A Continent-wide Chimney Swift Roost Monitoring Project


Ellicott City, MD:  I had an opportunity to check a Chimney Swift roost last night, August 15.
Number of swifts - 800 (estimate, they came too fast to accurately count)
Time - 8:35-8:45 p.m. EDT (sunset at 8:01 p.m.)
Location: Miller Brothers Chevrolet, 9035 Baltimore National Pike (U.S. rt. 40)
Description: Automobile dealer, large, square, brick chimney, in a densely developed commercial strip
Weather: Clear, no wind, low 70 degree temps
I hope to get there again for the September event.
Kurt Schwarz

Lexington, SC:  220 swifts counted*
Arrived at 8 pm - the first swift dropped in at 8:20 and the last swift entered the chimney at 8:50 EDT
August 15th.  Site was an old intermediate school chimney.  Weather was overcast with a slight breeze - temperature was 74 deg. F.

*Note: We released 10 young Chimney Swifts from Carolina Wildlife Care this evening. We have released approximately 80 young swifts at this site this year.

Mississauga Ontario Canada:  We counted 21 swifts entering a chimney in an active church in the
downtown area of the village of Streetsville, which is now part of the City of Mississauga, between 8.00pm and 9.00pm EST.on Sunday Aug. 15. The weather was partly cloudy with light winds.I attempted to register this site but could not make connections, if there is a new site to contact please let me know. The building is on the corner of Queen Sstreet and Barry Ave.  Bill Evans and Ross Evans

Houston, TX:  Number of Swifts counted - 109 swifts observed entering the roost.
Date - Saturday, August 14th, 2004
Time - 8:05 p.m. through 8:40 p.m.
Address - Sutton Elementary School, 7402 Albacore, Houston, Tx. 77074
Description - Old incinerator at elementary school. The school is across the street from my home, and the swifts have been coming there each year since I moved to this location in 1993.
Temperature - 80-85 approximately.

I have enjoyed these swifts for years....glad to get them on your chimney swift monitoring map!

Billie Strickland

Austin, TX:  152 Chimney Swifts.

Observed from 8 p.m. to 8:27 p.m. on August 15, 2004.

Location: a chimney at the rear of St. Austin's Church, Austin, Texas.

A few years ago, I first noticed Chimney Swifts using this site during August. When I checked back in September, the swifts no longer seemed to be using the chimney (though a few swifts were still in the vicinity). I'll try to see what the situation is this coming September.  -- John Kelly

Memphis, TN:   We went to the Bartlett High School, near Memphis, Tennessee (in Bartlett, TN) August 14th from 6:00-8:30 pm CST. We saw eleven Chimney Swifts flying around at one time. None entered the chimney.

Travis County, TX:  On August 13, 14, 15 we recorded 87, 90, 79 Chimney Swifts respectively in the South Observation Tower at Chaetura Canyon.  The North Tower had 4 birds each night.

Jonestown, TX:  The Old Cistern behind Jones and Carter Real Estate on HWY 1431 attracted 1119 swifts between the hours of 8:05 and 8:35PM

Vermillion, SD:   Friday Aug. 13 we counted about 360 swifts going to roost in the heating plant smokestack on the University of South Dakota campus in Vermillion. (This site was registered as US-SD-01 by the swiftwatch project last year.)  This was only about one-third the 1,000 plus I counted last year on Aug. 17, '03. I'll try to count again this weekend to see if the number increases. Mark Wetmore

Unity, ME:   Aug. 14 in at the Unity Elementary School Administrative Building chimney, from about 7-8 pm. 10 swifts entered, each one approaching and entering singly.

This location is already picking up, as one of our volunteers counted 15 entering between 7:45 and 8 pm on the 18th.

Another roost in Unity, ME (a large chimney at the old Thorndike Press building) that had approximately 50 one evening last May has been absolutely empty so far.

We see larger numbers of swifts that are apparently going back to individual chimneys at dark -- also on Aug. 14, about 60 in the air over fields in Thorndike, ME. We could not tell where they went as dark
approached, however.

We're going to try to monitor these sites every few days, as swifts will have most likely left ME by the September event. I'll keep you posted as to our results.  Best regards,  Marc & Diane

Atlanta, GA:   Friday August 13, 2004 8:30 PM Eastern Six Swifts / Saturday, August 14, 2004 8:30PM Eastern Two Swifts / Private Residence

Baltimore, MD:  We had as many as 18-20 at one time. They left early this year.

1) Freestate Bookbindery, 3110 Elm Ave., Baltimore, MD USA 21211 industrial chimney, weather 70s, calm
Count = 733 chimney swifts / 8:00 - 8:26 PM August 15, 2004

2) Florence Crittenton Home Extension, 3110 Crittenton Place, Baltimore, MD USA 21211
brick extension to historic stone residence, weather 70s, calm / directly across the street from the Bookbindery. Both in use, simultaneously.
Count = 255 chimney swifts
8:10 - 8:20 PM August 15, 2004

Carol Schreter, Baltimore Bird Club

Pittsburg, KS:  August 22, 2004 - A group of five Sperry-Galligar Audubon birders observed a chimney swift roost at the Westside Elementary school, 430 W. 5th., in Pittsburg, Crawford Co., KS. We estimated the flock to be about 300-400 birds. They were all in the school's chimney by 8:35 P.M. and the entering process lasted about 10-15 minutes. We will monitor this chimney in the future. The weather was calm and about 82 degrees with scattered clouds - a nice evening for such viewing. The schools chimney isn't much higher than the building and was made of brick.

Bob Mangile

Corpus Christi, TX:

Monday Aug 16
Number of swifts counted: 5
Location: Blucher Historic Homes, Blucher Park, Corpus Christi, TX
2 Homes with 2 -3 chimneys each.
Weather: Very warm 82F, Clear.
Observers: 5 (one observer for each swift as it turns out)

We are members of the Audubon Outdoor Club of Corpus Christi, Tx and have been given the nickname of "The Blucher Bunch". We have worked in Blucher Park, which is directly across the street from two of the oldest homes in Corpus, for 15 years. Both houses have multiple chimneys which are used by the swifts. The swirling flight of the swifts is one of the pleasures we enjoy while we are in the Park and their descent into chimneys has been a show that never ceases to amaze us. When we found out about the " Swift Night Out" we certainly wanted to get the Blucher Park Swifts included.

A week before we were to count, swifts were out in great numbers - flying so close and low over our heads we felt as if were one of them and certainly on their flight plan. The following week, Aug 16, we gathered
our chairs in front of the homes to do our count. Surprise!! Only 5 birds showed up. It is our guess that the swifts that entertained us so well the week before had departed for the season. So we are very anxious to
see what will show up in the following weeks. We work in the Park 'til the end of Oct - so we will monitor the swifts as long as we are there.

Leah Pummill
Audubon Outdoor Club