A Continent-wide Chimney Swift Roost Monitoring Project


September 7 (continued)

Austin, TX: 
Last night we reported a count of two swifts. Either we didn't wait long enough or could not see all the birds because of the dark (tree) background.

Tonight, as a lark, I walked around to the street and watched with the ever changing sunset sky as a backdrop. We have 6 (SIX) swifts in our house tonight.
Address is 9401 Meadowheath Drive Austin, Texas 78729

Austin, TX: 
Chimney Swift towers at Chaetura Canyon Chimney Swift Observatory (24" x 24" x 20' wooden).  North Tower - 6 birds. South Tower  -  181 birds.

Tyler, TX:  1100 Chimney Swifts / 7:45-8:15 p.m. / corner of Front St. and Palace St. / Borden's Dairy Plant Smoke Stack / weather: clear

Whitefish Bay, WI: Here is my report: Although it is pretty pitiful, I suppose all info is important. The site is code: US-WI-001 Swifts counted: 14 Time: 7:00-7:45 (Sunset 7:17).  Weather: clear and mild.  1st Swift entered at 7:22, last at 7:31

Durham, NC: 
We counted 97 swifts between 7:30 and 8:00 pm. There seemed to be more circling then entered the chimney and we think there was a second location close by.

This location was at Watts Street Baptist Church, 800 Watts Street,  The chimney is part of a large bell tower. When we first found this site 2 years ago there was a much larger number of swifts using it.  I will re-check it later this month to see if there is any change.  The weather was partly cloudy and light sprinkle of rain.

Kearney, MO:  We did have our Swift Night Out party on the 6th. We ate at the new Mexican restaurant and then went to the street behind it to count Swifts. There were only 25 going into that huge Jr. high chimney!!! Every year, there are at least 1500 to 2000 Swifts there. We were SO disappointed and still cannot understand what is going on down there in Kearney. I went down the next night, Sept 6, and only 33 went in.

This Spring, there were over 500. I will continue to check this out. The Swifts have been using that chimney since the 1920's at migration time. Something is very wrong.

Racine, WI:   
Eagles Club, 319 Hamilton Street, 53402
Brick Chimney
Started watch 6:50 CST
0 Clouds and 0-3 Wind
6:51 1 Fly By
6:57 - 2 Entered
7:19 Flyby and numbers gathering overhead
7:21 - 1 entered
7:28 - 4
7:30 - 7
7:32 - 9
7:34 - 52 (short break to write this down)
7:36 - 35
7:39 - 2 entered and could make out 6 left in the DARK
118 total swift counted.

Vermillion, SD:  They've mostly left apparently. Sunday, there were less than a dozen swifts in the vicinity of the smokestack on the University of South Dakota campus. (College of William & Mary SwiftWatch site US-SD-001)  This is the site where I counted over a thousand birds going to roost August 17th.

Nashville, TN:   Only one entered the tower and then left a few moments later, so the few that were around roosted somewhere else. Maybe the big smokestack is too cavernous for just a few birds to be comfortable in? (I confirmed with the University this morning that the heating system is still shut down and doesn't normally start up until late September or early October.)

It seems like this should be about the peak of our flying insect population. There were at least eight or ten nighthawks hunting and diving in the vicinity last evening and I think of them as being very early migrators, but guess the swifts left sooner this year.

The four of us counted swifts again at Tusculum Elementary School on September 7, 2003 and had a total of 197. The address is 4917 Nolensville Pk. Nashville, TN 37211. They started into the chimney at 7:12 and ended at 7:27.

Oregon:  Here are the numbers for Chapman Elementary School 5 Sept to 7 Sept.
-5 Sept. High haze, Dry, Wind 10-15 mph, High temp 90 - 95 F; Approx. 5500.
-6 Sept. 50% cloud cover, Dry, wind 15-20 mph, high temp 85 - 90 F; Approx. 9400
-7 Sept. Over cast, Raining since mid afternoon, calm winds, high temp 60 - 65 F.  Swifts started to enter around 3:00 pm (according to neighbors), didn't start count until 5:20 pm. Observed approx. 6300.

Bellaire, TX:  I counted swifts last night with three other persons we came up with a count of approximately 75 swifts entering a large chimney at the intersection of Bellaire and Stella Link in Houston. There appeared to be many more swifts congregated in the sky above the chimney however.  Is this the usual course of events for swifts? Are some of the swifts there to socialize in the sky, only to return to a different roost?

Delaware, OH:   Here is my data:
Number counted: 1420
I dropped a penny in a can for every 20 swifts that I counted. When they were done dropping into the chimney, I counted 71 pennies from the can and multiplied by 20 to get 1420. This was the best method for me.
Time: (Eastern time zone) I observed from 7:35 - 8:22. One swift entered  at 7:41 and no others entered until 7:55. The last bird entered at 8:22. 
Date: Sunday, September 7, 2003.
Location and address: Ohio National Guard Armory at 79 West William Street, Delaware, Ohio 43015.
Description of sight: The armory is an older brick building and the birds enter a chimney located on the NW corner of the structure. The walls prevent me from seeing the chimney 's top edge. The armory occupies the SE quadrant of an intersection shared with a Tim Hortons eatery (SW), Domino's Pizza (NW) and Willis Public School (NE). I have been watching this roost site for several weeks.
Weather: 72 degrees at start, clear skies, and no wind.

I hope I have helped with the project...
I am a retired science teacher and an active conservationist, having raised bluebirds since 1968 and Tree Swallows since 1977. Lately, have also raised American Kestrels and Osprey.
Thank you and Keep up the good work.

Fayetteville, NC:  Number of swifts counted: - 696
Time (and time zone): 7:35 - 7:55 pm
Date: September 7, 2003
Location: Ashley School
Address: Fayetteville, NC 28304
Broad description of the site: School chimney
Some swifts had already begun entering the chimney when I arrived about 7:35
pm. By 7:55, when the last swift entered, I had counted 696 swifts.

La Grande, OR:   1250 swifts entered roost on 7 Sep. 2003
Catholic Church Chimney, 1002 L Ave. (chimney at corner of 4th St. and K. St.) 97850
Lat./Long.: 45 19.272 118 05.746

Holt, MO:  I counted the Chimney Swifts going into my own towers. 7824 SE Freeway Farms Dr., Holt, Mo. 64048.   There are 2 16 ft. towers connected to our barn. Trees are 20 ft. away. 144+ went in the West tower, 10+ went in the North tower. Every year they prefer the West tower. The temp. was 77 degrees, no wind to speak of, beautiful night. Began to go in at 7:55 pm. A sentry flew around for 3-4 minutes, then all were in by 8:05. Last week, before we had 8-10 in. of rain in 24 hrs., over 250 Swifts occupied the West tower.

Raleigh, NC:  count 340
time 7:30-8:00 pm Eastern Daylight Saving Time
date 9-6-2003
location , USA
type of bldg. 4 story brick apartment on Hillsborough Street weather cloudy