The Appleton Post-Crescent published some tips from the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources on how to spot chimney swifts. Some likely locations in the Fox Cities area would be older downtown churches, schools, theaters, public buildings and industrial sites with large brick chimneys.
On the evening of September 7th 2014 Janesville (an official Wisconsin “Bird City“) had a “Swift Night Out” event. 860 migrating swifts were counted descending the chimney to spend the night at the Washington Elementary school before continuing their journey to South America. Thanks to Joni Denker for sharing this impressive video on YouTube and posting on eBird.org. Janesville’s Bird City Facebook page is here.
At Madison East High School, you can watch a swirl of swifts descending into this unusual 4-part chimney for the night. Park in the rear and view from the lunch tables in the central courtyard. The show starts just after the sun sets at 2222 E. Washington Avenue, Madison, WI
The Wisconsin Humane Society’s wildlife rehab center in Milwaukee cares for over 5,000 sick, injured and orphaned wild animals every year. This lucky swift made a full recovery:
Matt had suffered a mild concussion from a collision and was stunned. Because Swifts eat on the wing and don’t know how to feed on the ground, Wildlife staff diligently hand fed mealworms to Matt every half an hour to make sure he had enough to eat. After several days of hand-feeding and medical treatment, Matt finally perked up and was ready to be released!
Ramsey Schlissel tells us that ground has broken on the Hartland chimney tower project. A huge chimney at the historic White Elm Nursery, a roosting site for about 1000 swifts, was demolished this year. The Hartland community raised funds to build a replacement “chimney”. Hopes are high that migrating swifts will relocate this fall to the nearby Ice Age Trail – John Muir Lookout, south of town along the Bark River.
The WI Chimney Swift Working Group has advanced their agenda of acquainting more Wisconsin citizens with Chimney Swifts during autumn of 2013. At the last meeting of the Working Group, we met with faculty and students from Hartland to assist them with planning a replacement roost chimney for an historic building there that has hosted more than 1000+ swifts for their fall roost. Plans for the new chimney are in process.
During autumn of 2013, swift watches took places at over 120 sites in Wisconsin. Plans are underway for more watches in 2014, plus the building of swift towers at a number of locations in Wisconsin. A new Chimney Swift Working Group website is in process also. Check back here for more news as these projects unfold.