over twice the number we had there on August 16th. When we arrived at 7:30, we thought maybe we had missed the spectacle, as only about 10 birds were circling overhead. But as we set up our lawn chairs by 8:00, large numbers were gathering. In 15 minutes from 8:07 to 8:22 they all vanished into the chimney. The last dozen or so were visible only with binoculars in the dark.  It's a sight to see!