The Swifts Will Be Migrating Soon!

Chimney Swifts in Wisconsin will be migrating soon (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.

Watch for these upcoming events (more info to be added soon).

Fond du Lac Swift Nights Out Sunday, Aug. 20 at Metal-Link (196 Western Ave); Friday, Aug. 25 and Sunday, Aug. 27 at St. Pat’s Church (39 E Follett St).

Beloit Swift Night Out Sunday, Aug. 20 at Nature at the Confluence. Green-Rock Audubon is co-sponsoring the event.

Wausau Swift Night Out Monday, Aug. 21, at 7:15 p.m. Meet at a parking lot at 1st St. and Grant St. Meet after the count at Culver’s. All are welcome!

Green Bay Area Swift Night Out Friday Aug. 25. Contact Nancy Nabak at nnabak@sbcglobal.net for more information.

Sauk City Swift Night Out Friday, Aug. 25, 7:45 p.m. on Riviera Street, the public area along the river near La Mexicana Restaurant, 845 Water St. Watch Chimney Swifts descend into the restaurant chimney.   

Lake Geneva Swift Night Out (a FREE event!) Geneva Lake Museum (255 Mill St.)  Thursday, Sept. 7 (5 p.m. food trucks; 6 p.m. “Eagle & Friends” indoor program by Schlitz Audubon; 7:15 p.m. watch swifts dive down the chimney).

Madison Swift Night Out Friday, Sept. 15, 6-8 p.m. at Blessed Sacrament Church, 2116 Hollister Ave. (location as of 8/5/23). The event is co-hosted by The BIPOC Birding Club of Wisconsin, the Feminist Bird Club – Madison Chapter, Madison Audubon and the Wisconsin Chimney Swift Working Group


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.

These are typically held in the fall (mid-August through September), but could be held in spring as well (May into June). None are scheduled yet – maybe yours will be the first.

Swift Night Out 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.

Please email us at helpchimneyswifts@gmail.com to let us know about your event or others you might hear about.

Thank you for caring about swifts!

Keep Chimney Swifts common in Wisconsin