A Continent-wide Chimney Swift Roost Monitoring Project


Jasper County, MO

I counted 75 Chimney Swifts at the North Middle School this morning, 8-9-06.  So the chimney is indeed "uncapped" as promised!

The North Middle School, 2nd & Gray, Joplin, Jasper County, is, as far as I know, the finest Chimney Swift Structure in the area.  I have measured it before. From memory it is roughly 6' X 7' X 60' and NOT IN USE.  I have had well over 1,000 (1600 high count) CHSW roosting there in the fall. Spectacular.

Last summer the school had the roof repaired and the workers capped the chimney since it was not in use and also it would look pretty for low flying aircraft...(!)  Migrating CHSW were totally disoriented. I heard them at night on a couple of evenings last fall milling about when it was dark - well past their normal roosting time.

To make a long story short I got the principal to have them uncap it for the swifts.  I offered to have it cleaned if that was the problem, but I never have received a response on that issue other than "ok."

Good birding,
Larry H. Joplin

Travis County, TX

The Chimney Swift Towers of Chaetura Canyon were active this evening.  The first swift went to roost at 8:00 pm CDT, but it was not until 8:30 that the numbers began to mount.  By 8:45, it was all over.  The Castle tower had 39, the South Observation  tower had 7, and the North Observation Tower had 120.  Three of the other 12 towers still have babies calling.

The weather was clear, calm and 92 degrees F. 
Paul and Georgean Kyle

Swan Quarter, NC

Tonight my kids and I watched six Chimney Swifts enter our house chimney between 8:10 and 8:25 EST. Our address is 19770 US Hwy 264, Swan Quarter, NC 27885. This location is 1 mile west of the intersection of Hwy 264 and NC 94, near Lake Mattamuskeet. The weather is partly cloudy, winds NE 8-15 mph, 75 degrees F.   Kelly Davis

Memphis, TN

Carolyn Bullock and I counted 1,824 Chimney Swifts from 7:17 PM until 8:17 PM CDT on 8/11/06. The weather started as partly cloudy and turned to overcast. Some rain fell for about 12 minutes. Our
location was the old laundry chimney at the Shelby County Jail located on Shelby Farms Park in Memphis TN. The chimney is a tall industrial type structure located within a half mile of the Wolf
River. We have surveyed this site for the last few years. 
Virginia Reynolds

Elkhart, IN

Counted 201 swifts from 8:25 p.m. to 9:15 p.m., EDT, August 11, 2006
Brick chimney on church corner of Goshen Ave. and Middlebury St., Elkhart, Indiana
Clear and cool, dry and crisp. Sundown was about 8:55 p.m. We plan to observe another site tomorrow, the 12th.

Counted 10 swifts from 8:20 to 9:10 p.m., EDT August 12, 2006 free-standing chimney on site of recently demolished school corner of Goshen Avenue and Blazer Blvd. Elkhart, Indiana
clear, cool and dry. Sundown was about 8:50 p.m. The chimney was saved specially for the swift colony.
Doris Stickel and David Stokely

Austin, TX

Tonight, the first night of the Swift Night Out, a group of 13 of us, ranging in age from 8 to 70, counted swifts entering the old incinerator chimney at O. Henry Jr. High. Our individual counts ranged from 1,000 to 1,800, with an average of 1,510. It was a very impressive sight and everyone was overwhelmed by the experience. The participants were Kay and Joe Hart, Meta Hunt, Trent Miller, Quita McMath, Laura and Eli Johnson, Ross Brown, Jody Hart, Sam and Sam (the younger) Fason.   Anne and John Donovan.

Monroeville, AL

We just bought a house which has chimney swifts breeding in our chimney. Previous owners say the birds have been coming to this house for at least 20 years. I counted 16 birds last night. We always watch them flying in the evenings and going into our chimney, and at night their chatter keeps us company in the room. Nights of late have been cloudy, since our rains returned, tho this week will be clear. I live in the small town of Monroeville, Ala, home of " To Kill a Mockingbird". We are in central time zone.

Lake Stevens, WA

Thank you for this great website! Several weeks ago we heard the familiar "chirping" in our chimney and were surprised and delighted to find that we had swifts in our residential brick chimney.
Last night in Lake Stevens, WA. (August 11), at about 8 pm PDT, we counted 4 adults and 7 juveniles.
The weather was a balmy 70 degrees.
The birds were out again this morning at about 10 am PDT, flying up and down the creek behind our home.
Our best,
David and Mattie Thomson

Havelock, NC

Approximately 500 chimney swifts appearing almost at dark
8:15 PM, EST
Authur Edwards Elementary School, Havelock, N. C., Craven County
Large brick chimney, located at school for many years.
Weather 75 degrees, clear.
Douglass Swanson

Pittsburg, KS

Over a dozen Sperry-Galligar Audubon members joined in for our "Swift Night Out" for August 12, 2006, in Pittsburg, Crawford County, Kansas. We broke up into parties and counted a total of 720 Chimney Swifts from five different roost sites in Pittsburg - as follows:

Westside Elementary school = 123
Lakeside Elementary school = 139
Pittsburg Middle school = 400
First Methodists Church & near by chimneys = 31
Reliable Industry building & near by chimneys = 27
Totals = 720

It was a clear calm evening with temperature about 85 degrees at count time. It was a fun time for all involved. 
Bob Mangile

Joplin, MO

20 CHSW at Joplin MO's North Middle School, 2nd & Gray, Jasper County, MO.  Sunday morning, August 13, 2006.