The Swifts are Migrating!

Chimney Swifts in Wisconsin are migrating now (from mid-August through October), creating quite a phenomenon at dusk at some roost chimneys (videos). We would encourage everyone to get out to witness one of these events, and help Chimney Swifts by doing a count and recording your findings in eBird.

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED, as Chimney Swifts and their roost chimneys are both in decline, and we still don’t know which chimneys are being used by swifts. If you can count, you can help!

Count on Your Own

Swifts can be found in almost every small to large community.

  • Look for tall brick chimneys that are uncapped.
  • Watch to see where swifts are feeding and congregating.
  • Pick a night to monitor.
  • Observe the roost starting about 20 minutes before sunset until 10 minutes after the last swift enters the chimney.
  • Count (or estimate) the number of swifts as they enter the chimney. It’s useful to count in groups of five or 10 when they enter quickly in large numbers.
  • Enter your data on eBird if possible and add #swiftwi in the species comment section.

Once you locate a good roost, invite your friends and neighbors to join you in watching this incredible event! More information can be found at https://www.wiswifts.org/report-chimney-swift-sightings/

Attend or Conduct a Swift Night Out

Attend an event – or start one of your own! Swift Night Out is part of a continent-wide program held to raise awareness about this declining bird species.

Past Events

Madison Audubon Society is hosting an event on Sunday, September 11, 2022, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Midvale Elementary School, 502 Caromar Dr., Madison, WI (location as of 9/7/22).

“Swift Night Out Social” in Madison, WI, on Friday, Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Midvale Elementary School, 502 Caromar Dr, co-hosted by the BIPOC Birding Club and the Feminist Bird Club-Madison Chapter. https://www.bipocbirdingclub.org/events
“Swift Night Out” in Lake Geneva, WI, on Thursday, September 8, at the Geneva Lake Museum (5:30 p.m. gather – food trucks; 6:30 Schlitz Audubon with “Eagle and friends”; 7:30 watch swifts). 255 Mill St. https://www.genevalakemuseum.org/swift-nights-out/
“Swift Night Out” in Spring Green, WI, on Saturday, August 27, 7:45 p.m. at the Homecoming Restaurant, 242 N. Lexington St.
“Chimney Swift Night Out” in Lime Ridge, WI, on Saturday, August 20, 4-10 p.m. at the Old School Art Asylum. Open Mic Live Music.
“Swift Night Out at the Vernon County Museum” in Viroqua, WI, on Saturday, July 9, 8 p.m. at the corner of S. Main & South St.

Please email us at helpchimneyswifts@gmail.com to let us know about other events.

If you really want to make a difference for swifts, please consider holding your own Swift Night Out, which can be as simple (or as robust) as you wish. See why and how at https://www.wiswifts.org/swift-night-out/ Be sure to click the link for an easy, how-to guide.

Thank you for caring about swifts!

Keep Chimney Swifts common in Wisconsin