The Swifts are Migrating!
Chimney Swifts in Wisconsin are migrating now (from mid-April through mid-May), 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.
Madison Audubon Society is hosting an event on Sunday, Sept. 19, at 7 p.m. It will be dedicated to Sandy Schwab, who was the chair of our Wisconsin Chimney Swift Working Group and was a wonderful, passionate, and inspiring advocate for chimney swift conservation. Sandy passed away in June 2021 and leaves her love for birds and nature as a legacy.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org 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!