A Continent-wide Chimney Swift Roost Monitoring Project


Silver Bay, N.Y:  This sighting was too early for your count, but we saw this on our vacation at Silver Bay, N.Y. on Lake George during the week of Aug. 1-6: approximately 60 chimney swifts returning every night between 8:15 and 8:30 PM to an old chimney on a large inn built about 1900. They apparently come back to Silver Bay every spring. A group was observed chasing what seemed to be a nighthawk one evening. Thanks for your web site! Terry Bain

Texas City, TX:  Trudy Belz and I sat on 6th Avenue between 6th St and 7th St in Texas City from 8:00 to 8:30 pm on 8-13 and saw 12 swifts circling never entered chimney before it was too dark to see them. Question: do they ever continue to migrate after dark? or do they always roost for the night and continue their flight the next morning? Elsie

Ed. Note:  Chimney Swifts do not migrate at night.  However, they can still be entering a roost for sometime after dark.

Arlington, Virginia:  We watched 500-600 chimney swifts circling to roost about 8:15-8:30 Eastern daylight time in the 2600 block of South 16th Street in Arlington, Virginia, 22204. Weather: 75 degrees, partly cloudy. The roost is a chimney of a neighboring condominium complex, which was built in 1939. To my knowledge, the chimney is in operation in the winter. The roost has been in existence for at least 12 years (One of us has lived in the neighborhood that long), but it was abandoned by the swifts last year, perhaps because maintenance work on the chimney disturbed them. (The swifts roosted in another, smaller chimney nearby.) We're glad they're back in the 16th St. chimney this year.

Austin, TX:  Disappointing night at O.Henry. We only got there at 8:30pm, but a gardener on site said that he hadn't seen any of the birds overhead that  evening. There is, however, a small chance that we missed some birds  going in earlier, and the 1 bird we saw was a straggler. Andy & Julia Balinsky

Number of swifts counted:  1
Time (and time zone):  8:40
Date:  9/13
Location:  O. Henry Middle School
Address: city, state/province:  2610 W. 10th St., Austin, Texas
Broad description:  school with tall brick tower
Weather conditions:  Clear skies.

Joplin, MO:  Mark and I counted 62 CHSW go to roost at his North Middle School, 2nd & Gray, Joplin, Jasper County, sw Missouri, this evening between 8:20 and 8:40 pm. 8-14-04.  It's a brick structure about 8' X 7' X about 70' high. Very light breeze, 67 F., mostly fair sky. Numbers will build to up to 600 later on if all goes as it did last fall. Good birding, Larry H. .

Texas City, TX:  Trudy and I moved our operations since the poor results last night to 6th Street between 4th Avenue and 3rd Avenue N at the City water offices. Saw 316 swifts come to roost. It was lots of fun to watch them dive down a shaft on the north side of the building.

Portland, OR:  Sat., Aug 14th. 1 v. swift entered Pottery Shed chimney. Others seemed focused on that chimney but about 5 minutes later funneled into the UACT chimney which is 50' east of the Pottery Shed. A total of 160 +/- v. swifts. There was no hawk present. The Pottery Shed chimney will be worked on Aug. 18th to try to breach the blockage. It will be interesting if the swifts relocate. Meredith Jones

Kearney, MO:  Bill and I went down to the Kearney Jr. High last night to check on that chimney. There had to be 1000 Swifts going in. Wow, it's in use again. I think the construction so close last year scared them off, but we're in business this year!   Joyce

Delaware, OH:  For three nights I counted chimney swifts entering the South chimney of the Ohio National Guard Armory at 79 West William Street near downtown Delaware, Ohio. All three nights were partly cloudy with temperatures in the upper 60's.
     Friday, August 13, 2004. 138 swifts entered the chimney from 2009 - 2051. A Cooper Hawk skimmed past the chimney opening at 2038, flying from south to north. It took another swipe flying in the return direction four minutes later. I did not see anything in its talons, but only an owl would be able to see that well.

Saturday, August 14, 2004. 206 swifts entered between 2036 and 2053. No hawks showed up.
Sunday, August 15, 2004. 248 swifts entered the chimney between 2033 and 2054.

Last year, the swifts roosted in the North chimney.  I hope to participate in September also. Dick Tuttle

Marietta, GA:   Observer - Mark Beebe
Number of Chimneys Swifts - 11
Date - August 15, 2004
Time - 8:43 PM
Location - 127 Atlanta Street, S.E
Roost - House with a brick chimney
Weather - 78 degrees F, partially cloudy

Carlsile, PA
August 13, 2004
8:05pm - 8:35pm
10 Chimney Swifts
Personal residence chimney
50% cloud cover, 68 degrees, calm
This site is my neighbors house across the street.
Deborah Gingrich

Texas City, TX:  Counted 299 Chimney Swifts come to roost at 3rd Avenue N and 4th Avenue N, Texas City Sunday, August 15. Elsie Smith

Georgetown IN:  On 13 August, we observed Chimney swifts entering a large chimney on the Georgetown Elementary School in . From Approximately 8:30 to 9:06 pm, 2300+ swifts entered the chimney. Most of those entered between 8:45 and 9:00 (difficult to count). Weather had just cleared and the temp was about 62 F. Observers were Bob and Judy Van Hoff and Debra Fitzpatrick.

Gloucester, VA:  I made a count last night for the first round of Swift Night Out.  I was glad to find a small roost here locally, as i had been treated to roosts of  3000+ in the Raleigh, NC area where my wife and I used to live. Here are the details:

Count: 62
Time: 7:45 - 8:10 (main drop-in, started watching at 7:15)
Date: 8/15/04
Location: Fiddler's Green Antiques building, near courthouse circle, small
brick chimney (1 ft. x 1 ft.)
Address: 6568 Main Street, Gloucester, VA
Weather: steady light rain, completely overcast, humid

I will continue to make counts every evening that i can until the birds leave. I would imagine that numbers will build, though the chimney is rather small. If you are interested in the data, just let me know. Glad I
could participate.

Dave Hewitt

Catonsville, MD:
Location: Catonsville High School
421 Bloomsbury Ave.
School is 5 stories with the chimney sitting at least one story in height above the roof.

August 13, 2004, 8:18 - 8:30: 408 swifts. The sky was a little cloudy.
August 15, 2004, 8:07 - 8:32: 200 swifts. The sky was clear with a few clouds.

There is a second reportedly active chimney that is within a mile of the school. I don't know whether swifts were roosting there as well.

Nancy Meier

Bethel, ME:  We counted the swifts in Bethel on Saturday night. Thanks to a little newspaper publicity, a large group of people showed up so we had help keeping track of the numbers. We used the "pennies in the can" method described on the website, which worked very well. We counted roughly 500 of them - about 200 more than the week previous. also we noted that they took longer to go in, and there were lots of stragglers - we'd think that they all had gone in and suddenly there'd be another small group flying around.

We think our swifts will have left for parts south by the September count night, but we'll keep you posted.

Jackie and Al Cressy

Brampton Ontario Canada:  We counted 33 swifts going to roost on Friday Aug. 13, 2004 at Mississauga Rd and Embleton Rd in It is a brick chimney in an old stone mill.I registered it last year.  The No. is CA-ON-001 It was a fine evening with light cloud and no wind.  Bill Evans and Ross Evans