A Continent-wide Chimney Swift Roost Monitoring Project


Nashville, TN

Hazel Cassel and Jan Shaw observed 275 swifts go into the chimney from 7:05-7:20 PM Central Time on September 9, 2005. The location was the Tusculum Elementary School chimney at 4917 Nolensville Pk. Nashville, TN 37211. The weather was clear and about 80 degrees.

Jan Shaw

Shorewood, WI

Number of swifts counted:  1000
Time (and time zone):  7:15 pm to 7:38 pm CST
Date:  9/9/05
Location:  St. Robert's Church
Address: city, state/province:  Maryland Ave. and Capitol Dr. Shorewood, Wisconsin
Broad description of the site:  Church / School
Weather conditions may also be reported:  72 F, partly cloudy

Marc Hunter

Westfield Center, OH

On September 9, an estimated 135 chimney swifts roosted in the Westfield Center, OH elementary school (Medina County). There were 3 observers under cloudless skies, with the first going to roost at 8:01 and roosting complete by 8:25 (Eastern Time Zone). Temperatures were about 72 degrees at that time. Observers were Jan Stackawitz, Helen and Ken Ostermiller.

Helen Ostermiller

Bastrop, TX

Returned to the Bastrop State Park on 9-09-05. Time viewed was from 7:45PM to 8:15PM. Location was the junction of park road 1A and 1C. Weather clear and about 90 degrees. Roost is a large concrete cistern. Not as many birds as the August count [420]. Approximately 280 birds. It was still very exciting to see that many birds. Hope there are some good numbers from other swift watchers. Looking forward to the results.

Chris DuCharm

Austin, TX

Count: 425 Chimney Swifts
Time and Date: 19:56 to 20:20 CDT, 09 Sept 2005
Location: AFL/CIO building, 1106 Lavaca, Austin, TX
Site description: an office building
Weather: warm, breezy, a few high clouds

Sunset time was 19:12 CDT.
At 19:44, there were 35 swifts flying over the trees at the Capitol grounds, northeast of this location.
Most of the swifts entered the chimney between 20:00 and 20:10 CDT.
Bats streamed out of the parking garage nearby at 20:10.
In past years, the swifts have sometimes used the chimney at 1108 Lavaca

Scott Haywood

Austin, TX

Tonight Barbara Anderson, Elaine Rushing, John Donovan , and I counted chimney swifts entering the chimney behind the Antique Store at 5350 Burnet Rd. We got 770. It was very exciting. Barbara and Elaine were especially thrilled that there were about 250 more birds than when they counted several weeks ago.

Anne Donovan

Austin, TX:

We held our very first "Chalupas and Chimney Swifts" thank you dinner for the Travis Audubon Society's Chimney Swift Tower workshop participants on Friday September 9th. The event took place at the home of Georgean and Paul Kyle located on the Chaetura Canyon Bird Sanctuary. The swifts began arriving at about 7:45 CDT with the first one entering the North Observation Tower at 8:00.  Four neophyte counters came up with totals of 190, 215, 271, 285 (talk about your conservative / liberal split!).  We decided to toss out the high and the low numbers and average the two middle counts.  This gave us a SWAG of 243.  When a digital video from inside the tower was reviewed the following day, we had a more accurate count of 297, so ALL of the counters were on the conservative side! 

Pittsburg, Crawford County, Kansas.

September 10, 2005
Central Daylight Saving Time
From: 7:51 P.M. to 8:01 P.M.

Skies clear; wind calm, temperature 85 degrees.
Two parties counted Chimney Swifts at two sites; as follows:

Westside Elementary School, 5th & Miles = 300
First United Methodist Church, 5th & Pine = 248

Totals: 548

Bob Mangile, Sperry-Galligar Audubon

Columbia, MO.

DATE 10 September 2005
LOCATION Benton Elementary School, Columbia, Missouri
GPS WGS84; 38.95612 north; 92.31892 west
TIME 1900 to 2000, time zone -5 (Central Summer Time)
SITE A large, obvious chimney at the school. Highest object in the vicinity
WEATHER fine and warm, no cloud, still

First swift to enter chimney was at 1903. Numbers accumulated as follows:

1900 0
1903 1
1907 7
1909 43
1911 105
1915:30 305
1918 485
1920 545
1925 800
1929 1100
1936 1780
1937:30 2060
1940:15 2460
1948 4570
1951:15 4630
2000 4630

       There is a lot of uncertainty, but I feel the real number might be quite a bit higher than I counted. It was very difficult to be sure when the swifts entered the chimney, versus flew past it. I tried to count only those which seemed to drop more steeply, typically fluttering in a different way to those which flew past the chimney. The number entering the chimney varied greatly, with substantial periods in which very few or even none appeared to enter, then spurts in which the rate of ingress sometimes appeared to exceed
30 per second, and I was reduced to counting by fifties.
       I live adjacent to the Benton Elementary School, and can see the chimney clearly from the backyard. The number of Swifts increases greatly in the fall compared to summer. I know of at least three other structures within a mile which are used by swifts.  Two years ago, in the fall of 2003, the number of swifts swirling about at dusk was much greater than it was last year or has been so far this year. In 2003, I tried to count the swifts, but it was a very crude count. I estimated between 10,000 and 20,000 swifts entered the chimney. My friend is also convinced that the number of swifts has dropped greatly over the last couple of years, and asserts that the number was also much higher in 2002.  Chris Corben