A Continent-wide Chimney Swift Roost Monitoring Project


Baltimore, MD:   Friday,. Sept. 10, 2004   -  The Mill Center, 2,723 chimney swifts

This was our 4th annual Swift Night Out count from Hampden in Baltimore City.  In previous years the adjacent chimneys in Hampden (the Mill Center or Freestate Bookbindery) ranked either 2nd or 3rd in the nation, according to Swift Night Out listings.

The Mill Center at 3000 Chestnut Street, 21211, is a brick, industrial chimney. The 2004 count of 2,723 is just 37% of the highest count from last year (7,403 at the nearby Bookbindery on Sept 5, 2003). Most swifts dropped in between 7:20 and 7:55 PM EST, except the few that entered from 6:25 - 6:35.. The weather was clear, calm and 75 degrees. Our local public television station was there with us, filming a segment for "Maryland Outdoors".

Carol Schreter, Baltimore Bird Club

Tenino, WA:  70 Vaux's Swifts / 7:38 to 7:41 pm Pacific Daylight Time / September 11, 2004

small one story auto repair business with a very old small chimney on the main street of town (not a very large town) / overcast, about 65*, no wind

Kerrville, TX:   here are 2 nights of Chimney Swift counts
9/10/04: in downtown (300 block of Earl Garrett): one large chimney that seems to have a round flue. Counted at least 600 swifts entering from 8 -8:30 pm. Folks in the area have reported that they have
been swarming for the past week.

9/11/04: Schreiner University, Kerrville (center of campus, approximately 1 mile from the Earl Garrett site crow-fly): 180 chimney swifts entering one of the chimneys of the Weir building 8-8:30 pm

I generally see about a dozen c.swifts flying around my neighborhood in Center Point but haven't located the chimney roost.

Susan Sander
Center Point, Texas

Travis County, TX:  The South Observation Tower at Chaetura Canyon continues to host a respectable fall roost:       Saturday 9 / 11:  189  -  Sunday 9 / 12:  191  -  Monday 9 / 13:  158

Jonestown, TX:  The Old Cistern was host to 1490 swifts on Friday 9 / 10

Driftwood, TX:  The South East Water Barn Tower held 235 swifts on Sunday 9 / 12

Ft. Walton Beach, FL:  We found your website just in time for Swift Night Out 2004! We have had the pleasure of chimney swifts in our chimney for 8 or 9 years now. They always arrive the first week of April, usually April 1st! Here is our information:

Sept 10, 2004: 79 birds
Sept. 11, 2004: 99 birds
Sept. 12, 2004: 82 birds (1st bird arrived at 6:58pm CDT--1st bird entered chimney at 7pm CDT, and last entered at 7:16CDT)

Weather was clear. The habitat is the chimney on our house!  We can't explain the discrepancy in the numbers. There were 2 adults counting, my husband and I, and we agreed on the number each evening.

We are extremely worried about our chimney swifts. Unfortunately, Ft. Walton is currently "ground zero" for Hurricane Ivan. Our house is about 2 miles from the Gulf, as the crow flies. Ft. Walton Beach is between Pensacola and Panama City in the Florida Panhandle.

Thank you for this opportunity to contribute to this wonderful project.

Robin Horne

Clarksburg, WV:  Greetings! There has been a dramatic change this year in my swift count. For reasons unknown, the swifts did not congregate and roost in large numbers as they have in years past. I suspect the chimney they were using (a private residence on my street) may have been capped. Whereas I used to count in excess of 100 birds, this year I observed just 18 birds on Sep 10 using a neighboring chimney instead. The new chimney is again of a private residence (approx 90 yrs old) on a residential street of a small city.
I'd like to believe that the number of birds has not actually decreased so drastically as that they must have dispersed to other chimneys around the area. I was quite saddened by the new situation.

Cindy Kozakewich

Gloucester, VA:   The swifts changed chimneys on the 1st of September, so this is a new location, but i am certain it is the same birds.

Latest Counts:
New location - small, historic brick house downtown at 6511 Main Street,
Gloucester, VA; another small brick chimney
(9/11) - 190 birds; time - 7:30-7:45; weather - cool and clear
(9/12) - 163 birds; time - 7:25-7:40; weather - cool and clear

Dave Hewitt

Roseburg, OR:  Our Swift Night out September 12th count is:
a) 1 Vaux swift into the 50' Art Center Pottery Chimney
b) 0 Vaux swifts into the adjacent UACT Chimney

We had tried and opened up 50% of the total blockage of the 50' tall chimney last month with a local chimney sweep. On Friday September 10th I checked out the opening and discovered that only a estimated 5"x7" opening still existed which might be a 5% opening. A little over a week ago a few of our committee members counted 600 - 1,200 swifts entering the 50' chimney, and I counted only 1 swift last night. The 2 - 2 foot thick blockage of the chimney about 25' up from the ground must have somehow re-blocked most of the 50% opening, and might have affected use by the swifts (hence - reduced our September 12th count). We will have to look into opening the blockage up again sometime this winter for our spring migrants.

Terry Farrell
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Wildlife Biologist

Southern Pines, NC:  Large old brick chimney at Southern Pines Elementary School located at the corner of May Street and Massachusetts Avenue, Southern Pines, North Carolina.

Friday 9/10/04 7:45-8:05 pm estimated count of 650 swifts
Saturday 9/11/04 7:40-8:10pm estimated 600 swifts

Both evenings were clear and mild.

Lynn Bowness

Ellicott City, MD:  460 Chimney Swifts entered automobile dealership's chimney between 7:38 and 7:43 p.m. EST on September 12, 2004
Location: Miller Brothers Chevrolet, 9035 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, MD 21042.
Weather: Clear, no wind.

Kurt Schwarz

Edenton, NC:  My husband and I wish to report the following observation information.

Number of swifts - estimated 1000 - 1250
Date - September 11, 2005
Time - 1915-1930 Eastern Standard time
Weather - overcast with scattered clouds, light winds
Location - Windsor, North Carolina ( about 20 miles northeast of Williamston in Northeastern NC)
Site description - square chimney of former Windsor Hospital, now an assisted living/retirement center called Cashie Apartments. Chimney is about 4 stories tall and in good condition.

It was an exciting experience. Now we wonder how all those birds managed to pack themselves into such a small space.

Philip & Marilyn Lange
Albemarle Community Network