Saturday, September 17, 2005

Twas A Swift Night Out

A SWIFT NIGHT OUT is a continent-wide effort to raise awareness about and encourage interest in Chimney Swifts and Vaux's Swifts. The project was originally inspired by John Connors with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, North Carolina.

As summer draws to a close and the swifts have finished raising their young, these aerial acrobats begin to congregate in communal roosts prior to their migration in the fall. Some roosts may consist of an extended family group of a half a dozen birds or so, but the larger sites can host hundreds or even thousands of swifts!

Here is how it works: Spotters kept their eyes to the skies at dusk in late July and watched for areas where swifts were feeding. They looked for a tall shaft, chimney or similar structure to locate where Chimney Swifts (central to east coast) or Vaux's Swift (Pacific coast) go to roost in their area.

On one night over the weekends of August 12, 13, 14, and / or September 9, 10, 11 spotters observed the roost starting about 30 minutes before dusk and estimate the number of swifts that enter. They sent their numbers in to the North American Chimney Swift Nest Site Research Project.

The DC Birding Blog spotted a swift site around the corner of Massachusetts Ave and 3rd St, NE read here.

* Chimney Swift Webcam
* More on The Chimney Swift

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