Thursday, August 29, 2013

count Chimney Swifts in September!

Photo by Ryan Brady
Chimney Swift Count

 Help count Chimney Swifts this September! Count on any clear evening (or several) in September.

Here's how to count in three easy steps.
1. Look for likely chimneys (ones that are uncapped and brick, so the swifts can cling to the interior; tall chimneys, such as those on schools, churches, or factories, are especially good, but smaller home chimneys can be, too), and watch to see where swifts are feeding and congregating.

2. Pick one or more nights from early August in northern Wisconsin through early to late September in southern Wisconsin.  Check the form below for the information we'd like you to collect. Observe the roost starting about 30 minutes before sunset until 10 minutes after the last swift enters the chimney (often when it's so dark it's hard to see anymore). Count (or estimate) the number of swifts as they enter the chimney. It’s useful to count in groups of 5 or 10 when they enter most quickly.

3. Enter your data into eBird (preferred - see instructions below) OR fill out the form below (also available at completely as soon as your count is done. For either method, please send data via email or mail to Bill Mueller, Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory,, or 1242 S. 45th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53214. Bill will compile the results for Wisconsin. If you have any questions, please email or call Bill at (414) 698-9108.

For those in the Green Bay area, send to Nancy Nabak,, (920) 468-8991.
For those in the Madison area, send to Sandy Schwab,, (608) 658-4139.

eBird data entry. See Quick Start Guide at: When prompted for location, map your site to a community and an exact address or point. Include, in the Chimney Swift comments section, general weather conditions, time when the first and last swifts entered the roost, what type of building it is (residence, school, church, business, etc.).

[Example: Date Sat Aug 11,  2012 7:42 PM Location "Swifts - Lake Mills - 400 N. Main St., Jefferson County, Wisconsin, US". Number "155 Chimney Swifts". Comments "75; partly cloudy; S 5 mph. The first swift went down small chimney at back of old church at 8:05. The last 2 went down at 8:30. A few were still flying, but went elsewhere."]

Report Form
Date of Observation:

Time of Observation:  Start:                           End:

Number of Observers (total):
Number of Observers below the age of 18:
The sit is a great way to get youth interested in bird watching and conservation.

Number of Chimney Swifts entering roost:
Actual count or estimate?  (circle one)

Roost Location Information (Exact location is needed to map sites and for use in follow-up counts).
Name of Building:
Street:                                                              City:                             Zip Code:

What type of building /structure  were the birds using:  (circle one)
School                          Hospital                        Church             Apartment
Business                       Swift Tower                 Residence                     Hollow Tree

Weather Conditions at roost (General terms – temperature; clear, partly cloudy, rain; windy):

Your Name (please print):
Email address:
Phone # if preferred:

Any other comments/notes:

Thank you for participating in our Chimney Swift Count.

Are you interested in participating in future counts of Chimney Swifts?
____Yes, please contact me for future Chimney Swift counts!

To learn more about Chimney Swifts, please visit (Audubon Minnesota program) (Driftwood Wildlife Association) (YouTube video of swifts entering the Cherokee Middle School in Madison) (July 30, 2013 Wisconsin Chimney Swift Working Group/WDNR press release)

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