A Continent-wide Chimney Swift Roost Monitoring Project


Muskogee, OK

Jim Harman and David Gill conducted a swift survey again this past weekend. On 9 Sept., they observed 6500 swifts going into the smokestack on Beacon St., in Muskogee, OK. On 11 Sept., they observed 1000+ swifts going into a chimney at the Masonic Lodge in the heart of Muskogee---121 S. 6th St. (Boston & 6th).

Jeri McMahon

Smith Mountain Lake, VA

I have a summer home on Smith Mountain Lake (SML), Virginia. Over the last month, our neighbors have invited us out on their boat several evenings to enjoy the sight of the "swallows" that they had discovered each evening around dusk, doing their acrobatics in the sky. We really enjoyed these outings and marveled over the wonders of nature.

We have since discovered that these were, in fact, Chimney Swifts. Of course, in researching on the net, I found your site and decided to report on our SML brood!

Smith Mountain Lake is located approximately between Lynchburg and Roanoke cities in Virginia. It is a large lake--about 500 miles of shoreline. Beginning in, I believe, late July, these birds were seen circling and approaching one particular small island on the lake. They circled until just after dusk, picking up more and more "family" as they circled. At about 1/2 hour after the sun went down (around 8:30-9:00 pm), the birds "swirled" into the island. In the beginning, there were probably a thousand or more birds. As summer waned, and around the beginning of October, there were probably 500-800 birds. (We found it so fascinating that the birds came to the same island every evening and wondered aloud every night about what they were, why they were there, were they migrating, etc.) Anyway, the last night we went out was Labor Day. Our neighbors reported that this was the last day they were seen at the lake.

Carol Rickerson

Corpus Christi, TX

I had planned to report on the two Corpus Christi sites that I observe throughout the summer, but before the weekend of the first Swift Night out in August, the troops left town. The sites were the Blucher Houses
observed by the Audubon Outdoor Club of Corpus Christi, and the second was the Hathor site that I observe on my summer evening walks with my dog, Sofie

The Blucher Site had around 50+ birds through the summer until the week preceding Aug13 - they packed their bags and left before the official count nights. During the last several weeks new troops have arrived at
Blucher site, numbering about 100+ birds. The official count for the Blucher site with follow in the next couple of days.

The Hathor street site remained empty until approximately 2 weeks ago, when another small band arrived - the count this PM was approximately 20+ Swifts - more than seen routinely throughout the summer.

Leah Pummill,  Audubon Outdoor Club

Jonestown, TX

Twelve birders observed nine species (details below) at the Warbler Vista observation deck and trail in two hours (4:30 - 6:30 PM). Taking a brief break from dinner at True Grits (thanks, Jean and Ed, for watching our food while we watched the swifts !), nine birders observed approximately 2,060 Chimney Swifts enter the old cement cistern across the street (RM 1431) to roost for the night under cloudy skies. The swifts started entering their roost at 7:56 PM CST, and 99% were inside by 8:04 PM CST.

Species details:
- hummingbird, species (1)
- Mourning Dove (6)
- Chimney Swift (3) at Warbler Vista, (~2,060) in Jonestown
- Western Scrub-Jay (1, heard only)
- Carolina Chickadee (2)
- Black-crested Titmouse (2)
- Bewick's Wren (1)
- Turkey Vulture (6)

  • Northern Cardinal (2)

    Kathy McCormack

Baltimore, MD

We have another chimney we counted that I would like to include counted on 9/11/05
The Baltimore Armory chimney in Baltimore city
first in 7:02 / last in 8:00 / 3200 / 80 degrees

Alice Greely-Nelson

Clearwater, FL

I located a small roost on the top of the Pinellas County courthouse in downtown Clearwater, Florida. I counted the birds (with 8 other people) on Sunday, September 11, 2005. We had a total of 54 birds.
Unfortunately, this is quite a bit fewer than last Sunday when I first counted. That night we had closer to 200 birds. I guess that next year we will count during the weekend in August.

Jim McGinity

Racine, WI

4 roost locations--

1024 So. Main Street: I counted 53 swifts going into the chimney at 1024 Main Street, an apartment building near downtown Racine on Saturday
evening, September 11th. The first bird flew in at 7:22 p.m. After I counted 51 birds in,
it seemed like 10 or 12 flew out at 7:28 p.m.!!! Is this unusual? A few
minutes later at 7:32 p.m., 2 swifts flew into the chimney. I hung out until
7:50, when it was too dark to see anyway, and went inside. So, while I
counted 53 birds flew in, you can figure out what you want to report! John Raymond
500 6th Street: Chimney swifts observed on Friday 9/9/05 from 7:06pm to 7:31pm CST at 500 Sixth Street, a 3-story commmercial building in downtown Racine WI. Weather was warm 75 degrees, humid, with light breeze. Saw 27 swifts enter one chimney and 4 used a second chimney. Have observed this site on a few other evenings and saw similar numbers. Muffy Petrick and Eric Howe

1100 Erie Street: St. Patrick's Catholic Church's brick chimney. 7pm--2 dz. swifts flying around and looking at the chimney, then disappearing and only six entering singly about 7:20pm. Warm evening with little wind. Helen Pugh

100 Hubbard Street: Racine City Water Department brick chimney. 239 total 9/8/05 with most entering between 7:30pm and 7:40 pm. Warm evening with little wind. Located 1/4 mile north of downtown Racine and 4 blocks ENE from the 1100 Erie St. roost.

Helen Pugh

Holland, MI

Note: Prior to Aug.3 no birds were seen in Downtown Holland

276 W. 13th St. 8/3  -  9:12-9:25 pm 320 / " 8/5  9:05-9:20 225
121 E. 8th St. 8/8  9:00-9:12  -  43
276 W. 13th St. 8/12  9:00-9:10  -  96
121 E. 8th St. 8/13 8:50-9:10  -  132
" 8/14 8:50-9:12  - 146
" 8/15 8:48-9:08  - 125
" 8/19 8:50-9:02  -  29
17 W. 10th St. 8/21 8:45-9:02  -  362
" 8/22 8:43-8:58  -  360
" 8/23 8:30-9:00  -  380
" 8/24 8:30-9:00  -  430
" 8/28 8:25-8:50  -  485
" 8/31 8:25-8:48  -  500
" 9/2   8:27-8:40  -  405
" 9/6   8:13-8:37  -  481
" 9/9   8:13-8:38  -  492
" 9/11 8:15-8:23  -  225
" 9/13 8:13  -  2